As an e-commerce platform for online stores , ExpandCart is keen on providing store owners and marketers with the latest marketing trends and tactics for better performance and increased sales and ROI .
And what’s more important than online advertising for marketers? Digital advertising should be on top of every store owner’s/advertiser’s priorities in this fast-paced e-commerce era and advanced media technologies. From setting an online advertising plan and the different platforms and social media channels for paid ads , to tracking the results of your ads , we got it all in this online advertising guide — the best for your e-commerce business .
In this article, you will know:
- How to Plan for Online Advertisement Like a Pro
- The 10 Types of Online Advertising Every Marketer Should Know
- How to Track Online Ads for an E-commerce Store
To guarantee that your digital advertising campaign will be successful, you need to formulate and organize your thoughts into an advertising plan .
That’s why I chose to start with the planning part and the sections your plan for online advertising should include, whether you’re planning ads for your own online business or you’re submitting the plan to the advertising team.
Section 1: An Overview of the Digital Advertising Plan
Include this section first on top of your plan so that you (or the team working with you) can have a clear understanding of the campaign:
Campaign Name: give the digital advertising campaign a name that is memorable and relevant.
Description: elaborate more on the campaign’s purpose, inspiration, and final desirable results.
Target Audience: Who’s on the other end of the ads ? Specify your target buyer persona clearly (age, sex, location, interests, behavior, etc.).
Advertising Platforms: Identify which digital platform you’re intending to use to get your message across to your specified audience (will be explained in details later for social media and search engines).
Goals: Identify the goal behind the ad campaign , whether awareness , event sign-up, views, making profit, return on investment ( ROI ), etc.
Section 2: Choosing the Online Advertising Platform(s)
You better plan for various ads to be posted on different online media channels, depending on where your target audience are most likely hanging around.
Then, for each ad you’re intending to run, provide platform name, ad type, ad description, timeline, and budget.
Here’s an example:
- Platform #1: YouTube
- Ad Type: Video
- Ad Description: A 15-second pre-video ad. The video will be social proof of people using and loving our e-commerce platform.
- Timeline: July 1 – July 31
- Budget: $100
And you go on with the rest of your ads:
- Platform #2: Facebook
- Ad Type: Image
- Ad Description: A custom-made image by our design team, featuring a photo of our newest application. The copywriting team will produce ad copy to support, and the ad will link to the homepage.
- Timeline: July 15 – July 31
- Budget: $200
Section 3: Developing a Timeline
In order to stay focused and achieve more in less time of your digital advertising plan, list the tasks, due time for each task, and who’s responsible for accomplishing this task.
Here’s a detailed example:
Overall Project Timeline: June 1st – June 15th
- Task #1: Researching and outline
Due Date: June 3rd
Task Assignee: Marketing team
- Task #2: Designs
Due Date: June 5th
Task Assignee: Media creative team
- Task #3: Ad copy
Due Date: June 7th
Task Assignee: Copywriting team
And the tasks go on till every detail is covered and set to the one responsible for working on and delivering it on time.
Section 4: Outlining the Budget
Organize your digital advertising budget into a detailed visual, explain how much money will be spent and to whom.
Look into your budget thoroughly, and evaluate which costs are necessary for the campaign’s success and which expenses can be reconsidered.
Outlining your budget in an organized table like this can help a lot:
|Name of Expense||Vendor||Cost of Expense||Comments|
|YouTube Ads||YouTube||$100||I can ask my famous influencer friend to mention my business in one of her videos or posts|
|Freelance Work for Image Designs||X Design||$20||I can look for a free designing app|
|Freelance Work for Video Shooting and Editing||Y Productions||$50|
Section 5: Preparing a DACI Framework
DACI is an acronym for Driver, Approver, Contributors, and Informed. DACI is a framework that outlines the main contributors in the project, their responsibilities, and their contact details.
Driver: This is the individual directly responsible for the project and for coordinating all the moving pieces in the project with each other from the beginning till the end.
Approver: This is probably the manager or VP who must approve the project and give feedback or recommendations. The approver also is the one who has a final say in all project deliverables.
Contributors: These are the individuals who are responsible for creating one or more deliverables for the project, like the copywriters, video producers, animators, designers, and digital advertising specialists.
