cost-effective digital advertising

Cost-Effective Digital Advertising: Quality Marketing with Low Investment

Today, digital marketing has largely evolved and there are a large number of advertising techniques that lend good results and improve business sales. While some techniques work with minimal investments, others demand long-term investment.

It is necessary to understand that digital marketing is a way for branding and increase sales. There are other important aspects of business like infrastructure and employees which demand high monetary investment.

At the same time, the importance of digital advertising in generating leads cannot be ignored. So, a balanced plan for investment or plans with reduced costs help businesses to manage money.

Another aspect is that digital marketing is not a small term process. Strategies must be designed with a long-term outlook. Expensive marketing tools do not help much and in fact, put an extra burden on the business.

SMEs and entrepreneurs are carving a niche for themselves in the competitive digital world today. And they look for cost-effective ways that help them sustain the competition and market their products.

Today, there are a plenty of cost-effective ways you can advertise your business on digital platforms and convert the audience into buyers with smart strategies.

Let us go through the top low-cost digital advertising strategies that can make you a marketing king.

Try Remarketing

Instead of posting too many ads for new targets, design ads and remarket your products and services to people who have already visited your site.

There are huge chances of them turning into productive customers. This will ensure a minimum guaranteed profits and smart utilization of budget.

Create Multi-purpose Content

It is not easy to create separate content for a various digital medium. Make sure to create attractive content that can be tweaked and adjusted to blogs, images, descriptive videos, and infographics.

This can also ensure consistency and availability of content in various forms from which people can select.

Do Not Forget Email Marketing

It is true that most people do not like random emails spamming their inbox with irrelevant information. But this doesn’t make email marketing any less important.

By keeping an eye on audience behavior patterns and interests of the potential audience, you can create classy emails with trustworthy offers and product descriptions. This way, you can send email newsletters with customers’ consent and be on the safer side.

Innovative Social Media Campaigns

Social media offers the most cost-effective ways to get closer to your target audience. Since a lot of people spend much of their time scrolling through the newsfeed on Facebook and other social connectivity sites, businesses will have a large scope to display attractive advertisements.

If Google PPC ads work effectively for retargeting, social media paid posts can have a greater reach. With the help of a social media agency, you can create entertaining and interactive campaigns that increase reliability and loyalty in customers.

Quality of Content

It is true that quality is better than quantity. You do not have to spend a fortune on a number of ads and social media posts every day. But it is important that the limited number of ads or content that you must be useful and productive.

Post some amazing content that gives your audience a hands-on information that allows them to make buying decisions cleverly. Quality content also brings back previous visitors again and again.


How Effective is Content Marketing?

The success of marketing is inevitably linked to digital marketing today. Digital transformation has brought in several innovations in terms of marketing and challenged conventional marketing. However, when it comes to content marketing, it is not a brand new concept. Content has been a part of marketing since the very inception. But, it was limited.

With the increase in the usage of online devices and an increase in the content available to users, marketers prompted brand through content. It has become an important aspect of every dimension of digital marketing- from SEO to SMM. But, how effective is this?

Does this content allow your business to stand out among millions of others? Or, is it just a hype?  

This skepticism stopped many businesses to implement content marketing strategies to boost their business. They were concerned about the effectiveness of content marketing.

What if we tell you, “Content marketing generates over three times as many leads as outbound marketing and costs 62% less”. (CMI) Yes, this is true. How? We shall discuss now.

Original Content is the KING

Content is an asset to the business. You may wonder why. Content adds more potential to your business. And. when it is unique, it brings wonders to the overall performance of the company. Different from outbound marketing, the content remains forever on the website. Once created, it allows to get conversions to the website for forever.

Content has to be unique and new, no one wants to see something that’s already been all over the place. How does it stand among the others? The answer is simple, it needs to be original.

Moreover,  it has an SEO dimension to it. It is significantly important to your website optimization. The sole mission of Google is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”. In order to get the rank on the Google pages, it is crucial that use something unique and add value to the existing content.

It vice versa when using plagiarized, your rank on Google goes very low ( a push into purgatory) and it is inexistent to your customers. Using original content gives you a unique stand in the digital world.

Content Cuts Costs

Content marketing reduces the exorbitant costs involved in traditional marketing. It increases sales and also builds trust among the customers on your brand. It is reported that content marketing reduces up to 60 percent of costs involved in the conventional route to acquiring customers.

It does not “push” the audience, rather entices and pulls them towards your products and services. The key to this is to focus on what your customers look for.

In other words, your content marketing strategy becomes the guide to drive your business growth. A clear and detailed analysis of your audience can help you deliver precisely what they want.

Content Personalization

Every individual is different and so are their preferences. For instance, what happens when you take a customer looking for cats to a dogs pet supplies? It is obvious that the customer would leave the place.

This is what it appears to customers when he or she is constantly bombarded with information that is irrelevant to them. Thanks to the technology innovations like Machine Learning through data mining techniques, it enables content personalization.

This took content marketing to next level. It dynamically transformed the marketers approach to acquire a large number of customers. It is noted that content marketing integrated with personalization techniques is  48 percent more effective than the regular approach. (Contently). No sooner, this would be more than 90 percent in the coming years.

As the technology is in the process of evolution, personalized content marketing would need a few more years to show its accurate results.

Content Marketing drives Customer Conversions

Customer conversion is the ultimate goal of effective marketing. Content marketing does it process efficiently. It increases brand recognition, forms a large customer base, guides the customers while purchasing and engages loyal customers.

