How Does an Advertising Agency Decide What Platform A Digital Ad Should Appear On?

June 20, 2024

Advertising can appear in many places across the digital landscape. You have seen ads in site banners, in apps, across streaming TV, on podcasts, digital radio, social media, or as search results in your browser. With so many choices, it can be difficult to decide the most effective avenue to place your ads so that your potential customers will see them. That is why an advertising agency specializing in digital marketing can help businesses and organizations determine which platform (or ad location) is best for your marketing campaign.

Advertising agencies determine the best place a client’s digital ad should appear by answering these three questions:

  1. Who is the intended audience?
  2. Which advertising platform contains the best match for the intended customer?
  3. What is the duration, budget, and purpose of the ad?

Who Are You Advertising To, and Where Do They Frequent?

Who is the intended audience for the product or service you are advertising? This is a big question, and one that any successful company has taken time to figure out. A company needs to develop a customer profile or persona. Customer personas are created when you list common characteristics, habits, or traits that your ideal or intended customer has. Sometimes you can use the data gathered from past customers to build a profile of your ideal customer.

But what about situations where you don’t have past customer data? If you are launching a new product or service it is helpful to partner with an advertising agency that can provide market research and analyze your competitors to collect that data for you. Something as simple as creating a paid survey of the general population can be the difference between a successful or a failed launch.

Which Digital Platform Contains the Best Match For the Intended Customer?

Once you determine who your target customer is you can begin to determine where that customer frequents online. If you sell services to new moms, then placing ads across social media platforms or across Google where a potential customer might be looking up answers is always a good start.

If you are selling something to another company, your intended audience would likely be the decision-makers of businesses in your target industry. If that's the case, then you need to find out if your business-to-business sales need to be advertised on a platform like LinkedIn.

When developing a customer profile, it is always beneficial to get as granular and specific as possible with the shared traits your customers have. An ad agency that is familiar with platforms like Meta can sometimes use platform-specific, audience-building controls to target potential customers who mimic your current customers in behavior or demographics. A savvy marketer can help steer your ads to be shown to your customers where they are already spending time – sometimes literally! Digital Ads don’t just include banners across social media or search ads on Google – they cover much more. There are advertising opportunities across mobile phone apps, ads on YouTube, even digital screens on street kiosks, and ads across streaming media services.

What Are My Options for Platforms?

Digital advertisers have a variety of platforms available to them, and each one is suited to different types of campaigns and goals. Social media platforms like TikTok and Meta are excellent for getting engagement, particularly for brand awareness and consumer products, and the trick is choosing the right platform and messaging for your audience. Demand Side Platforms (DSPs) utilize programmatic advertising to automate buying display ads, video ads, and other formats across a wide array of websites and apps, making them ideal for large-scale campaigns targeting specific demographics or interests.

Environmental ads, such as billboards and digital screens like what you might see on street kiosks, transit hubs, or restaurants and waiting rooms, offer high visibility in public spaces, perfect for local or urban campaigns. Radio and podcast ads can effectively reach a captive audience with niche interests during their commute or leisure time, especially for storytelling and brand-building purposes. Sponsorships and direct placements on popular websites provide a more controlled environment to align your brand with specific content, enhancing credibility and targeted reach. Search ads, including Google search and display ads, are powerful for targeting users actively searching for related products or services, defending your brand, and driving high-intent traffic to your site. Print ads, while more traditional, still play a role in reaching specific audiences that prefer physical media. Even direct mail has a use case and an audience. Each platform has unique strengths and is chosen based on the campaign's goals, whether it's driving immediate sales, increasing brand recognition, or building long-term customer engagement.

What Is the Duration, Budget, and Purpose of the Ad?

The last question you need to answer before launching a successful digital advertising campaign is a doozy. You need to decide how much time you have available to run the campaign, what budget you can allocate to it, and what the purpose of the ad is. Shorter campaigns can have success if the budget is larger, and longer campaigns are sometimes more successful on some platforms than others. These first two ingredients of your campaign depend quite a lot on the third: what is the purpose of the ad?

Sometimes the purpose is very simple, like a broad brand-recognition campaign. These types of campaigns require very little of the viewer other than to remember your brand or associate your brand with solving a problem or being reliable, etc. Your ads here are not asking someone to make an immediate conversion. They are setting up a future conversion with brand familiarity. When your audience is given the opportunity to make a purchase, your ads ensure that your brand feels familiar and like something the audience can identify with.

Sometimes the purpose is a little more nuanced. If you are asking your potential customers to sign up or register for something, or you are trying to build awareness of a problem they were unaware of, you need to educate them about the problem and provide them with the solution.

Here is an example: Imagine you run a company that removes discoloration from brick homes using environmentally friendly cleansers. First, you would need to make the homeowner aware that this is a problem that needs to be addressed. Then you can position yourself as the easy, quick, and environmentally friendly solution to this problem. In a case like this, the ad could benefit from being a video ad. If so, the best platform to serve this ad would be one that allows videos and has solid metrics for people responding to video ads on their platform.

Partnering With A Digital Marketing Agency

If you have more questions than you did at the start of this article, you’re not alone. Businesses and organizations of all sizes need the support and expertise of an advertising agency that can help guide your campaign to success while quantifying the results of the ads. Agencies with proficiency in branding, design, and analytics can help you from ad concept to ROI scalability. You want your campaign to be well-targeted, and streamlined, with engaging visual content and clear calls to action. Having your website prepared to receive and convert those leads is also essential. Contact Twothirty Media today to find out how we can prepare you for your next campaign.

Written by Allison

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