Digital marketing and digital advertising need each other in order for either to be effective. Think about it. If you create great digital ads that generate lots of clicks, those clicks need to go to landing pages or a website that engages visitors in ways that will help you qualify leads and nurture leads into customers.
Digital Advertising Alone Isn’t Enough
Unless all you want is impressions, digital advertising alone will not likely be enough to help you reach your goals. Digital advertising that is aligned with your digital marketing campaigns can, on the other hand, be a powerful growth driver. Check out this article on How to Measure the Effectiveness of Digital Advertising.
Advertising used to be all about impressions. Agencies would sell ads for TV, radio and print publications, promising that the ads would be seen by an estimated number of eyeballs. That was about as good as it got. You could target audiences based on the demographics of the media channel–stay-at-home moms watch daytime TV, and working people watch the 6:00 news, etc. The cost of the ad was based on the size of the audience of the media channel measured by companies like Nielsen.
The early days of digital advertising didn’t know any better than to use the same model. You would measure the traffic of popular websites and place ads on those sites that would promote your brand. It was still a matter of buying and selling impressions. The next step towards a more measurable form of digital advertising came when you could measure clicks–when a digital ad was clicked-on, that signaled a deeper level of engagement.
Digital Marketing Changed Everything
Full-fledged digital marketing has provided tools to make digital advertising far more effective. First, you can target your audience not just based on the media channel and demographics but on their own stated likes, dislikes, purchases, websites and more. You can target ads based on the behavior of your target audience as well as demographic information. In addition, you can link ads to custom landing pages with a message and offer specific to that audience.
Digital Marketing Alone is Not Enough Either
What digital advertising does that digital marketing alone doesn’t do is allow you to target very narrowly and deliver the right message to the right person at the right time. Digital marketing can be a great way to attract web surfers to your site and engage with them, and email is great for nurturing contacts that are already in your contact database. But that requires that the contact finds you. Digital advertising allows you to deliver messages to people that aren’t already in your contact database, generating new leads to nurture.
Digital advertising platforms like Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn make it possible to target with unprecedented granularity. Google allows you to deliver ads based on what people are looking for online while they are searching. Facebook offers a myriad of demographic and behavioral targeting categories–groups people belong to, brands they follow, websites they visit, activities they enjoy, and more. LinkedIn offers B2B targeting based on location, industry, company, job title, groups they belong to, software tools, education, and more. Not only do these platforms improve your ability to target your ads, they make your ad spend much more cost effective.
The real power of digital marketing and digital advertising is in the ability to delight buyers with the information they are looking for when they are looking for it. Your ads are far more likely to reach people that want to see them, and your landing pages make it easy for them to tell you more about what they’re looking for. The entire experience if better for both the advertiser and buyer.