It seems digital advertising options are expanding every day. What are the best advertising channels for your brand?  Paid media or pay per click advertising built Google into the enterprise it is today, but it’s not the only game in town. In fact, with cost per click increasing dramatically on the most searched keywords, Google AdWords advertising may not be cost effective your small businesses.



Most often identified as paid advertising in Google and Bing search engines, PPC includes many options outside of search. Display advertising, retargeting, and social media channel ads are intriguing alternatives. Determining which ad formats to test relies on thorough audience analysis and budget planning. As with other marketing initiatives, ongoing testing, analysis and optimization are key to achieving superior results.


Retargeting is the practice of getting your message in front of those who have been to your website and been tagged through cookies. Tagging tracks visitors to your website and facilitates serving ads as they visit other sites on the internet or, if their email address is on file, sending emails to them with specific offers. We’ve found that a particularly effective tactic is offering an incentive to those who abandon shopping carts, e.g., shipping discount or free add-on item. Tread lightly as retargeting walks a fine line between a gentle reminder and being too persistent and alienating a prospective buyer.

Display Ads

Expectations for stand-alone display, or banner ads, are best limited to enhancing brand exposure as this type of ad is a poor direct response vehicle. However, using display ads as part of a retargeting campaign on Facebook, for example, has proven effective. The key here, as explained above, is incentivize action though a personalized special offer.

Social Media

A Salesforce survey done in Dec. 2014 shows that 70 percent of marketers plan to increase social media advertising, including mobile ads on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Audience numbers are staggering and social media platforms continue to expand ad formats and targeting options. However, social media advertising won’t be effective if other channels are ignored, particularly content marketing and mobile-first design.

Optimize your paid media ad planning and execution.