Have you ever been handed a digital advertising proposal and not fully understood all the acronyms? From OTT to PPC there are a lot of options, but some tactics are a better fit for your business than others.
VIDEO PRE-ROLL serves up video ads to users on a website or in an app before the video content a user is trying to watch. A good example of this can be found on most local news websites where an ad plays prior to watching a news clip or the weather forecast. Sometimes viewers can skip the ad, and sometimes they can’t. You can ask to purchase non-skippable pre-roll ads. You can also purchase ads like this in the middle or at the end of the video content. These placements are called mid-roll or post-roll. They may cost a bit more but can be more valuable since the viewer is already invested in the content. You’ll typically buy these ads in quantities of 1,000 videos served. This price structure is called a Cost Per Thousand (CPM). The average CPM for video pre-roll ranges from $16-25 per thousand video ads served.
Over-the-top (OTT) refers to any streaming service that delivers content over the Internet. The service is delivered ‘over the top’ of another platform, hence the moniker. These types of ads can be delivered to any device you use to watch a streaming service, including desktops, laptops, mobile/tablet and connected televisions (a TV that is connected to the Internet). These ads are served within or prior to the content the user is watching. These ads are purchased on a CPM basis and range from $35-50 per thousand ads served.
Connected Television (CTV) is simply a subset of OTT targeted toward large screens only. These ads would be served on Internet-connected televisions playing a streaming service through a device like Roku, Sling or Apple TV. Ads here are a bit more expensive since the inventory is more desirable. Expect to pay $40-55 per thousand ads served.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) encompasses a few different common advertising tactics that can be used within major search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.
Paid Search or Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising is the most common advertising tactic you’ll use here. These are the ads that show at the top of a Google search that say “AD” next to them. Ads will only show when a user performs a search containing the keywords you want to show up against. For example, a roofing company may want to advertise to users that searched “repair my roof” in Waukee after a hailstorm. Keyword costs vary based on time of year and other factors but expect to pay $4-20 per ad click depending on your business. HVAC is much more expensive than other categories since so many ad dollars are spent there.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is also part of SEM. SEO is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results. This is a labor-intensive process that involves changing the content and coding on your website to better talk to search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. It also involves increasing the number of websites linking to yours. This is a long-term advertising strategy that pays for itself over time. Expect to pay for SEO work on an hourly basis or by keyword you want to optimize. Many companies will offer packages for you to choose from. Be sure to ask if there is an hourly rate in addition to what they are presenting and if you will have final say on what content they add or change on your website.
Social Media advertising is a great option for the home improvement category. The main players are Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. On these platforms you can pay to run ads to people that follow your page or to people that live in your service area. Paying for ads is different than posting a photo on your business page. Posts like this only reach a fraction of the people that follow your page. You can choose to boost those posts on platforms like Facebook with limited targeting options. Running a paid advertising campaign allows for better targeting and analytics which can help you determine the effectiveness of your ad campaign. These platforms are inexpensive too, CPMs range from $5-10.
Banner ads or display ads are the ones you see on websites or apps that are box or rectangular shaped. These ads are a staple of digital advertising that serve to increase visibility and drive traffic to your website. You can target potential customers with ads like this based on where they live, the site they are on, the age of their home, purchases they have recently made and many more options. More target options means more cost, but expect to pay $6-12 per thousand ads served.
Not all the options are a good fit for every business. It is important to carefully consider what you want your advertising to accomplish. Then find an advertising partner who will listen to your needs, and help you meet those goals.