Do-it-yourself online advertising: how it works and how to do it

Online advertising is critical for small and medium-sized businesses to attract new potential customers. Here are the basics to get started

According to the latest available data, about 90% of the Italian population - just under 55 million people - connect to the Internet on a regular basis. On average, these people spend 6 hours a day online updating social profiles, searching for news online, watching videos on YouTube, other streaming services and listening to music online.

With these figures, it's no wonder that online advertising is now considered one of the most effective tools for improving brand awareness and finding new customers. Indeed, given the ability to customize ads and target only specific audiences - by age, geography, gender or interest - online advertising is probably a much more effective tool than newspaper, magazine, radio or TV advertising.

Of course, doing so is not as simple as it might seem at first glance. There are many factors to take into account and, as you can imagine, the competition is definitely high. This doesn't mean, however, that it isn't possible to create advertisements on your own. It will be enough to follow some simple tips to launch a web advertising campaign effectively and with (more or less) certain results.

Who is your audience?

One of the great advantages of an advertising campaign on the web compared to other forms of advertising is that you can segment your audience in the way you prefer (by age or interests, by gender or regional origin, and so on) and create ads that are aimed exclusively at the users that interest you most.

First, however, it will be necessary to find out who "your" audience is. That is to say, who are the people you have to address and which is the language you have to use in order to succeed in your intent. It is necessary, therefore, to carry out a small analysis of the market and the context, to understand which audience is the most in line with the products or services to be advertised, what their needs are and what expectations they have of the product.

From this information it will be possible to design and implement an ad (or a series of ads) that allows you not only to make yourself better known, but also to find many new customers.

Which channel to choose

In comparison to a few years ago, the choice of channels to use to promote your business has radically increased. Search engines, of course, still play a role of primary importance, but social networks (Facebook first and foremost, but also Instagram) are conquering increasingly large slices of the market. Then there is display advertising (the banners that appear on various Internet sites, to be clear), which passes through various circuits managed by the big players in the hi-tech world and beyond (Google first and foremost, but also Amazon and many other lesser-known companies).

In this case, too, the analysis carried out previously will be of help to us in discovering which audience might be most interested in our products or services. And, of course, each audience corresponds to one of the channels listed above. If, for example, we are a brand (or a store) of youth clothing, we will have to focus strongly on Instagram. In the case where we aim at a more generalist audience, however, we could try the path of Facebook. Infine, se abbiamo intenzione di raggiungere un pubblico specifico e altamente targettizzato, le pubblicità sui motori di ricerca sono sicuramente il canale più indicato.

Con la piattaforma Pubblicità fai da te di Italiaonline, ad esempio, si potranno creare e gestire facilmente delle campagne multicanale in completa autonomia. Grazie all’interfaccia web estremamente intuitiva sarà possibile creare le varie inserzioni per promuovere la propria attività online e pubblicarle su Google, Facebook e Instagram. Non solo: grazie agli strumenti di analytics messi a disposizione da IOL sarà possibile monitorare il loro andamento in ogni momento.

Come si paga la pubblicità online e come scegliere il budget

Altro elemento fondamentale per la strategia della pubblicità online fai-da-te riguarda i costi da sostenere e le modalità di pagamento delle inserzioni. I vari canali, infatti, possono adottare varie modalità di calcolo dei costi legati alla "fruizione" delle ads. Le modalità più utilizzate sono:

  • Costo per clic: il pagamento al fornitore dei servizi pubblicitari avviene per ogni clic dell’utente sul banner o l’inserzione pubblicitaria
  • Costo per mille: il pagamento avviene ogni 1.000 visualizzazioni del banner o dell’inserzione
  • Costo per Lead: il pagamento avviene nel caso in cui l’utente diventa (o si appresta a diventarlo) un lead, compilando un form di iscrizione al servizio o alla newsletter
  • Costo per visita: il pagamento avviene per ogni visualizzazione dell’annuncio
  • Costo per sale: il pagamento avviene solamente nel caso in cui l’utente acquista il prodotto o il servizio pubblicizzato nell’annuncio

Per quel che riguarda il budget da dedicare alla pubblicità online, invece, bisogna partire dalle proprie aspettative. Se, ad esempio, si tratta del primo progetto, potrebbe essere consigliabile impostare un budget basso e verificare quale sia l’andamento della campagna. If the results are in line with expectations, or even better, you can increase the budget and continue with the campaign; if, however, you will not get the desired results, you should rethink something in your strategy.