Online advertising is a huge market, and it is growing every year. In 2018, total internet advertising is projected to be $228 billion, $40 billion more than the next highest ad channel. Digital advertising is where ad dollars are going, and more businesses than ever are looking to leverage it. Whenever I speak with people about digital advertising and how it can benefit their business, the most common question I get is, “How do I start?”
For people who are not sure where to start, I always recommend to do one thing before they do anything else. Pick one platform.
The online advertising ecosystem is dominated by Google and Facebook. These two companies largely operate as a duopoly and represented more than 63% of US advertising spend in 2017. Google took home 42% and Facebook took home 21%. So as a business looking to get involved in the complex world of online advertising, the best way to get started is to pick one platform.
Going with Google
The benefits of with Google are numerous. We love Google Ads (formerly Adwords) and our PPC management services primarily focuses on Google Ads. Google is the largest platform and is twice the size of Facebook. It has been around for a longer period of time, and it has a wider range of advertising products than you find on Facebook.
Display advertising on millions of websites, video advertising on Youtube, and search advertising are a few of the ways you can advertise. Search ads, in particular, are effective for businesses in almost every vertical.
If people or businesses are actively looking for your product or service, Google is a great option. As such we recommend Google for businesses like: accountants, moving companies, lawyers, b2b companies, home services, SaaS, and others.
Going with Facebook
Facebook is the other primary advertising platform, and Facebook’s advertising platform also includes advertising on Instagram Messenger, and WhatsApp. The primary difference between Google and Facebook is that on Google you’re usually targeting a seach term “moving company near me” whereas on Facebook you’re targeting a person based on information about them.
So instead of targeting “best protein powders” you’d target men between 21 and 35 who are interested in weightlifting, for example.
This difference in targeting makes Facebook far better for consumer products and services that people aren’t actively looking for but would be interested in if they were aware of it. I may not need a new pair of sunglasses, but if a really cool pair show up in my Newsfeed, I’ll consider buying them.
As such, we recommend Facebook for businesses like: retail and ecommerce, personal subscription services, events, and other similar businesses.
For businesses just starting out with online advertising, especially for businesses with limited budgets, there is no more important a first step than to pick one platform. The platforms are complex, and it will limit the amount of information you need to learn and maximize your ad dollars.
If you’d like to learn more about these platforms or have any questions, feel free to contact us or drop us a message in the comments section below.