6 Online Advertising Tactics You’ve Never Heard Of

By Ian Heinig / 7 February 2018

More than 60% of marketers say generating traffic and leads is their primary challenge. Get the 6 underused online advertising tactics that overdeliver while conserving your budget.

Did you know that you’re more likely to complete Navy SEAL training than click a banner ad?

It’s true. And it’s facts like these that make online advertising feel like a game of inches.

Between banner blindness, low organic reach, and incomplete metrics, marketers are eager to run ads that get serious mileage.

Today we discuss 6 underused ways to increase your ad exposure, preserve your advertising budget, and secure conversions:

  • Pair with micro-influencers on Facebook
  • Run Twitter ads (correctly)
  • Retarget the bottom of the funnel first
  • Boost your best mid-funnel content
  • Outsmart the competition
  • Use StumbleUpon ads

1. Pair With Micro-Influencers on Facebook

Partnering with influencers on Facebook will increase your visibility and conversions among an engaged and loyal audience.

Facebook now lets you promote influencer posts as ads, amplifying the reach of sponsored posts between both the influencer and your accounts.

To maximize your ad impact, pair with a micro-influencer who’s Facebook content, engagement, and audience align with your needs.

Here’s Miranda Miller featuring the premium grocer Jasper’s Market in a shout-out for a cosmetics product.

Facebook influencer promoting Jasper's Market by posting about beauty products she bought
Source: Marketing Land

A study by influencer marketing platform Makerly found that as an influencer’s following grows, social engagement drops.

People with 10,000 - 100,000 followers drive more than 4x the engagement than those will millions.

Opting for a niche-specific micro-influencer will add traction and reach to your campaign while conserving your advertising budget.

2. Run Twitter Ads (the Right Way)

Twitter ad campaigns can be cheaper and more effective for B2B lead generation than other advertising platforms.

The dynamic targeting options help you elevate the reach and impact of your campaigns. Meanwhile, ad costs are lower than on Facebook – but only if you don’t follow Twitter’s instructions.

What’s the problem?

Well, Twitter users are allergic to promotions and the platform’s recommended Lead Generation Cards just scream “advertisement!”

Instead, use a captivating organic image to grab your audience's attention.

Twitter ad with a featured image instead of text
Source: WordStream

Camouflaging your ads will help you increase engagement and avoid 2-4x higher ad costs, according to Social Media Examiner, a social media research site.

Larry Kim of Wordsteam also found that using emojis in Tweets earns 25% more engagement.

Avoiding “Tweet Engagement” campaigns will also help you maximize your ad spend.

Twitter charges per engagement, meaning you pay when someone:

  • Views your profile page
  • Expands your image or the tweet
  • Clicks on a hashtag

Talk about costly. To save your budget, create campaigns that aim for website clicks, followers, or leads.

3. Retarget the Bottom of the Funnel First

Since marketers are primarily challenged by generating leads, advertising budgets are spent mostly at the top of the funnel.

But, according to the research firm McKinsey, 60% of bottom-funnel leads don’t convert because it’s easier than making a decision. Taking initiative at the bottom of the funnel is key for driving revenue.

Ad retargeting is an underused yet highly effective way to target the bottom of the funnel.

46% of search engine marketers believe retargeting is underused
Source: Invespo

To persuade these indecisive, yet qualified leads, redouble your ad buy for bottom of the funnel retargeting.

Compared to regular display ads, retargeted ads earn a 10x click-through rate of 0.07%.

The key to bottom of the funnel targeting is identifying the actions that indicate buying behavior, then matching an ad message to the perfect late-stage content.

“Bottom-of-the-funnel content should prove the value of a purchase and explain how the products and services will be implemented within the organization,” says content management platform Kapost.

For example, you can drive sales by serving ads for:

  • How-to videos for setups and integrations
  • Step-by-step guides
  • Case studies with results for similar customers
  • Sales demos

4. Promote Your Best Mid-Funnel Content

While organic reach on social is falling, brand familiarity still has a big impact on conversions. Promoting your most effective content can help you find eager eyes along the winding and noisy customer journey.

Case studies are the preferred mid-funnel content for B2B buyers (78%), according to a DemandGen Report.

You can use Google Adwords for retargeting or to boost your posts on Facebook to spur conversions while conserving your budget.

Boosting Facebook page posts for just $5 per day let Buffer, a social media management service, reach an impressive 787 people. Why does this work?

Mid-funnel users are also the most engaged on social, according to the digital advertising firm Blue Fountain Media.

graph of social media user engagement in buyer journey
Source: Blue Fountain Media

Advertising your best content helps you stay top of mind and pull your best leads deeper down the funnel.

5. Outsmart the Competition

Considering your competitors, keeping customers attuned to your ads is a real challenge. Rather than worry about rival advertising, use your competitions’ hard work to your advantage.

Feel squeamish about spying on the competition? Consider that competitive intelligence strategies are practiced by 90% of Fortune 500 companies.

You can use WhatRunsWhere to see where a competitor is running ads and with what copy.

SEMRush will show you what keywords your competitors rank for, their backlinks, and their advertising keywords.

As seen below, customer experience platform sHelp Scout used competitor data to divert traffic to its site.

Dashboard showing customer service platform Help Scout's traffic

Here are a few other ways to improve your ad performance through your competitors’ efforts:

  • Disrupt competitors videos with YouTube ads
  • Download and target your competitors Twitter followers
  • Target users whose interests include your competitors
  • Use your competitors’ brand names to keyword target your Google and Facebook ads

6. Use StumbleUpon Ads

StumbleUpon is a massive (though underrated) collection of the internet's best pages. It’s one of the top seven traffic-generating channels and boasts over 1 billion monthly users.

You can use StumbleUpon’s Paid Discovery feature to bring people directly to your site.

For $0.05 - 0.25 per engagement, you can set your budget per day, audience, and topics to attract fresh prospects.

StumbleUpon also lets users stumble through specific topics, helping you serve native advertising to relevant leads and generate traffic.

This targeted and random engagement pattern lets you reach users who would otherwise be unaware of your product or service, for free.

infographic of tips for using image-social platformStumbleUpon
Source: Business2Community

To leverage StumbleUpon for traffic and brand awareness, ensure your content is relevant, beautiful, or entertaining.

Popular media formats like videos, how-to’s, and infographics will garner the upvotes and downvotes that enhance your visibility and click-throughs.

Using Different Online Advertising

These 6 underused online advertising tactics can offer tremendous value and results.

First, using social media platforms differently allows for amazing exposure while saving your budget.

Second, rethinking your targeting can help you convert more leads.

Third, getting wise to your competitors’ tactics can result in a surge in conversions.

To be effective, your digital advertising strategy doesn’t have to be in lockstep with everyone else.

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