Informed: These are the ones who must be informed about the status of the project, but do not have direct responsibilities of it, like the department heads.
You should also include contact details for each stakeholder in the DACI framework, so that they’re reachable by everyone for a smooth work flow.
This framework is essential in every project plan, not just online advertising , because it makes project delegation clear for everyone involved.
Section 6: Kicking the Campaign Off
Add links to any other inspiring campaigns or ads that might help, provide links to product pages you’ll be promoting, and share thoughts with your team or friends for new ideas or different points of view.
Now, in order to come up with the perfect advertising plan, you need to fully understand each and every point of it.
Do you think you do?
Do you need more explanation for some parts because you still feel a little bit lost?
Are there voices in your head asking “what is the right media channel or platform for my digital advertising and how to choose the suitable type of online advertisement among the various types used by marketers”?
Don’t worry, we got you covered
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There are tons of places to publish your paid ads on and a lot of types for online advertising. Here are the top 10 types you need to be familiar with and consider in your plan for digital ads, starting with social media advertising, and then paid search, native, and display advertising.
Social Media Advertising
We are going to lay out to you the most famous platforms for advertising on social media , and you decide on which media platforms to use depending on your audience, research, budget, type of business, and previous experience.
More than 30% of the world’s population use Facebook every day, and that’s exactly why it’s the place to reach all kinds and segments of audiences relevant to any type of business. Facebook is the first social media network for digital advertising , and its features and capabilities are unmatched by any other.
Types of audiences you can target on Facebook :
- Core Audience : Target audience based on specific criteria like age, behavior, interests, location, etc.
- Custom Audience : Target audience based on how and how often they engage with your business.
- Lookalike Audience : Target people whose interests are similar to those of your best customers.
Types of ads on Facebook:
- Photo Ads : where you can share collections of image content, preferably of high quality.
- Video Ads : which are great for product explaining and branding.
- Story Ads : which allow you to use a combination of images and short videos.
- Lead Ads : which allow you to share visual content and generate leads at the same time.
Learn all about Facebook Ads and targeting here.
2. Facebook Messenger
Messenger is a separate app on its own, used widely in many countries. Businesses can make use of Facebook Messenger app in digital advertising and connecting with customers.
Types of ads on Messenger :
- Facebook Messenger call-to-action in ads : where you can start conversations with ads on Facebook that include a call-to-action to send a message.
- Facebook Messenger Story Ads : where you run story ads on Messenger Stories.
- Facebook Messenger Ads : which allow a business page to deliver content directly into users’ Facebook Messenger chats.
- Retargeting Ads : which allow you to start targeted conversations and send personalized offers and content.
Learn more about advertising on Facebook Messenger here.
you probably know how popular Instagram is as a social media network among the younger age. So, if that’s who your target audience is, you better take advantage of that.
Ways to advertise on Instagram:
- From your Instagram professional account, promote posts and stories about your products/brand.
- From your Facebook business page, choose to promote your ads on both Facebook and Instagram as well.
- From the Facebook Ads Manager, create ad campaigns with full targeting capabilities.
Types of ads on Instagram:
- Photo Ads : post high-quality photos and engage your fans.
- Video Ads : share relevant videos to your business for brand awareness or product details.
- Story Ads : post a combination of videos and images on your page’s story every day.
- Ads in Explore : put your brand in front of new audience, who are already anxious to discover new content and explore their interests. Learn more about Instagram Explore Ads here.
- Shopping Post Ads : post a stunning image of your product that includes tags for the product’s name and price. When a prospect clicks this tag, they are taken directly to the product page where they can purchase that product. How amazing is that feature, shopping and purchasing without having to leave the Instagram app!
Learn how to run an Instagram Shopping ad from here.
Twitter’s users are of an older age, over 35, and it’s also a very popular social media channel in various countries worldwide. Twitter is unique in the sense that organic reach is still a significant driver of a brand’s performance on this platform. That’s why digital advertising is less common here, unless for some niches that have found a fertile ground there: B2B and e-commerce.
Twitter users are known to spend fortunes on online shopping; don’t exclude this social media channel from your online advertising strategy !
