Like it or not, the internet has a small list of places that are very popular, and this means undeniable opportunity for digital advertisers.
Today, we’ll get the latest numbers on digital ad return on investment (ROI) and refresh ourselves on how to find success with targeting in the busiest online ad spaces.
Google and Facebook: Still the Leaders in Ad Spend and ROI
Recently, eMarketer reported on a December 2017 ad buyer survey from Cowen and Company. The survey sought input from senior ad buyers in the United States on where they see the best ROI online.
According to participating ad buyers, Google Search offers the best ROI – 48 percent named it as the most lucrative platform. Facebook came in second at 30 percent. This is an improvement for each of them with a boost of 16 percentage points for Google and three percentage points for Facebook.
No other platform comes close to these two. Although they’re considered major outlets, Instagram and YouTube only scored top ROI ratings from 4 percent of respondents each.
The findings of this survey align with the widely held position that Google and Facebook dominate the digital advertising landscape, not only in the U.S. but also around the world. In fact, eMarketer estimates that 65 percent of 2018’s digital ad revenue will come from Google and Facebook (about $40.1 billion from Google and $21.6 billion from Facebook).
At SearchForce, we’re also not surprised by the Cowen report findings. Last October we discussed Google and Facebook’s tightening grip on the digital ad market, seeing ad dollars concentrate with the two media giants and expand into the space of ads targeted toward children.
Then, in November, we explored eMarketer’s global ad spending report. The main takeaways included:
- Global ad spend is skyrocketing (both digital and traditional).
- Investments in mobile advertising are driving ad spend growth.
- Google and Facebook together captured 64 percent of global ad spend growth.
- Clean, engaging approaches and awareness of publisher tactics can support ad revenue.
Why do Google and Facebook continuously come out on top when it comes to digital ad spend and revenue? According to eMarketer’s senior director of forecasting, Monica Peart:
“Advertisers are increasingly demanding more granularity in targeting capabilities to reach consumers. Google and Facebook have positioned themselves at the front of this demand curve by being the ad publishers with some of the best-in-class targeting abilities in the digital ad market.”
It seems targeting is one of the major keys to success with Google and Facebook advertising. We’ll look into that next.
Make the Most of Google and Facebook Ads with Targeting
Both Google and Facebook offer advertisers a range of targeting options to get your ads in front of the users more likely to positively respond.
With Google AdWords, you can target ads on the Google Search Network and the Google Display Network. Both of them allow for keyword, audience, language, location and device targeting. The Display Network also allows for topic and placement targeting. Placement targeting does not require keywords, and advertisers get to specify targeted websites, or even subsets of websites.
The targeting tools on Google AdWords are categorized as contextual or audience. While contextual ad targeting is about being matched with websites where your ads would be relevant (such as automobile-related websites for your body shop ads), audience ad targeting is about putting ads in front of specific users (such as local sports car enthusiasts who might be interested in your body shop ads).
In the Display Network, setting up your targeting is relatively simple, as are determining where your ads will show and refining your bid strategy. Advanced targeting combinations (combining tools like keywords with the placement or topic tool, for example) are available to meet your specific goals.
Facebook for Business helps brands connect with the ideal users through audience targeting tools like Core Audiences, Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences.
Core Audiences helps advertisers reach consumers based on demographics, location, interests and behaviors. Custom Audiences is about existing customers who already buy or simply visit your website or app. Lookalike Audiences is a way to find users who resemble your existing customers in some way. Additional tools – Audience Insights, Facebook IQ and others – further support your targeting.
Facebook offers additional ad targeting tips for reaching new customers with Audience Insights, specific targeting and advanced targeting.
Google and Facebook are behemoths of the digital advertising space, and advertisers go there to get the most bang for their buck. But to compete in this busy space, you need to dig into targeting and connect with the consumers who will keep you moving forward.