In the fast-paced world of marketing, staying ahead of the curve is essential for businesses aiming to make the most of their advertising efforts. However, the optimal advertising plan can vary greatly depending on your business, industry and target audience.
To help you navigate the evolving digital advertising landscape as you prep your 2024 marketing plans, we've broken down the main options to consider. Read on for advice on how to allocate your digital marketing budget, including pros and cons for some of the key advertising platforms.
Search Engine Advertising
This is a highly effective way to reach users actively searching for your brand’s product or service. Display ads appear on search engine results pages (SERPs) when users enter specific keywords or phrases. Two popular platforms for search include Google Ads and Bing Ads.
- Highly targeted: Reach users based on their search queries so your ads are relevant to the user.
- Intent: These users are actively searching, which means they have a higher likelihood of converting.
- Competition: Keyword competition can be fierce in certain categories
- Cost: Popular keywords can be expensive
- Learning curve: Expertise is required to run effective paid search campaigns.
Social Media Advertising
Visually promote your brand’s products or services via popular social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, X, LinkedIn and Reddit.
- Audience targeting and segmentation: Platforms have a variety of highly targeted methods including demographic, interest, behavior, lookalike and first-party targeting capabilities. Brands can segment audiences into different groups to increase engagement and conversion.
- Creativity: Social ads are highly visual, leading to increased engagement. There are also a variety of different ad formats including images, video, carousels and more.
- Analytics: Reporting is often robust within the ad platforms, which offers a greater level of insight and campaign optimization. These detailed metrics and analytics allow brands to track performance in real-time.
- Costs: As demand rises, ad costs increase.
- Ad saturation: Users are exposed to many ads daily, making it challenging to stand out from the competition.
- Ad attribution challenges: Due to the complexity of the user journey, determining the impact of social media ads can be challenging. Make sure you have multiple attribution models to compare the performance.
- Platform changes: From updated policies to algorithm updates, changes can impact the effectiveness of campaigns.
Serve video ads to your audience on a variety of channels including YouTube, social media platforms and within Connected TV devices.
- Expanded awareness: Video offers the ability to build your brand through storytelling. It also offers the chance to convey complex messages in a way static images can’t.
- Engagement: Video content can be highly attention-grabbing, leading to an increase in engagement.
- Remarketing: Some platforms offer retargeting audiences based on users who have engaged with your video content. This allows brands the opportunity to re-engage users with other content.
- Production costs: High-quality video content can be pricey. However, quality is necessary for success. The planning, filming and editing process is complex compared to other ad formats.
- Format: Video ads need to be optimized for various platforms and devices.
- Short attention spans: Brands have less than three seconds to grab a user's attention, meaning content must be thumb-stopping.
Reach users wherever they’re consuming content across the internet.
- Reach: Due to the ability to reach users across sites, display has broad reach capabilities.
- Awareness: Digital display is great for brand building, as it is highly visual.
- Retargeting: This placement is often used for retargeting campaigns.
- Banner blindness: Display is often overlooked. It’s key to utilize attention-grabbing creative in this placement.
- Conversion challenges: Clickthrough rates (CTR) tend to be lower compared to other placements.
Use this type of advertising to blend in with organic content and provide a non-disruptive ad experience.
- Non-disruptive: Appear less intrusive compared to digital display ads.
- Engagement: Compared to digital display, these ads tend to have higher CTR.
- Content: Native ads often offer more relevant content for the user to consume.
- Creative: It’s often challenging to get native ad content to feel and look organic.
- Performance: Like any channel, performance varies based on platform and content.
Collaborate with influencers who have an engaged, relevant follower base. Influencers tend to have the ability to sway behaviors and purchasing decisions.
- Authenticity: Influencers provide a personal touch to your brand.
- Expanded audience reach: Tap into audiences aligned with your product or service who you’d otherwise be unable to reach effectively.
- Personalized content: Receive diverse content types such as endorsements, testimonials, and tutorials from the partnership.
- Transparency: Ensure you’re working with a reputable influencer. Consider their engagement rate and audience interaction. Make sure you receive performance metrics.
- Cost: Top-tier influencers can be expensive.
- Brand safety: Brand guidelines should be outlined for the influencer. Any negative actions from the influencer can reflect on your brand.
Send relevant communications to a list of subscribers who opt in to receive brand emails.
- Direct communication: Email allows you to reach your audience 1:1.
- Segmentation: Email is a great platform for audience segmentation, allowing for personalized messages.
- Cost: Email is efficient compared to other paid channels.
- Deliverability: Ensuring emails reach the user and are opened by the user can be a challenge.
- Competition: Users receive numerous emails a day from various brands.
Send promotional messages directly to users’ mobile devices once they’ve opted in.
- Open-rates: Text messages tend to have high open rates
- Deliverability: Instant delivery to ensure timely communication.
- Personal: SMS messages are often viewed as personal
- Permission: Brands must have explicit consent to send text messages.
- Character limit: SMS messages must be clear and concise.
- Overuse: Frequent messages can cause user fatigue, resulting in opt-outs.
Optimal allocation of ad dollars will depend on your unique business, industry, and target audience. Regularly assess the performance of your advertising efforts, adjust your strategies as needed, and stay updated on industry trends to make informed decisions about how to allocate your budget for digital marketing in 2024 and beyond.
About the author
Lindsey Greenwood is a marketing manager at Keap. Her expertise is in digital marketing strategies and execution. Lindsey has worked with a wide-range of brands from Fortune 500s to start-up businesses through her prior advertising agency experience. She holds a degree from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism.