Digital Advertising (PPC, SEM, SMM)

The online community offers many unique ways for businesses and individuals to reach customers and increase sales through digital advertising.

With all the avenues available, it’s important to understand what digital advertising services are out there, how they differ from one another, and which will be the most beneficial for your business.

Here are some key examples and what you need to know about each of them before running any digital ads.

Pay Per Click

It’s not difficult to understand the concept of pay per click advertising because it’s literally in the name.

Pay Per Click, or PPC ads, are placed on websites or within search engines. As an advertiser, you only pay for their placement if someone actually clicks on them.

These ads are beneficial from the point of view of digital marketers because it means they’re not paying for placements that aren’t generating any leads or converting. On the flip side, if the ads are converting, you’ll need to be prepared to pay.

Far too often businesses throw exorbitant amounts of money on untested ads that aren’t being seen by the right target. With PPC ads, if you see an ad isn’t working, you can scrap it or update accordingly, without as much risk as other forms of advertising.

Google Ads

Google is the most popular and most widely used website on the internet. It’s also an essential tool for digital advertisers that leverage PPC ads.

You can place targeted ads at the top of Google search results. These sponsored links and ads drive valuable website traffic for advertisers to those who are searching for related terms.

Google search ads are also useful if you’re targeting a very specific niche.

Social Media Advertising

You can’t afford to ignore social media as you grow your business and begin trying to advertise in new ways. Most primary social platforms today offer some type of sponsored content, from Facebook to Instagram and YouTube, along with Pinterest, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Not all content should be sponsored – each platform has their own sets of promoted content restrictions – and there will always be value in creating quality organic content. Make sure you read all the rules to ensure what you’re spending your time and resources is actually something that can be promoted.

Facebook Ads

Facebook ads are one of the most common and longest running outlets for social media advertising.

They can be very precise and highly targeted based on a number of factors including demographic and psychographic data.

Facebook also has options to create funnels, send messenger ads, pixel placements for tracking, retargeting and dynamic advertising options to keep your approach on the cutting edge.

Instagram Ads

Instagram is centered around lifestyle images and engaging video content. It is an effective platform for promoting products that have a strong visual component.

IG advertisements can get your product or brand out there to a wide audience that is looking to engage with content they enjoy.

It’s native targeting options aren’t as thorough as Facebook, although you can run more extensive Instagram ads directly through FB. They also allow for story ads well as paid partnership options amongst brands.

Youtube Ads

Video content is the number one form of media that is consumed on the internet, so it’s a natural avenue for social media advertising.

YouTube offers PPC ad opportunities, video suggestions, as well as ads that appear before, during or after videos, are played.

During ads have proven extremely effective because they cannot be skipped, and users will have to watch them if they want to watch their desired content.

Native Website Advertising

Native advertisements are ads that you see directly on website pages. They might suggest further reading or an additional link that you’re encouraged to click to learn more about a product or service.

These tend to be perceived as less spammy by consumers because they do not impact your ability to react to the website content you are viewing, they are simply just there if you are interested. Examples of effective native ads includes suggested similar videos to watch or blogs to read, as well as website banner ads from other brands.


Cookies can be used to follow users from site to site so that adverts can continually target the same person. Pixels allow this to similarly be done from social platforms like Facebook to websites.

This tactic is called remarketing. It’s often about tempting someone back to a particular site that a user has visited with a new targeted ad. Research shows that most people don’t make a purchase on their first visit to a site; it takes time for them to return and buy. So retargeting a user with an ad for a product they added to their cart but did not actually purchase can provide the subliminal push they need to become a customer.

Remarketing helps to encourage that return visit and ultimately the sale that comes with it. It’s an extremely useful and underutilized form of advertising as many an unaware that it is even possible to do, and if they are, many are unsure of how to properly set it up.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing consists of one website or user promoting products from a company in return for a small cut of the money made from any sale made through their trackable affiliate link or discount code.

The publisher essentially links up with the advertiser in order to drive sales, and it’s mutually beneficial because the publisher makes some money while the advertiser drives sales. It’s an avenue to explore if you want to connect with particular audiences and demographics.

The best affiliates naturally offer a promotion that doesn’t come across as advertising copy. This has particularly become popular with social influencers and brand ambassadors amongst their followings.

There are many more avenues of digital advertising services and social media advertising than what we’ve listed above. New tactics, techniques and trends pop up daily. As digital marketing consultants, it’s up to us to stay ahead of the curve to provide our customers with the most thorough ad strategies to meet their goals.