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Digital Marketing Channels: How They Measure Up

author image Written by: Content Team           Categories - Digital Marketing, SEO Tips>Ad Retargeting

Different Web Marketing Tools Have Different Strengths and Weaknesses—Know How to Use Them

digital marketing Banner ads, PPC, behavioural retargeting, social media advertising and native ads—what do these all have in common? They’re all tools and channels for web marketing. But while each one uses the internet the way its forebears used television, radio, and magazines, not all avenues of online advertising are made equal, and not all audiences can be reached the same way. Here’s our rundown of the most popular digital marketing mediums, and the strengths and weaknesses of each.

Banner Ads

This is the OG of online ads, first appearing in 1993. Banner ads include graphics, popups, popunders, buttons, and every annoying flash element on a page ever. The Good: Banner ads are inexpensive, their performance is easy to measure, and they show off your brand’s identity. The Bad: No one using the web actually likes them. In fact, they find banner ads either annoying, disruptive, or worst of all, ignorable—leading to what is known in digital marketing as “banner blindness.” They have poor click-through rates, poor engagement, and they are the main target of ad-blocking programs.

PPC

PPC, or Pay-Per-Click, is one of the biggest mediums for online ads today. Through platforms like Google AdWords, you can bid on search keywords, having your ads appear alongside organic search results. The Good: Because of the pricing model, you only pay for the ads that people actually click on. If you’re setting up an SEO campaign and waiting for the organic traffic to come in, PPC is a great way to get traffic in the meantime. You can easily track impressions, clicks, and conversions. They can be customized to only display in certain locations or at certain times of day, and you can set your budget. And oh yeah, AdWords is not affected by most popular ad-blocking software! The Bad: A click paid for does not a conversion make, unfortunately, and that doesn’t even touch on click fraud—when competitors or web trolls will click repeatedly on your ads to waste your ad budget. And, of course, PPC ads are occasionally subject to the same blindness as banner ads, though they still outperform them by miles.

Retargeted Ads

These work like PPC, but they fill web marketing space with ads that remind users to complete a conversion they have left undone, e.g. a full shopping cart that never made it to checkout. The Good: They can bring potential customers back after they’ve left you, increasing your odds of converting them. You can customize the ads for different points in the sales funnel, and direct them at specific audiences. The Bad: Most people don’t understand how this web marketing technique works, and consequently, think it can be a bit creepy. Retargeted ads also need tremendous care and constant monitoring—lest you overload a potential customer, or continue serving them ads after they’ve already converted.

Social Media

If you’re not using social media in your digital marketing strategy, ads or none, then you’re seriously missing out on countless opportunities to connect with your audience. The Good: Facebook alone has over a billion active users—that is the kind of reach you can’t overlook. Social media ads allow you to go where your audience is, and you can target your campaigns based on user preferences, pages or profiles they like, and more. The Bad: Some users like to keep social media for, well, being social, leading to ad blindness (and ad-blocking). Those who don’t mind the ads are often in the early stages of the buying process—if at all.

Native Advertising

Native ads are a fairly new web marketing tool. These advertisements are contextual—whether they appear on a social network, in a mobile app, or on websites like Buzzfeed. They take on the look and feel of the platform they appear in for a more immersive touch. The Good: Like I said, they are much more immersive—and they tend to get similar engagement to actual editorial or user-curated content, as well as being more relevant. They don’t disrupt the browsing experience so much as they use it to their advantage, and aren’t affected by ad-blocking on desktop or in mobile apps. The Bad: Some people see native ads—particularly ones they’ve clicked on, not realizing it was sponsored content—as either confusing or deceptive, which can generate some ill will.

The Bottom Line

Is there a clear, definite winner for best or worst web marketing technique? Not even remotely. When you’re marketing your brand online, your best bet is to use different channels and methods in concert with each other. You might use AdWords and Facebook both as retargeting platforms, or do an A/B test to see whether native ads or banner ads bring you more traffic. Or you can reach out to the digital marketing experts for their input—these are the people who eat, breathe, and sleep this stuff. They can help you determine which type of advertising is right for you, and make adjustments as necessary.

Content Team

Instagram Updating Its Ranking Algorithm 

04/21/2022

Instagram chief Adam Mosseri announced that Instagram is adding a few changes in order to put more focus on creators and the credit they get. One of the mentioned changes is updating its ranking algorithm with the goal to put more focus on original work. Judging by the number of copy-paste posts we’ve seen so far, this update should have been made a long time ago.

