Online Advertising: Everything You Need To Know In 2018

Online Advertising: Everything You Need To Know In 2018


Online Advertising has rapidly evolved since the 90’s, so you don’t have to rely on attention-repellent banner ads anymore. You can create engaging ads in multiple formats and target people who actually need your product or service.


With over 3.5 billion search queries on Google every day, paid search — where you pay Google or other search engines to advertise your content on SERPs for relevant keywords — is one of the most popular and effective types of online advertising.

Naturally, there’s enormous demand for the top ad rankings. So Google triggers an auction anytime. There are at least two advertisers bidding for keywords that are related to search queries that users consistently enter into Google.

Advertisers then categorize keywords and their corresponding ad copy and a web page into groups. Pick the group they want to bid on, and choose their maximum bid. Google will select a keyword from the advertiser’s ad group. They deem most relevant to users’ search queries and enter it into the auction.

A Google auction isn’t like your typical auction for antiques, though. They want to level the playing field when it comes to leveraging the size of their reach.  Instead of the highest bidder always winning the auction. The bidder with the highest Ad Rank always wins.

AdRank is calculated by multiplying your maximum cost-per-click bid with the quality of scoring your ad. It is calculated by measuring your page’s relevance to the keyword, user experience, and click-through-rate. This means organizations can’t acquire the top ranking for any keyword. Because they have the biggest ad budgets. Their content has to be engaging.

Google AdWords wants to incentivize the best advertisers to advertise the best content on their SERPs, so they reward ads that have high-quality scores with higher ad rankings and lower cost-per-clicks.

In the same vein, they also want to discourage bad advertisers from advertising bad content, so advertisers with low-quality scores will usually only acquire a high ad position if they pay a huge cost-per-click bid. If they want to pay lower a cost-per-click, they have to settle with stopping at the bottom of the ad rankings.


Over 80% of the U.S. population uses social media, but since social networks are all trying to monetize their audiences as much as possible, organic reach is at an all-time low. The quickest and most effective way to meet your audience where they spend most of their time is through social advertising.

On paid social, advertisers have a lot of opportunities to optimize their campaigns. They can choose the object of their ad campaigns, the type of ad they promote, and the targeting of their ads, which can get incredibly granular. Here’s a summary of Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter’s advertising capabilities.


With almost 1.5 billion daily active users who spend an average of 41 minutes on the platform every day, Facebook boasts the largest and most engaged user base out of all the social media platforms. And to effectively monetize their audience, they’ve built the best targeting tools and the most cost-effective ads for advertisers.

When you create an ad campaign, your first step is to choose your campaign’s goal. You can either amplify your brand’s awareness, consideration, or conversions. Here are the KPIs for each objective:


  • Brand awareness
  • Reach


  • Traffic
  • Engagement
  • App installs
  • Video views
  • Lead generation
  • Messages


  • Conversions
  • Catalog Sales
  • Store Visits

After you choose your ad campaign’s objective, you’ll pick the type of ad you want to promote, which can be a link ad, image ad, video ad, carousel ads, slideshow ad, link ad, dynamic ads, collection ad, lead generation ad, and messenger ad.

When you finish designing and choosing the format of your ad, you’ll get to leverage the most granular and powerful targeting tools on social media to build your audience.

If you want to build your audience from scratch, you can use the Core Audiences feature, which lets you choose from hundreds of options to target specific users with ads. Facebook segments the options by demographics, interests, and behavior. Here’s a list of all the targeting options:

Demographic Data

  • Location
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Languages
  • Relationship Status
  • Education Level
  • Field of Study
  • Schools
  • Undergrad Years
  • Employers
  • Job Title
  • Industry
  • Income
  • Net worth
  • Home Type
  • Home Ownership
  • Household Composition
  • Ethnic Affinity
  • Generation
  • Parental Status
  • Life Events
  • Political Affiliation

Interests Data(Interests, activities, and pages liked of the following topics)

  • Business & Industry
  • Entertainment
  • Family & Relationships
  • Fitness & Wellness
  • Food & Drink
  • Hobbies & Activities
  • Shopping & Fashion
  • Sports & Outdoors
  • Technology

Behavioral Data (Purchase behaviors or intent, device usage, and other activities surrounding the following topics)

  • Automotive
  • B2B
  • Business Travelers
  • Charitable Donations
  • Digital Activities
  • Expats
  • Financial
  • Job Role
  • Media
  • Mobile Device User
  • Page Administrators
  • Purchase Behavior
  • Travel
  • Residential Profiles
  • Seasonal & Events
  • Type of Web Browser

To effectively target the right audience and optimize your paid social budget, it’s crucial that you have a deep understanding of your ideal customer. If your buyer personas are highly detailed and accurate, you’ll be able to leverage most of the targeting options and make your ads as relevant as possible.


LinkedIn has a significantly smaller reach than Facebook, which hovers around 250 million monthly active users, but since professionals constantly update their career information and specifically look for content about business on the platform, LinkedIn is considered the best social network for a B2B lead generation.

Costs are usually higher on LinkedIn compared to every other social network, but it generally produces the highest conversion rates and lead quality, which helps justify the platform’s lofty advertising fees.

When you advertise on LinkedIn, you can choose from three marketing objectives: build brand awareness, drive website traffic, or generate leads and convert prospects.

You can accurately target your ideal customers based on their company information, experience, education, and interests & identity. Here are all of LinkedIn’s targeting options:


  •  Name
  •  Size
  • Industry
  • Followers
  • Connections


  •  Title
  •  Function
  •  Seniority
  • Years of Experience


  • Schools
  • Degrees
  • Fields of Study

Interest & Identity

  • Skills
  • Groups
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location


With 500 million daily active users, and 64% of their users aged 18-29, Instagram is the best platform for attracting the attention of millennials and Gen Z’ers. Facebook owns Instagram, so naturally, their objectives for ad campaigns align with Facebook’s: awareness, consideration, and conversion. Here are all the KPIs associated with each category:


  • Reach
  • Reach & Frequency
  • Brand Awareness
  • Local Awareness


  • Website Clicks
  •  Video Views
  • Reach & Frequency


  • Dynamic Ads on Instagram
  • Mobile App Installs
  • Mobile App Engagement

After you set your goal, you can create four types of ads: photo, video, carousel, and story ads.

In terms of targeting, Instagram’s capabilities are the lite version of Facebook’s. You can target people based on their location, demographics, interests, and behaviors. Here are all of Instagram’s targeting options.


  • States
  • Provinces
  • Cities
  • Countries


  • Age
  • Gender
  • Languages


  • App Usage
  • Ads Clicked
  • Accounts Following


  • Activities your audience does on and off Instagram and Facebook

Similar to Facebook, Instagram also offers custom audiences, lookalike audiences, and automated targeting, which analyzes your current audience’s location, demographics, and interests to create an audience who might be interested in your business.

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