For online businesses first engaging in ecommerce advertising, the options may seem daunting. eCommerce advertising on the web implements a variety of marketing techniques including email campaigns, pay-per-click ads, affiliate programs, YouTube channels, and an established social presence. But in this space, things change constantly. So perhaps it's time to examine the most popular ecommerce advertising approaches to determine the best fit to spawn traffic to your online shopping cart.
AdCast is an example of an alternative pay per click display network that creates a new ecommerce advertising experience. These ads are powerful, yet minimally intrusive and appear either in the body of the website or in a dedicated area around the margin to decrease "banner ad blindness" in which readers routinely ignore the advertisements.
Most online merchants at least try Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, which allows you to post your ad on websites or among search results. In this format, the online advertiser is only charged when a visitor clicks on their ad and is directed to their website. PPC fees vary and are largely customizable based on a company's budget. Bids are given for search terms related to the goods or services provided. Generally, the higher the bid, the higher the positioning of the advertiser's ad on the search results page. (There is an intervening variable in that the search engine generally will reward ads that result in more clicks by offsetting their bids, so it is possible for an ad with a lower bid to actually rank higher than an ad with a higher bid.).
Pay-per-impression (PPI) is sometimes referred to as cost per mille (CPM). Under this ecommerce advertising model, ads do not require visitors to click them for payment to be charged, but are still displayed. Typically companies pay per 1,000 impressions (or times the ad is viewed), thus the cost per mille (thousand) nickname. Since this type of advertising is not based on a "pay per action" model, it is often used to create awareness or build brands, or introduce a new concept. (Facebook is the current darling of this approach which is often now termed "interruptive" advertising since ads appear without a particular want, need or desire being expressed as is the case in search-based advertising. There are other forms of pay per action or pay per response advertising. One of them is pay per call, where the advertiser is only charged when a call is made. Another is of course commission based advertising where payment is rendered only if a sale is made.)
Your PPC and CPM ecommerce advertising platform options are vast. Some popular programs are:
If you choose a PPC ecommerce advertising plan, carefully evaluate your program to maximize its success. Learn about the nuances of several different plans and then track several small-scale advertising campaigns to determine what will work best for your company. Test your landing pages and follow up with customers you've gained through PPC. Use analytics software to measure revenue related to specific keywords, average time visitors spend on your site, and click trails related to your keywords. Regularly assess your campaign and make necessary adjustments. What worked for you at start-up may not generate adequate revenue in five years.
eCommerce businesses also have the option of advertising on social media sites, like Facebook. Facebook allows you to create both PPC and CPM ads that target individuals based on data they have provided about themselves. With Facebook ads, there is less guesswork involved. Search engines group ads with keyword searches connected to businesses, assuming information about an individual's interests based on the search terms they use. Facebook users' interests are explicitly stated, creating a more targeting advertising environment. The social interface also makes the ads more personal. When Facebook users notice their friends like an ad, they are enticed to click on it themselves.
However, paid search ads have sophisticated capabilities to pair traffic with relevant ads. These matches occur when people are more likely to be in the buying mood, whereas Facebook ads may seem a little more intrusive since they most often appear in the midst of social engagement. Paid search ads also have clearer analytics programs, making it easier to calculate your returns. Recently, the Financial Times reported that Facebook was investigating another ecommerce advertising option: mobile ads.
Mobile ads require unique considerations to meet the short attention spans of users, but with 50% of Facebook access occurring through mobile devices, the social media site has decided it is an option worth pursuing. Some industry observers feel that Facebook is less of a threat to Google on mobile, but it will continue to become a competitive player. In 2011, Google claimed 40.8% of online ad revenues, while Facebook had only 6.45. Yahoo snuck in between with 11%. Facebook reports that they have reached 425 million mobile users, a tempting pool for any ecommerce business. The company recently agreed to get consumers' approval before changing how it shares data. With the mobile media boom of recent years, businesses should explore this ecommerce advertising option.
YouTube is the second-largest search engine (owned by the first-largest: Google). It would be a mistake to ignore this site in your ecommerce advertising plan. There are three different ways businesses can advertise on YouTube:
Not only are the different ecommerce advertising domains abundant, but so are the options within these programs. The variables necessitate consistent documentation and evaluation. While it's important to research your competition, what works best for them might not work for you. Ultracart's advertising source tracking feature helps you organize your ad outlets and determine which are most beneficial to your business. Stay committed and active in your advertising campaign and enlist the help of others to help analyze your data.