Twitter sets 5 goals to advertising your product:
- Awareness goal lets you promote your tweets and maximize your reach;
- Tweet Engagement goal lets you promote your tweets and get more retweets, likes, and replies;
- Follows goal lets you promote your account and grow your Twitter following;
- Website Clicks goal lets you promote your website and get more traffic;
- and App Downloads goals lets you promote your app and get more downloads.
Be smart enough to integrate all of these goals and make the most out of this online channel for the favor of your brand and convert users into regular paying customers.
Learn all about how to advertise on Twitter here.
The 660 million monthly active users on LinkedIn are mostly working professionals, which puts LinkedIn in the lead for B2B (business-to-business) advertising among other social media platforms.
So, for B2B business owners and advertisers, LinkedIn is a rich pool of professional audience, with unique targeting capabilities that will give you access to targeting criteria that aren’t available on other social media platforms.
How to make use of advertising on LinkedIn:
- Target users by demographics, like job title, job function, and industry.
- Drive leads and reach a very specific audience through LinkedIn lead generation forms.
- Send direct messages to your potential prospects in their inbox (not too many) and start an authentic conversation that may lead to a favorable action.
Learn all about LinkedIn online ads here.
You can reach an audience of 2 billion users monthly on YouTube with video ads that
- appear before other YouTube videos,
- pop up during other videos, or
- stand alone as promoted videos which are displayed after performing a search.
The same as other media channels, make use of YouTube as an online advertising method by ways of targeting relevant audience to your brand based on certain demographics and interests.
You can find more about how to advertise on YouTube in details here.
The new trend in social media advertising, which started out among the younger age, but found its way fast to the older as well. TikTok is all about creating short, creative videos.
Famous as it is, TikTok advertising options are limited.
Still, you can reach the 500 million active users with your short, preferably funny videos for brand awareness and engagement.
Learn more about how to promote videos on TikTok here.
As extremely important as it is to prove your business’s presence on social media channels and advertise there for your (and new) audience, other forms of online advertising are significantly useful to your e-commerce store/business, and on top of these is paid search advertising.
Paid Search Advertising
You are targeting here online shoppers who are using the different search engines, searching for something specific. So, the potentials here are endless.
How is paid search different from organic search?
- Search ads appear on top of the page, that’s above the organic search results.
- Through paid search advertising, you are capturing the attention of your audience in a more targeted way than with organic search alone.
- Search ads allow you to serve highly contextual ads to your potential customers, based on their wants, needs, and desires.
- The analytics of your search ads can help you analyze and improve those ads to reach even more people.
Pro Tip ? Advertising on search engines protects you from the competition who may be advertising on your branded terms.
Did YOU know that, on average, advertisers make $8 for every $1 they spend on Google Ads ? Tempting, ha?
The question now is how does Google know how to deliver the right ad to the right person?
A keyword can be one word or a phrase that an online user uses to describe what they need in search.
This is how it goes:
- A user types a query into the search field;
- Google returns a range of results that match the searcher’s intent;
- the keywords align with what a searcher wants and will satisfy their query;
- you select keywords based on which queries you want to display your ad alongside.
Keyword research is very important, because your ad is delivered to a person based on the keywords you targeted in the first place; so you better choose your keywords wisely.
What are the different types of ads on Google search engine ?
Let’s take an example on real ground. Hassan is the owner of a small startup for software programs. Let’s track some of his search queries and see how does Google Ads respond.
First, Hassan needs to market for his company but neither has he the experience nor the time. He turns to Google and types “best digital marketing agency in Egypt.”
The first 4 TOP results are for digital marketing agencies in Egypt, who have targeted keywords like “ online marketing ” and “digital marketing agency.”
After a while, Hassan wants to buy stationary supplies for the expanding staff. Again, he turns to Google search bar and types “buy stationery stuff” and Google knows exactly that his intent is to buy so he is shown results for stationery shops near him.
Are there different types of keywords?
Yes, there are two types or categories of keywords: brand keywords and non-brand keywords.
|Brand Keyword||Non-brand Keyword|
|Meaning||A word or phrase that includes a brand’s name or variations of a brand’s name.||All other relevant keywords that don’t include a brand’s name or variations of a brand’s name.
