How To Choose A Digital Marketing Platform In 2021

When it comes to choosing a digital marketing platform to promote on, you really have no shortage of choices in 2021. From tried-and-true platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, to emerging markets on YouTube and Instagram – it can be easy to get lost in the abundance of choices.

Let’s dial it back a bit.

When it comes to choosing a digital marketing platform to promote your business, it all boils down to – where does your target audience spend their time? From there, you can narrow down your platform choices based on their ability to reach and engage with specific audiences.

Each platform has their own advantages and disadvantages. For example, LinkedIn can be great at advertising towards business owners associated with certain industries and job titles. But, if your product is better adapted to speak to a person’s interests rather than their work, Facebook can be a more effective platform for your needs.

Let’s take a look at a couple of examples:

  • Does your business cater to Engineers in the Oil and Gas Industry? Is it promoting a product or service that will help them save time and money, improve their bottom line, or help with investor relations? LinkedIn may be your platform of choice.
  • Does your business cater to Engineers interested in Star Trek? Is work a daily grind that takes a mountain of willpower to sit through? Use Facebook interest targeting to cater to their pop culture interests with a custom-built “Make It So!” foam button that replaces your Enter key with a slammable stress reliever.

The Google-Facebook duopoly still maintains its potency in 2021, as the majority of online user experiences are still tied in some way to the two corporate giants (e.g. YouTube is owned by Google, and Instagram is owned by Facebook).

While the individual tactics may differ based on your business strategies and competitive offerings, let’s take a look at some of the most popular advertising platforms:

  • Google Search – The best platform to capture purchase intent
  • Google Display – One of the best platforms to generate visibility
  • Social Media – Facebook – One of the best platforms to capture engagement
  • Social Media – LinkedIn – The platform with the most professional users
  • Other platforms – e.g. Yelp, Bing, Instagram, YouTube

Notice how each of the top four platforms listed above serve a different purpose when it comes to their marketing use.

Google Search does not target based on user attributes, rather, it generates website traffic based on a user’s online search terms. This platform allows us to generate qualified leads by targeting our ads towards a demographic with a very narrow search criteria – e.g. “where can I find a good barber near me?”

Google Display shows visual ads on targeted websites and platforms related to your service. Repeated exposure to these ads contribute towards the Marketing Rule of 27 as well as inform the viewer that a valuable resource is available to them (an e-book) to help them solve their leadership problems

The Marketing Rule of 27

Studies show that it requires 27 impressions of an ad in order to generate a new lead. Unlike with Google Ads, which generate leads almost immediately, display and social ads require constant nurture in order to convert new clients.

To gain one good impression in the mind of your customer, they need to see your ad at least three different times because the chance of them seeing your ad is one out of 3.

For a brand to really “stick,” studies show that customers need to receive a good impression of the brand nine times in order to stay top-of-mind when considering a purchase.

9 x 3 = 27, known as the “Marketing Rule of 27”

Google Search vs Google Display

Unlike Search Ads, display ads are dramatically less expensive to implement. Impressions and clicks from Display ads are typically costed in pennies and dollars, while Search Ad clicks are likely to cost $5/$10/$15+ depending on the industry and service.

This is because Display ads are shown non-discriminately towards a wide net of users, while Search ads cater towards specific audiences with a predisposed search intent.

Social Media Ads

Unlike Google Search or Display ads, Social Media ads take the middle of the road in terms of niche targeting and mass appeal. It is important to note that Google Search and Social Media ads excel in different ways:

  1. Google Ads know everything about the user intent to purchase, but does not know anything about the user
  2. Social Media Ads (such as Facebook ads) knows everything about the user but nothing about their intent to purchase

Using Facebook Ads as an example, it is possible to target users based on their age, location, interests, education, and other factors. Facebook has a huge number of targeting parameters, allowing ads to be run targeting a very specific niche of users. However, Facebook is lacking in their ability to target users based on their occupation since many Facebook users do not regularly update or include their occupational interests on their profile

LinkedIn Ads have the capability to cater to audiences based on their occupation, education, career interests and role in their industry. They also have the unique ability to send “InMail” ads to create specific asks toward targeted individuals directly through their inbox.

Between Facebook and LinkedIn ads, LinkedIn ads tend to be very expensive, costing $5/$10/$15 or more per website visit for a simple ad promotion, while Facebook ads can scale very well at $1-$5 per click for a similar campaign.

With all four of these choices being viable advertising options that shine in different ways, which ones should we prioritize our limited resources in running, and why would they be the best fit?

To answer this question, we must first understand what we are selling and the criteria required in order to make the sale. What exactly should we promote on our landing page? Well – that’s a blog topic in itself.

Let’s recap what we’ve learned.

When it comes to choosing your primary digital marketing platform, it comes down to where your audience spends their time as well as how you’d like to reach your target audience.

Google Search does an amazing job of generating traffic based on intent. Google Display and other impression-based platforms can help you generate top-of-funnel brand visibility, while LinkedIn and Facebook allows you to target individuals based on their psychographic information rather than their purchase intent.

We hope that this content helps you choose a digital marketing platform that makes sense for your business. Still have any questions? Reach out to our marketing agency in Vancouver and we will be happy to chat with you about it! Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn—we would love to hear from you. 

Thanks for reading, and… keep it cool!