 

Making Sure The Credit Goes To Those Who Deserve It

Instagram announced the following changes:

  • Product Tags – it will now be available to everyone. So, no matter who you are, you will be able to tag products and drive traffic and attention to a business, creator or a company that they like.
  • Enhanced People Tags – now, you can add a category for yourself (into profile, edit profile) which will show up when you are tagged in a photo or a video. This makes sure you have your identity be what you want it to be, and credited according to your wishes.
  • Ranking – people that actually created something from scratch should be more credited for that, so the algorithm will focus more on that kind of content.

“We are going to do more to try and value original content more, particularly compared to reposted content. So, more to come there as well.” – said Mosseri in the announcement.

But, what does it exactly mean? As mentioned in SocialMediaToday, the changes in ranking are not that well explained and it’s not clear if any penalization will happen.

What Will Affect The Ranking?

The Twitter community did have some questions regarding the originality of content and asked about editing outside of the app. If you remember, Instagram started down-ranking content that was re-shared from other apps. So, if you will be re-posting your TikTok with a watermark on it, your content will still be penalized. However, if you only edited it off the Instagram app, that shouldn’t be a problem and won’t affect your rank.

Still, Mosseri admits that Instagram can’t know for sure if a content piece is an original or not. They only build classifiers that will show how likely something is to be an original, but they can never know for sure. It’s still a work in progress.

Posting History Is Also A Factor

Content aggregators are the focus of this update, and Instagram will be able to determine this with the account’s posting history. Instagram is more likely to detect that an account is an aggregator if it re-posts a lot of content from other accounts.” So if you’re re-posting a lot of content from other accounts, you’ll likely see a drop in reach.

The main goal of the whole update is, as we mentioned, to give more credit to original creators, but the system is not yet perfect. However, Mosseri said that Instagram will continue to improve its detection features over time to better distinguish where the content comes from and who posts original content, to promote the real creators and reduce the influence of big farm accounts.

It looks like it’s time to say goodbye to reposting trending memes in order to boost engagement.

 

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Google’s Updates You Need To Understand

12/21/2021

We mentioned the new Vicinity update Google has going on. It was an algorithm update no one was prepared for and caused quite a commotion in the community. To avoid history from repeating itself, we must learn from our mistakes – and what better way than going through all of the things that have already happened? It could benefit you if you go through all the major updates Google had in store in the past year and come up with a strategy for the year ahead.

Google Search Biggest Updates in 2021:

For us to have the most relevant and reliable results, Google Search Algorithms are updated thousands of times throughout the year. Of course, most of them go unnoticed, but every now and then one comes along *cough cough* Vicinity *cough cough* and makes a mess. That’s why it’s better to keep track of each change, make sure to understand what is happening and learn how to use them so it can benefit you.

The Page Experience Update

This update was designed to improve the website experience searchers have. Mobile usability, security issues, HTTPS usage, Web Vitals and Ad Experience are all taken into account. The main goal is safer browsing for users and resurfacing flags in the Page Experience Report.

What To Do?

  • Work on your loading speed
  • Make sure your page has a mobile-friendly version, with no usability errors
  • Make sure your page is secure and use HTTPS
  • Don’t use interruptive, distracting or unfavourable advertising techniques

Here’s a helpful resource for optimizing your page for this update.

Link Spam Update

This was when Google reminded us about the importance of good content and quality links. The update was and still is effective at identifying and nullifying link spam across multiple languages.

What To Do?

  • You need high-quality link building
  • Create high-quality content
  • Focus and improve the user experience
  • Avoid useless linking!

Broad Core Updates

It took longer than expected, but it is done. As usual, Google didn’t offer a lot of advice on how to deal with a core update except to try hard all the time. This update had also caused big commotion since we saw some pretty weird pages ranking high. The conclusion was, again, to use quality backlinks.

ProTip! – Improving content and backlinks might help you to recover more than fixing the technical aspect!

Product Reviews Update

This update was designed to reward in-depth product reviews and “punish” irrelevant, summary-of-a-product type of content. Instead, a review should be relevant and detailed. We have also learned that Google and potential customers like seeing realistic reviews, even if that means seeing a few bad ones as well.

What to do?

  • Write longer, knowledgeable reviews
  • Add your own content, not just the manufacturer description
  • Describe how a product has evolved from previous models
  • Include the Pros and Cons

Here’s more advice on what you should know about the product reviews update and how to handle it.

MUM

Google also introduced us to the Multitask Unified Model which uses AI to help searchers. It “speaks” 75 different languages and understands both image and the written word. However, it might understand much more in the future, since Google keeps saying they’re working on expanding this capability to video and audio.

One of the first things MUM learned to do is to keep track of vaccine queries and it will continue bringing more understanding to Google’s algorithms.

Vicinity

This is a fresh one and we’re still trying to figure out what exactly happened so that keywords aren’t as important anymore. Maybe the lesson with this update is not to violate Google’s guidelines and add keywords for the sake of it. It seems like new businesses are winning with this one.

 

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