There are a myriad of ways to market a product. When a new product arrives, it’s my job to build awareness and generate traffic to ultimately make the sale. Knowing how to leverage Google AdWords Display Network, there’s a certain invigoration knowing that within minutes, I can get my product in front of millions of qualified consumers worldwide. There’s a certain comfort in being able to track the minute-by-minute performance of my banners, distributing a larger portion of my budget into an ad group when it’s performing well, cutting funds in a poorly performing ad group. There’s a certain freedom knowing that whenever I want out, I can simply pause my campaigns without worrying about contractual obligations.
Invigoration. Comfort. Freedom.
For those who don’t know, most publishers generate the means to continue operations by placing ad units throughout their website. Ideally, publishers will have enough advertiser interest to sell their entire inventory. But more often than not, because of a lack of direct advertising interest or a difference in price point, they’ll usually sell their remnant inventory to a third party ad network. Because Google’s Display Network, which includes AdSense and DoubleClick Ad Exchange, is the 800 pound gorilla in this industry, there’s an excellent chance I may be able to run my ad on the website I want.
Because Google AdWords platform allows advertisers to target websites using the managed placement option, I can target any website I believe will generate the highest ROI for my campaign. I may wish to build brand by advertising on a prominent website like The Washington Post; Or I may choose to get the highest direct response by advertising on a more niche website like The Dogster. Wherever I choose to place my banners, as long as the Ad Choices icon (the little blue flag positioned at the top right of the banner) is displayed, I have the green light to target not only that website, but that particular page in that website.
While my campaign is running, I know exactly where my banner is being shown, how it’s performing, and even how many products or services I sold as a result of this banner. I can also increase or decrease my cost-per-click or cost-per-thousand-impression bid according to the performance of my banner on that website, and I can count on that being reflected in real time. Advertising on the Display Network is not a matter of creating pretty artwork and slapping it on a bunch of different websites… It’s a science, and unless the results are being fervently measured, the campaign will never realize its full potential.
Alongside the option to bid whenever I want, Google also allows me to schedule my banners. For example, there has been some research showing that browsers are more likely to purchase something in the evening than during the afternoon. If I wanted, I could schedule my banner to run only Monday-Friday, 6PM-12AM. I could split test this banner with another banner than runs 12PM-6PM, and see for myself if this research proves to be true.
Unlike direct ad buys, I have all the freedom in the world to opt out of any banner campaign. By simply clicking on ‘pause’ or ‘delete’, I can stop my campaign for whatever reason.
One benefit to this is obvious – I don’t have to commit to anything long term the minute I realize my campaign is not profitable or if the publisher is getting sloppy. The second benefit is that I now have the knowledge of how well my banner performed on that particular website. This is critical because I can choose to disregard this website in the future, OR I can start thinking about contacting the publisher to purchase ad space direct. Just a word of caution: Purchasing direct has many benefits, but it does not automatically mean you’ll be saving money just because you’re cutting out the middleman…
Because I have the technical skill-set to place banners in front of my target market, I can focus more on the things that matter. For one, no matter how much traffic I generate, I won’t be able to sell a single product if my website looks like garbage, or if my sales pitch is not up to par. For example, if I was selling a house, I can hire a talented real estate agent to bring in plenty of qualified potential buyers. However, if my house is not presented in the most polished way possible, it’d be very difficult to sell it in such a competitive market. This is why the slogan on my home page is “If qualified traffic was not your biggest problem, how would you change the way you do business?” Knowing and learning how to utilize Google’s Display Network will definitely help you generate plenty of qualified traffic. It’s up to you to make the sale once your prospective customer gets there.