There is no doubt that ads work. They have been in use in marketing since the beginning with flyers, radio, magazine and TV ads to name a few. The online world is not any different. Ads are on every available online real estate they can get on and many people have made millions working with ads. Online ads are now passing that of traditional ads in spending. This fact was posted on an article on Forbes.com entitled “Online Ad Revenues to Pass Print in 2012”. A highlight brought out in the report was “Online Will Pass Print for First Time in 2012: US online advertising spending, which grew 23% to $32.03 billion in 2011, is expected to grow an additional 23.3% to $39.5 billion this year-pushing it ahead of total spending on print newspapers and magazines, according to eMarketer. Print advertising spending is expected to fall to $33.8 billion in 2012 from $36 billion in 2011.”
Now this makes it pretty clear that ads are alive and thriving and are here to for the long run. Online ads are big business and in different ways than most people think. Now major brands are spending money online to grow their business directly but more and more individuals that have nothing to do with the product are marketing the products of others for their own gain. The cyber world is making it easier and faster for these go-getters to take their own bite out of the marketing revenues.
Lets take a look at two ad platforms that work for the advertiser as well and the solo marketer–Google AdSense and Facebook Ads. Both of these ad platforms work in two directions. The first is that both are channels to market a product, service or good online. Advertisers can market their wares to targeted web users with the idea of hitting them with relevant and targeted marketing to the users in a couple of ways. For example, Google AdSense will place your ads on websites that have a similar demographic to the advertisers ad as well as using the user search history to further target the ad. Facebook uses the social network of the user to help influence them by showing them what their friends like. Both of these methods use targeted data to reach and influence users. In this way both platforms help advertisers get their ads out to users with deter chances of being interested in the product or service.
Due to the large reach of both Google and Facebook this can be a very effective way of getting the word out to customers. Also, the pricing for both works in much the same way making it easy to budget. Basically with either platform you have the option of setting budget controls meaning that you can set a daily or campaign max budget to insure that you only spend a set amount. Now with both, you pay for the ad being placed and not on results, meaning that both AdSense and Facebook are garnering impression not conversion. For AdSense, the more traffic a webpage gets the more you pays for having your ad on that page. Because higher traffic means higher costs for the advisers they need to look at the total marketing cost per acquisition to see if it makes financial sense or of the campaign needs to be reworked to get the desired results.
Now let’s look at some of the differences between the two platforms. The biggest difference between the two that I can see is how the traffic is driven to the ad. AdSense is powered by Google, a very large search engine, and has a lot of data and users to draw from. Website owners can sign up with AdSense and become part of the network that ads are displayed on, so the network is constantly growing and anyone can take part of the system. With Facebook ads, all parties have to be members of Facebook in order to have anything to do with the ads. In this manner AdSense has a larger pool of users to draw from than Facebook and Facebook has the power of the users social network to influence them.
Both platforms have to find ways to work with mobile devices. A good share of the Facebook users connects so via a mobile device and not on a desktop. When using Facebook on a desktop the users sees ads placed on the right side of the screen much like on a Google search thus making the ads highly visible and in a expected place. On mobile devices Facebook does not show the ads in that manner. On smart phone applications the ads get moved into the news stream along with everything else and is very easy to skip over. For me at least, I don’t really see the ads in my news stream and I just visually skip over them. It is going to be interesting to see how these two marketing platforms cope with growing number of mobile users.
Another major difference with two platforms is that of making money. Now with both the idea is to get users to click on the ad and take the desired action, however with AdSense you have the option of making money. Website owners can monetize the traffic the website generates by having Google AdSense advertisers place ads on their websites. That’s right, you can get paid to have ads placed on a website that you may own. In fact there are some that make a lot of money doing just that. Take bloggers for one. If you have a popular blog you can place ads on that blog and get paid to do that. Facebook does not have a clear way to make money using their ad service. Google AdSense openly advertises this moneymaking avenue to anyone wanting to listen. I could find no such program with Facebook.
In the end both platforms have their place in a good marketing campaign but like all things the more you know about how they work and how to write good ads are critical things to know to achieve success.
Online Ad Revenues to Pass Print in 2012, by Robert Hof 01/19/2012 (http://www.forbes.com/sites/roberthof/2012/01/19/online-ad-revenues-to-pass-print-in-2012/ )