Many of you are signing up for a membership at the local gym or planning to add more vegetables and less sugar to your diet, but how many of you are making it a goal to learn digital advertising to better enhance your company’s marketing efforts? Instead of putting all your focus on a road trip to California make a business-related New Year’s resolution and make digital a priority.

Learning the Basics
Digital marketing is complex and the correct avenues to take vary based on your business needs and overall marketing goals. As a business owner it is not necessary to know the complexity of it all. Fortunately, marketing agencies are able to fill this need. However, understanding the basics will help you stand out from your competitors, and allow you to make decisions on where you want to spend your marketing dollars.

Pay Per Click
Many of you may have heard the term pay-per-click or PPC, but are not entirely sure what it is or how it works. If you do not understand this term at all, “Google” your favorite shoe store or sports team. Do you see the top listing with the small box surrounding the word “ad”? This listing is a pay-per-click ad. If you click the listing the company/advertiser pays a fee. The goal of pay-per-click is to capture those already interested in your product and to drive traffic to your website. Rather than earning visits to your site organically you are essentially buying visits to your site. Now you have a basic understanding of what “PPC” is and you are probably wondering, “Well how does it work?”

The first step when planning a PPC campaign is researching and selecting the right keywords, and then bidding on those words. For example, we may bid on “Marketing Agency,” and our ad may show up in the top spot of search engines, thus driving traffic to our site. Of course the higher you bid the better chance you have at ranking number one. Higher traffic volume leads to higher profits for your business. Knowing how it works is important, but let your marketing agency put a campaign into action so you can focus on what you do best.

Display Ads
You are in the middle of reading something and an advertisement appears on your screen. These tend to annoy us, but how often do you find yourself clicking on these ads if it is something of interest? Maybe it is an ad for the local coffee shop your friends have been buzzing about. Display ads give you the ability to target your audience based on their interests, sites they visit, location and more. For example, the new nail salon in town may target women that live within a 10 mile radius, and may also choose to place these ads on sites such as, Cosmo.  Let’s take these ads a step further and talk about retargeting.

You moved into your new home a few months ago and still have some decorating to do. Wayfair has been your go-to and lately you have been searching for wall clocks and canvas paintings. When you leave and visit another site, an ad appears of the gorgeous canvas painting you were just looking at. This is a little “don’t forget about us” from Wayfair and is known as “retargeting” in the land of digital. Most people are not making a purchase on their initial visit to a site and retargeting allows businesses to stay connected to potential customers. Sometimes as a business owner you need to touch your audience multiple times before they commit to a purchase.

So when you hold your champagne glass high and watch the ball drop be prepared to dive into a digital marketing campaign in 2018. Your customers are on their mobile devices more often than ever, and your digital campaign needs to be front and center.