ExpandCart free store
free online store
Middle East e-commerce store
|Role in digital advertising strategy||Help you protect your brand from your competitor’s ads. If the competitor is bidding on YOUR brand keywords, you might lose website traffic to the competition.||Allow you to reach new audiences unfamiliar with your brand.|
Pro Tip ? Don’t just pick a certain group of keywords and have the ad shown only when those keywords are entered into the search engine; make use of Google’s match type.
What is Google match type?
Google gives you four match types to choose from: exact match, phrase match, and broad match, and broad match modifier, because there are an infinite number of ways that people can actually search for one term. You can also use negative keywords to optimize where your ads are delivered.
|Exact Match||Phrase Match||Broad Match||Broad Match Modifier||Negative Modifier|
|Meaning and role||Set your ad to this match type so that Google displays your ad if the search term includes that exact keyword, or a very close variation.||Set your ad to this match type so that Google displays your ad if the search term contains the same order of the words, but it can also contain additional words.||Set your ad to this match type so that Google displays your ad if the search term contains any or some combination or variations of the words in your keyword, in any order.||This match type allows you to select keywords that must be included in the search query for your ad to be displayed.||This match type excludes your ads from being shown on searches with that term.|
|Example Keyword||[women’s hats]||“women’s hats”||+women’s +hats||women’s hats||-women’s hats|
|Example Searches||· women’s hats
· ladies hats
· hats for women
· hats women
|· blue women’s hats
· buy hats for women
· ladies hats on sale
|· buy ladies hats
· women’s clothing
· women’s scarves
. winter headwear for women
|· women’s scarves and hats
· winter hats for women
· hats for stylish ladies
|Any search query that does not contain the words women’s hats|
That’s how brilliant paid search is and how effective it is for any business and on any platform, small or big
YES, Google is the number one search engine worldwide with billions of users daily, but NO, you should not rule out entirely other platforms from paid adverting plan, because your business could have an audience there.
Pro Tip ? With a smaller ad spend, you could achieve impressive results on Bing or Yahoo since there is less competition there from advertisers; this is in case you found out (after extensive search) that Bing or Yahoo make up a significant amount of traffic for your target keywords or topics.
You don’t always have to do your digital advertising yourself, you can collaborate with some other publisher to do that, and this is native advertising .
There are some publishers in the Middle East and worldwide who create content that goes viral on the internet and who have a broad base of fans. Brands collaborate with such publishers to create content, whether posts or videos, that follows the same footsteps for virality.
And this is what native advertising means.
You can pay for a publisher’s native advertising services to:
- benefit from their editorial experience,
- distribute your content to their massive audience through social media and their website,
- tell your brand’s story,
- and reach a bigger and different audience than yours.
Why tap into native advertising thing?
Because 41% of readers say they trust publishers even more if they publish with a trustworthy brand.
For the sake of the 31% of readers who say that they’re more likely to buy from a brand after viewing their native ad.
Considering the fact that a wide range of people will be enjoying your post/video without feeling like you or the publisher are advertising to them.
For the reason that studies have proven that publishers who do sponsored content right reap the benefits of another revenue stream and gain more audience trust if they promote a native ad from a trustworthy brand.
And simply because why not to do?! ?
Try Speakol for instance, the largest native advertising platform in the MENA and GCC region.
And last, but not least, there is one type of online advertising that I intended to save for last, because it’s somehow “controversial.”
In my humble point of view, and in many others’, online users do not put so much trust in display advertising . This is because of the long history of abusing ads and deceiving users into clicking them by manipulating advertisers.
Some malicious display ads have even infected people’s computers with viruses!
People have kinda developed banner blindness and can’t stop downloading ad blockers: display ads have the reputation of being intrusive, distracting, and irrelevant.
To be fair, there is some advancement in this technology, and huge entities like Google Display Network and Facebook’s Audience Network have led a banner ad renaissance. They can display your ads to the right target audience at the right place and time, and they let you decide where to place your ads, with more features and targeting capabilities.
If you’re interested in using display advertising in your marketing strategy , you can learn all about it here.
After planning for your digital ads campaign, and deciding on which advertising platforms are best fit for your brand or business , you need to track how your ads are doing to optimize for the best results.
