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12.7: Implementing online advertising

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    Knowing the various types of display options and payment models available is all very well, but you may be wondering how to put this all together as you plan your campaign. Here is a step-by-step guide that you can follow to ensure that you run effective adverts.

    Don’t forget to keep an eye on any non-digital advertising that the brand is doing. This could have a significant effect on your results, and you want to ensure that you are communicating the same message.

    Step 1. Determine the goal of your campaign

    Are you embarking on a branding campaign, or is your primary focus direct response? Keep your overall channel and brand objectives in mind when planning your digital campaign.

    Step 2. Identify your key performance indicators (KPIs)

    Which figures will let you know if you are succeeding? This should tie in closely to your goal.

    Step 3. Investigate your target audience

    What websites are they likely to be visiting? The type of creative you use and the payment model you follow will largely be determined by the websites on which you advertise.

    Online advertising is an acquisition and awareness channel. It does not require users to seek an interaction actively, as search advertising and email marketing do. So it is crucial that the adverts are placed in front of the audience that is most likely to convert. Sites such as Effective Measure can help give this type of insight (

    Step 4. Research potential publishers to host your adverts

    Niche websites with a smaller, more targeted audience will most likely charge a flat rate for display advertising, or a CPA rate. They could be flexible in display options that they offer, but you will need to take into account their bandwidth costs if they serve the adverts.

    High-traffic websites with a broad audience will usually charge on a CPM basis. They will broker their advertising inventory through an advertising network, or even a number of advertising networks.

    Step 5. Set a budget

    Most advertising platforms will let you set and dynamically manage your budget. Decide how much you are willing to pay per click, impression, action or engagement, and set your total budget in line with this.

    Step 6. Create your adverts

    Now, you will need to brief your creative team to ensure that you have the optimum banners for your campaign. Your online adverts will need to:

    • Attract attention
    • Convey a message
    • Entice action.

    Animation attracts attention, but be wary of being one of several animated banners on a website. Banners should not be considered in isolation, but rather in the context of the website on which they will appear.

    Web users respond well to being told what to do, and the content of an online advert should be concise and directional. Examples of these CTAs include:

    • ’Click for a quote.’
    • ’Click here for the full video and win.’
    • ’Donate now.’

    Step 7. Choose or create a landing page

    All advertising needs an appropriate landing page or destination URL. Whether this involves creating a microsite, or merely leading users to an existing page on the website, ensure that clickthroughs are not being wasted. Generally, sending advertising traffic to your home page is not a good idea as it leaves the user confused about where to go next.

    Step 8. Run your adverts

    Now that you’re all set up, you can let your ads go live! Keep a close eye on your spending to ensure that you’re getting a decent return for your money, and that nothing unusual is occurring.


    If a problem comes up, you can simply stop your campaign, change the creative elements or modify your approach. The beauty of online advertising is that it can be revised almost instantly.

    Step 9. Track, measure, optimise

    As with all online marketing tactics, you need to track what your ads are doing and the results they are generating, measure your returns and successes, and then optimise your online advertising campaigns to get even better returns in future.

    This page titled 12.7: Implementing online advertising is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Rob Stokes via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.