By Christopher Smith, account manager, Sha-Izwe Communications

Part 4 of 5

Using online advertising is a crucial part of an online marketing strategy. Online advertising helps to reach, research and understand your target audience better. In this article we take a look at the different platforms available and why you should use them.

Certain advertising platforms have an easy-to-use interface while others are complex. For example, Facebook’s interface is relatively easy to work with and understand. Google Ads are quite complicated.

Facebook Ads
Facebook ads can be rewarding when you start seeing the results and return from a relatively small ad spend. Facebook offers a number of different advertising products which, if well utilised, can offer great returns.

Boosted posts, when utilised correctly, can be an inexpensive and effective way of promoting a post. When boosting, do not hit the boost button below the post, rather go through your Facebook ads manager. This gives you more control over the targeting. When we ourselves boost, we only boost to people who have either liked our page or visited our website. So we know that the correct audience is being targeted.

‘Likes’ campaigns are purely there to achieve more page likes. The problem is that your audience does not necessarily see the posts on their page, which is why we only boost to people who have liked the page. This helps achieve more interaction on your page likes and hence increase page reach.

It is essential to have a Facebook Pixel installed on your website. It is easy to install. The pixel helps retarget people who have visited your website. You are able to segment people when using the pixel and even determine who visited specific website pages. This helps to finely target your Facebook Ads. For example, if someone is looking to hire a car in Durban during the month of August, you can advertise your August car hire promo to them.

Facebook Lead Ads are a great way for people to quickly submit their information to you with the lead being passed on to a sales agent. The advantage is that Lead Ads keep the user in Facebook, so no slow loading and hard-to-navigate third-party pages.

Another advantage is that Facebook automatically populates a lot of the fields for you from the user’s profile – such as first name, surname, email address and telephone number, making it super quick for the prospect to fill in the form. The user does not required to re-type their Facebook profile information. Lead ads can also sync directly with a CRM package to create an automated sales processes. Studies have shown that Lead Ads should be followed up within five minutes.

Google Search Ads work particularly well for people who are searching for a product or solution. For example, you are able target people who are looking for a plumbing service in Greenside. Google display ads work well for visual products and particularly well for remarketing such as clothing products. Display ads are often shown on third-party websites such as the New York Times

LinkedIn Ads are great for targeting job titles and work well for corporates. The ads offer similar options to Facebook, i.e promoted posts, Lead Ads etc. The only downside is that LinkedIn ads are expensive compared to Facebook. We haven’t seen great returns on them.

Twitter Ads
Twitter offers basic advertising on their platforms. We haven’t seen much value in Twitter unless you are a consumer brand, well recognised in the country. We battle to target effectively on Twitter ads.

Remember that when designing an advert, make sure you design it with your target audience in mind. Think about what their challenges may be. Also keep in mind that people are busy and you have about a second to catch their attention. Use a rapid-fire technique to work on personas and demographics. You can download my template here

rapid fire

The tools we use include AdEspresso which is great for managing your ads. Photoshop and Canva can be used for resizing adverts to fit into the correct dimension for the specific platform. Instagram ads are totally different to desktop Facebook ads and often need to be resized. We use Zapier to create the connection between Facebook and our CRM package. Zapier will also automatically email you when a lead comes through.

The question is: How has your experience with online ads been so far? Have you seen great returns?

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