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Ad tracking refers to the process of collecting data and user insights/behavior on the performance of online advertising campaigns. There are many methods used by advertisers to track how their ads are doing and how users are interacting with the landing page; we are going to discuss here the most useful ways to track your ads’ results on your e-commerce store and the easiest as well for any store owner to apply:
- Facebook pixel ,
- Google analytics , and
- Google AdWords .
These 3 ad tracking strategies are easily applicable on any ExpandCart online store, and we’ll explain how later on.
A tracking pixel is code that can be placed on a webpage to:
- Send a signal back to your tracking tool that a user has viewed the page,
- Collect comprehensive data about a user’s activity and browser configuration, and
- Help you optimize your ads and get them in front of a receptive audience.
Pro Tip ;) Only track information that is directly useful to your buyer’s journey and will provide a better, more personalized experience for your target users.
Using a Facebook pixel is incredibly useful for tracking the success of your online campaigns, get information on the buyer’s behavior at each step of the conversion path inside your website, come out with a successful marketing plan, and re-target your customers according to their actions inside your site. This will help you as a marketer or store owner to optimize your pages according to users’ needs and take their hands all the way to the final purchase.
For example, Aysha converted to your website’s products page from a Facebook ad you’re running. She viewed some items, and added 2 to her shopping cart. She exits without checkout. The pixel will show you Aysha’s behavior (and many others) so that you can figure out what’s stopping her from completing the checkout.
How to Get a Facebook Pixel Code and Apply it on Your ExpandCart Store ?
1. From your Facebook Business account on the Ads Manager, choose “Pixels.”
3. Name your pixel.
7. From there, click on “Custom Codes.
8. Paste the code in the “Header Scripts.”
Congratulations! You now have an active pixel on your store to track every customer’s action or behavior you choose: Purchase, Generate Lead, Complete Registration, Add Payment Info, Add To Basket, Add To Wishlist, Initiate Checkout, Search, View Content.
2. Google Analytics
This tool is provided by Google for free, and it generates detailed statistics about visitors of your online store , provides you with information about your website’s visitors (geographical location, duration of time spent inside your store, and other important and useful statistics), determines the nature of your customers, and provides you with analysis of all the small details on your online store .
ExpandCart allows store owners to easily copy and paste Google Analytics tracking code into their websites, to help them understand customers’ reactions to the products and services and to measure store sales.
After you apply the tracking code on your online store , you will be able to choose users’ actions you want to track and receive detailed reports on all customers’ actions you select: Purchase, Initiate Checkout, View Content, Add to Basket, and Search.
Remember to hit “Save” after selecting the action you need to track and get reports about.
3. Google AdWords
Google AdWords allows store owners and advertisers to generate relevant keywords to their businesses, target audiences based on their search queries and interests, and then track users’ behavior on the website through technologies known as Conversion ID and Conversion Label.
Note that Conversion ID is a number, while Conversion Label is a code of characters.
On enabling the Conversion ID and the Conversion Label features, you will be able to track what is done by customers inside your website’s sections. Conversion label tells you what happens after a customer clicks on an ad, image, button, etc. inside your store, and whether they bought a product, subscribed to a newsletter, promoted your business, or uploaded your store app from apps stores.
How to Set Up Google AdWords Tracking on ExpandCart Store?
1. From your Google Ads account, click “Tools” from the “Settings” menu.
2. Select Measurement: Conversions, which opens to the Conversion Actions table.
3. Select the name of the conversion that you want to use from the “Name” column.
4. Expand the tab for Tag set up to view the tag details.
5. Select the Use Google Tag Manager card.
6. Copy the Conversion ID and Conversion Label.
Read more about all of these integrated features and marketing tools and how to make the most out of them on your online store here.
To Sum Up,,,
E-commerce store cannot survive on organic reach only, paid ads are a must in such a competing field. Fortunately, online advertising(either on social media channels or search engines) is not a dilemma, once planned for smartly and executed professionally.
This guide can take store owners through the digital advertising process so that they can do it themselves, from outlining a plan and deciding on which media platforms to publish the ads on, to the different tracking techniques and how to apply them to your ExpandCart store; it’s never been easier.
You can always contact our customer success team for any suggestions, inquiries ,or assistance; we’ll be glad to help :)