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Sales vs. Brand Awareness: Which One Is It?

Posted July 10, 2012 by fran @ 10:39 am

With the many forms of online advertising, the decision of which ad model is “the one” can be overwhelming, especially if you have a tight ad budget. Are video, mobile, and social ads effective or should you reach users through pay per click advertising or remarketing instead?

The fact is, there isn’t a one size fits all ad model. Each ad format offers unique advantages, and the “right” ad you depends largely on what your business is trying to sell, who the target audience is, and more importantly, what you want to accomplish. Are you in it to get actual sales or do you simply want to put your brand name out there? Either way, you shouldn’t spend your advertising budget yet if you don’t have definite answers to the questions above.

If your goal is to increase sales, then consider using remarketing. Remarketing ads (also known as retargeting) pertain to advertisements that are displayed to bring users back to a website. Used by online merchants, remarketing works by tagging the computer of a user that visited a website without buying anything. When that user leaves that website, the remarking technology will display ads on other websites that the person visits to remind them to go back and complete the purchase. Remarketing is very effective because it targets users that have already expressed interest in making a purchase. In fact, studies show that remarketing can increase conversion rates to up to 125%.

PPC ads can also effective for those “hard sales”. This model works by letting advertisers bid on keywords that users type into search engines. Whenever those keywords come up, the bidders’ ad units will be displayed. PPC advertising also drives sales because these types of ads appear when users are obviously looking for something. For instance, when a person types in a search for “used cars” and a nearby dealership displays an ad on the search results, the user that performed the search would be inclined to click on the ad, and will be more likely to ask for a quote or drop by.

What about social ads? Well, as other studies have shown, Facebook ads have had a lackluster performance when it comes to converting users. However, this isn’t to say that these ads are completely useless. A recent survey by AdAge revealed that Facebook ads are purchased for awareness, rather than increasing sales. When asked “What do you use Facebook ads for?” 45.7% of marketers answered “Build awareness and sentiment for my brand.” This was followed by “Drive traffic to my website”, “Build fans or ‘likes’”, “To stay in touch with my customers”, “Generate sales leads”, and finally “Social commerce”. It’s evident that Facebook ads are mostly used for branding purposes.

If your purpose is to increase brand awareness, boost your fan count, or to get people to read your blog, social ads (Facebook and Twitter ads) could be worth a try.

Image credit: fontplaydotcom on Flickr

 

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