Digital Marketing: Understanding the Basics
Digital marketing is not just a profitable but an essential aspect of any business’ marketing in current times. Digital marketing allows your business to reach a wider audience, target more effectively, and use your budget more efficiently, increasing your return on investment. But often the ins and outs of digital marketing can feel overwhelming, with all its terms and processes.
Here are the basic platforms and important terms of digital marketing, so you can start to understand it better and leverage it for your business’ growth.
Google Adwords is a digital marketing platform that shows ads to search engine users, either on a search engine results page or on a website they’re browsing. You can pay to be in the ads at the top of Google search results for search terms (keywords) that your customers are using — this way, they see you first, click through to your website, and hopefully, make a purchase.
Google Adwords works like an auction. You create an ad for a specific keyword and then bid on that keyword, hoping to have a good enough keyword and a high enough bid that Google chooses you. There are usually several ads at the top of Google’s results, so you have a few chances.
Your campaign manager will know not just how to create a high-quality ad, but also how much to bid and when. These two factors together determine whether your ad makes it in. Google Adwords can be very profitable because:
- you can see results on a small ad spend budget;
- users are already looking for the products you’re offering;
- and most importantly, you can track your ROI closely and make adjustments to maximize it.
Facebook Ads is a digital marketing platform that runs ads exclusively on Facebook. They are known for their very specific targeting, which allows you to reach the perfect audience for your business or product. They also have dynamic video and photo ads that can capture your audience’s attention. You can choose from many different types of ads depending on your needs.
Pay-per-click, abbreviated PPC, refers to any kind of digital ad where you pay the platform every time someone clicks on your ad. Though normally associated with Google Adwords, it’s just a type of ad, not a platform; some Facebook ads are technically also PPC ads.
Cost-per-click, which you’ll often see abbreviated to CPC, is the price you’ll be charged by Google or another platform for each click you get on your ad. CPC varies depending on the industry you’re in, the type of ad you’re running, the amount of competition your chosen keyword has, and more.
Calculating what your CPC might be can help you create a budget: you should find the average CPC for your keyword on tools like Keyword Planner, then multiply that by the amount of clicks per month you are aiming for. This will be your monthly budget. Your PPC campaign manager can help you understand what a reasonable budget might be for you.
Cost-per-lead or CPL is your budget divided by how many leads you actually get from the campaign. Not every click will turn into a lead, because a user may reach your page through your ad but then simply click away. CPL is where a focus on ROI is crucial. If you only look at CPC, and not CPL, you may think you’re getting more business than you actually are. Focusing on real leads, not just clicks will help you see how your investment is being used and what the results are.
Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)
Cost per acquisition, or CPA, goes one step further and is also very important for ROI. Cost per acquisition is how much it cost you to get a paying customer. Of all the leads you get, only some will actually buy from you. Again, understanding your CPA will help you see how your marketing budget is being used and what the results are.
Once you know your CPA, you can calculate how much you made from each acquisition (how much did they buy minus the cost of acquiring them).
Click-through-rate, or CTR, describes the percentage of users who are actually clicking on your ad when they see it. Platforms can tell you what your reach or impressions are (i.e. how many people saw your ad), and when you compare this number to how many actually clicked on it, you get your CTR.
CTR is important because if your impressions are high and your clicks are low, you can adjust your ad to make it more enticing to users. Often, changing ad copy, images, or call to action (see below) can boost your CTR. Your campaign manager can work with you to suggest changes and test them.
A quality score is a score given to your ad specifically on Google Adwords. It’s calculated using:
- Your click-through rate (CTR)
- Your landing page: is it a good quality page, and is it relevant to your ad?
- Your keyword’s relevance to its ad group
- Your ad copy: is it relevant to the keyword?
- Your Google Ads account performance: how have your ads done in the past?
The public doesn’t know exactly how Google’s algorithm calculates the score, but this score is then multiplied by your bid amount and that determines where your ad ranks. Basically, if you have a good ad and a good landing page, you will rank higher — it’s not just about the bid.
Geo-targeting, also called local PPC, is showing an ad to somebody based on their location. Geo-targeting is not only important but also extremely effective, as many users are searching for services and businesses near them, and you can capitalize on those searches. You should not only include the areas you service but also exclude the ones you don’t, so you don’t waste ad spend or time on those locations.
A lookalike audience is a type of target audience you create on Facebook Ads by pulling info from your current customers and followers. Using information from your site and your Facebook page, Facebook analyzes the “profile” of your ideal customer and creates an audience that looks just like it. This way, you can find new customers that are likely to buy from you.
Remarketing, on the other hand, is all about bringing back people who have interacted with you but never purchased from you. Whether they like your Facebook page, visited your website and never bought anything, or clicked on an ad and then clicked away, you can create a remarketing ad to show them your ads and hopefully draw them back in.
Pixels are snippets of code that you put on your website and in your ads; these allow you to track users’ behavior on your site and use this information to improve your marketing. You’ll be able to see information from your pixel on your ad platform.
Two common types of pixels are retargeting pixels, used for remarketing purposes, and conversion pixels, which track the sales you’re getting from your ad campaigns. Conversion pixels are especially important since they will speak to your ROI and your campaign’s success.
Hyvemark Helps You Go Digital
Hyvemark’s digital marketing experts can guide you as we create PPC campaigns, Facebook campaigns, and more. We’ll design successful campaigns that focus on ROI, keeping you in the loop every step of the way.
Owner Partner - Hite Digital Dallas
A creative and energetic marketer with a background in visual communications, Tatiana leads marketing strategy through a thoughtful consideration and love for visual aesthetics. She is the owner-partner at Hite Digital Dallas and Vice President at Hite Creative and holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Science in Marketing from Texas A&M-Commerce.