Online Advertising Strategies to Boost Sales in 2018

In 2018, digital advertising and marketing spend grew by 4% year-over-year according to the Global Market Reach Study.1 However, against this growth, the industry lost 2.7 billion US dollars worth of business due to digital advertising fraud, costing marketers billions of dollars and putting an extreme strain on marketing budgets. This is more than likely the result of a mixture of factors – including rising consumer awareness, ad blocking and a lack of transparency – but it highlights just how vulnerable the industry still is to fraudsters, hackers and mischief makers.

These figures shouldn’t come as a great surprise. After all, it wasn’t that long ago that online advertising was seen as a safe and secure way to market a product or service. However, the industry has shifted; consumers are seeking more engagement and brands are realising that their target audience is more likely to be found online.

As a marketer, how can you ensure that your business is safe from cyberattacks and identity fraud? What steps can you take to ensure that your online advertising dollars are well spent? What tools do you need to analyse and measure the success of your campaigns?

In this article, we’ll discuss three highly effective online advertising strategies that can be used to increase sales and boost brand loyalty in 2018.

1. Tailored Marketing

In a previous article for MarketingCharts, I discussed how marketing technology, particularly personalisation and automation, is changing the way we market to consumers. In simple terms, tailored marketing is the act of customising a marketing message or action based on an analysis of previous consumer behaviour.

We’re all aware of the power of using retargeting adverts to keep users on your site. However, retargeting is just one form of tailored marketing; you could use a tool like Google Adsense to show ads specifically targeted towards an existing user based on her previous actions, such as the websites or apps she’s previously visited or downloaded.

Depending on your budget, you may also wish to consider using display ads, which are a type of tailored marketing that doesn’t require you to use a tool to reach consumers. When a user engages with your ad, you can then follow up with further marketing material that’s tailored to them.

2. User-Centric Design

In today’s world, consumers have more power than ever before. Thanks to the conveniences of the internet (and the increased availability of content), they have the ability to seek out information from a variety of sources, including websites, blogs and forums.

As a result, web content must now reflect the way people are searching for information. For instance, in the case of a blog post, you may wish to consider including a mix of image-based content – such as infographics, diagrams or photographs – with text content.

According to HubSpot Blogs research, 80% of consumers want to read about products and features in a blog post, yet only 50% of businesses effectively use blogs to do this. What’s more, consumers seek out blogs to learn about new products and read reviews, so creating relevant and engaging content for your target audience is essential if you want to grow your business.

3. Authentic Long-Form Content

In 2022, Google will begin deprioritising short-form content across all platforms. This trend will continue in 2024 and beyond, with Google prioritising longer articles and videos in Google Search results.

Why? Well, as Matt Cutts, head of web spam for Google, states: “People are less tolerant of low-quality content these days, and they’re more likely to be disappointed with poor-quality content than they are to be pleased.”

Given this, a crucial element of your online advertising strategy in the coming months will be to create long-form content that can be consumed by users on mobile devices and tablets.

Key Takeaways

If you’re serious about growing your business you need to consider investing in online advertising. However, as I discussed above, the industry is heavily dominated by fraudulent and deceptive practices. This means that you must be extremely careful about where you spend your advertising dollars – as there are numerous scammers, hackers and marketers that would love to get your money. One way to combat this is by being particularly careful about where you give your credit card information online. Never give your debit card number over the phone or in an e-mail with a link, as this could be easily stolen.

Fortunately, the above tactics and strategies can be used to improve your online advertising results – if used correctly. By taking the time to learn more about how digital marketing and advertising work, you can then get the most from your efforts and minimise the amount of money you lose due to fraudulent activity. Good luck out there.