Guides & Explainers

Ecommerce advertising beginner's guide

Find out what exactly is ecommerce advertising, why it matters, and what you can & should do to get started!
Published:
April 11, 2022

Intro to ecommerce ads

Ecommerce advertising is the process of placing paid content online in order to drive people towards your store and/or particular products/services that you offer. It is important for your online store, since that is how you raise people's awareness about your products and business, thus driving the sales. But don’t worry if you know nothing about online advertising, that’s why this article is here - to give you a helping hand and show you the world of ecommerce ads!

Social media ads

It’s not a secret that a lot of people use social media platforms (in 2020, over 3.6 billion people were using social media worldwide, according to Statista), like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and others. Most businesses have a presence on these platforms and some wouldn’t be able to operate properly without those. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular social media platforms.

Meta

These days, both Instagram and Facebook have become even more of a marketplace than just a platform to share some personal photos with your friends. You have probably noticed that if there is a brick & mortar store, there is also an Instagram or Facebook page for it. Probably your business has one as well, right? So, if you wish that people knew about your business, advertising on these platforms is a must. And the best part is that one company - Meta - owns both Instagram and Facebook, so you can manage ads for both services through Facebook Ads Manager. In fact, FB and IG ads are not split in the manager - you can place the same ad both on IG and FB via the placement section. 

The Ads manager features a vast variety of ads and options, starting with the campaign objective, such as conversions or awareness. You can place image ads, video ads, carousel ads (carousel allows multiple images and/or videos), instant experience ads (people can interact with these ads in full-screen and explore your products), and collection ads (same as for instant experience, but here you can add multiple products of yours) & more. All of those have amazing targeting options - by location, age, gender, interests and more. If you already have customers, you should choose a similar target audience. So, before you open your wallet to pay for cool ads, study your customer base to set up similar audience for ads, otherwise you risk spending money to reach the wrong people.

Speaking of finances, you can choose the minimum and maximum amount of money that you are ready to spend on a particular ad. Ads manager usually offers to start with a daily $20.00 budget. There is also a lifetime budget option. Lifetime budget means that you will have to set a start and end date for your ad.

The cost of Meta ads depends on the target audience, time of the year, competitiveness, and placement. What's important, especially when compared to Google Ads, is that Meta ads often charge per impression, not per click. You can waste money on unsuccessful campaigns if you are not careful.

Many businesses run Meta ads, including us!

TikTok

Every month around 1 billion people use this app and if your target audience are teenagers and young adults, you can reach these people through this app, since it is especially popular among generation Z and millennials.

If you want to promote your products or your online business for free, you can do that by creating content with the newest trends, adding hashtags, and even by adding trendy music to your videos. TikTok algorithm is extremely powerful and your videos will reach the audience that would actually be interested to see your content. It is entirely possible to reach a lot of people organically. But if you do not want to rely on the algorithm, you can always choose to make paid ads.

You can do that by first creating a business account and then the advertising options will be presented to you. You will have to create your marketing plan and choose to focus on one of the three things - awareness (the goal is that your content is seen by as many people as possible), consideration (traffic, app installs, more video views), or conversions (allows to optimize conversions, for example, sales or email sign-ups). Of course, you will have to choose your target audience by demographics, location, and other things. Like in other social media platforms, you will have to choose your budget plan and complete other necessary details to run your ads.

Twitter

The classic micro-blogging app is a convenient way to spread the word about anything, share your thoughts and experiences in a few short sentences, or with a simple image or video. And the “retweet” option helps to reach potential interests through your followers. But speaking about ads, there are carousel ads (similar to Meta's carousel ads), takeover ads (people will see your post first, as they open the app), and video ads (there are also pre-roll ads, which are shown before a video, similar to Youtube ads). Twitter's ad system is not much different from the other platforms, however, it is a chance to reach a more open-minded, discussion-based audience.

Official example of Twitter ads

Google Ads

Google is the most used search engine in the world, so it would be smart to invest in Google Ads if you want people to easily find your products. Google Ads effectively drives potential customers to your products based on what they are searching for (search terms, also called keywords) and it’s possible to get all kinds of ad types you want through this service. The payment for the ads you choose is calculated by the amount of clicks they get. So, basically, you pay for the result, not the process (& you can limit your budget). 

There are five main types of Google Ads campaigns - display, search, video, app, and shopping, each with their distinctive characteristics.

Display advertisements

Also known as banner ads, these can be in the form of a video or an image, and those usually have a text message included. After clicking on this ad, the person is directed to your page or to a particular product. You have probably seen some yourself in different websites (not social media), or while using some kind of an application on your mobile phone. 

These kinds of ads are wonderful if you wish to raise awareness about your products or your online store, because people will definitely see banner ads. They are also targeted at the right audience, sorted by location, interests, recently viewed items etc. And even if folks don’t click on them right away or not ever, they will still remember the product in the ad, or at least the shop. Also, display ads come in all shapes and sizes, so it is possible to make them real eye-catching!

Search ads

You are probably familiar with search ads. Those are the highlighted results at the top of the page that show up when you search for something (topic/content related, of course), and are usually marked as ads. Since many companies are often interested in showing up for the same specific keywords, this type of ad can be costly.

Video ads

Video ads are the ones that are played before or in-between videos on YouTube. These ads are really effective, since the first seconds of the video cannot be skipped. And because of that, if you make a video ad, make sure that you grab watchers attention in the first few seconds, or else they will just wait for the skip button and won’t even remember your store/product.

App ads

App ads are meant for your mobile application promotion in the Google Play store. This will make sure that your application is at the top of the endless app list. You can see these ads when you go to Google Play and search for a specific ad, the first results are usually those paid ads.

Shopping ads

Shopping ads work like search ads, but the trick here is that you can promote a particular product - it will pop up on the side when someone searches for related products or topics.

An illustration for display ads.

Native ads

Native advertising is putting paid content in a particular website/platform. Those ads look like regular posts/articles/images etc, and don’t feel out of place, but, of course, the purpose of them is to advertise your product or store. For example, imagine that you click on an article about the best tourism destinations this year and then you are directed to a tourism agency’s blog to read the full article. Now you are not only aware of the best destinations and are inspired to pack your suitcase, but you are also aware of a tourism agency that could take you there. 

Native ads are quite effective because some people are tired of ads and try to avoid them. But native ads elegantly blend in the websites and platforms that people use. All you have to do is find the owner of the website and negotiate about publishing your content.

The bottom line

Ads are invaluable to any business and you too should join in! Of course, the list above does not cover all online advertising types that exist - the internet is too vast to do that, but these are the most common ad types you can take a look at if you are only a beginner in your marketing journey and have little to no knowledge in this topic. Hopefully this article helped you get some clarity! And, if you have any questions, feel free to ask us!


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