One of the best examples to consider in this area is the e-commerce sector. The fast encroachment of the content marketing trends in e-commerce seemed surreal. But, it obtained exceptional results more than other industries. One such is Amazon.

“Amazon is the granddaddy of customer reviews that help customers make decisions, often with a variety of content formats. This content has the added benefit of supporting the search optimization to improve rankings at no additional cost!”

Solve the Dilemma

Not only B2C companies identified the transformation with content marketing, B2B observed a noticeable change in the performance. It is recorded that 42 percent of B2B marketers are very committed to their content marketing strategies to determine value. They spent a significant amount of time in investigating the KPIs of content marketing and achieving the goals.

Businesses emphasized the latest content marketing trends to accelerate growth. And, boom!  It brought impeccable results that one could have done through other forms of marketing. Hence, making content “the atomic particle of marketing”.


How Should You Strategize Your Content Marketing?

It’s all about content today. “Without strategy the content is just stuff. And, the world has enough stuff”

Content marketing evolved as one of the biggest trends. It is expected to drive the future of marketing. (CMI, 2018)

Content Marketing Institute defines Content Marketing as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience—and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action”.

In the journey of business towards the growth, how important is content marketing strategy?!

From achieving digital marketing goals to reducing costs, content marketing strategy allows to attract, acquire and engage target audience with minimal efforts. In order to maximize the effectiveness of the content, study all the new possibilities for brand/product promotion and get the maximum out of your efforts. How?

Below are a few ways:

  1. Emphasis on video for increased ROI: There is no doubt that video is an important component of effective Content Marketing strategies. Per The Firebrand Group survey, 85% 0f marketers have seen positive ROI from video efforts. This trend will continue, and hence the first action that content marketers should incorporate is to have video in their content efforts. This will improve ROI and most importantly, brand awareness and customer loyalty.
  2. Videos are the most consumed content: This is a corollary to the first point above. The thumb rule in Content Marketing is to keep visitors hooked to your website. Research has found that videos are the most consumed piece of content in a website by prospective customers, followed by social media posts, news articles and research content.
  3. Content process should be on the right track: One of the key challenges of Content Marketing is to track the performance of the efforts. So companies should make sure they have the technologies, talent, and personnel to keep the content process on the right track.
  4. Regular content creation is not the only solution for success: A recent research by Written states that most inbound marketers (almost 96%) are creating content almost on a weekly basis. Experts say that mere content creation – daily or weekly – is not sufficient for content success. What is required is that content marketers comprehend competition and include innovations, unique strategies and marketing in the process.
  5. Social Media will continue to be an important strategy for content promotion: With Social Media identified as an ‘indispensable’ channel for content distribution, this will prevail in the next few years as well. Content marketers should identify the audience that are best for their services/products and accordingly create and distribute content to them. They should monitor and analyze performance metrics like website visitors, social media followers, and email subscribers.
  6. SEO best practices should not be ignored: Content marketers should adhere to SEO best practices, including avoiding duplicate content or adding alt tags etc.
  7. Content is sales teams’ best friend as well: Content marketers should closely work with the sales team to improve the quality of customer conversations. Content is meant not only for prospective customers but also for internal sales and marketing team to pitch in more sales.
  8. More demand for personalized content: Storytelling and other customized content is in vogue now. Marketers should emphasize writing content that speaks directly to buyer’s plus points – be it through blog posts, webinars, product videos or other formats.
  9. Investing in Content Talent: Last but not least, every company should have a well-structured experienced team of Content Marketing professionals as without processes, staff and management, content strategies simply cannot be successful.

Above, we have discussed the tenets of Content Marketing today. But what will be the formats? Learn more

Is Native Advertising the Future of Digital Marketing?

Have you ever seen any display or banners ads in BuzzFeed? If you are a regular to the site, your answer will be an emphatic no. Yet, its revenue was close to USD 170 million last year while media houses around it were struggling to survive.

When Netflix was ready with Narcos Season 1 (web crime series), it partnered with Wall Street Journal to bring out an exclusive article on the logistics and financial aspect of running a drug cartel. The media giant published an in-depth report – Cocainenomics, and needless to say, it prompted huge viewers to the show. The series became a critical and commercial success and the producers soon planned for Seasons 2, 3 and 4.

In both case studies above, the connecting thread is native advertising. But what exactly is it? Read on.

What is Native Advertising?

Smart Insights define native advertising as, “Online content that is created for paid promotion of a brand on a media site which doesn’t use a traditional ad format such as a banner ad, but includes editorial content such as a blog post or infographic”…promoted tweets, Facebook news feed ads, AdWords and Bing Ads, SERP ads, StumbleUpon’s Paid Discovery, etc.  

Essentially, native advertising is disguised advertising – where the advertising content takes the form and style of the platform in which it appears. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the US has defined native advertising as an effective mingling of advertisements with entertainment, news, and other editorial content in digital media.

Contrary to embedded marketing techniques where we place the advertised product/service within the content, in native advertising – both the product/service and content are merged. In many cases, you would not even realise that the content is actually an advertisement.

Native advertising is not new. Google and other search engines have been doing it through paid ads for quite sometime. However, in the last 4-5 years, the buzz has become more prominent. Native advertising is more sophisticated today and include new strategies and innovations.

Some Successful Examples of Native Advertising in the Last Few Years

In 2012, England footballer Wayne Rooney advertised the Nike brand, his sponsor, by simply using his Twitter feed, making it sound more like a personal comment, rather than an advertisement.

In 2013, the 157-year-old magazine, The Atlantic, published a story about the Church of Scientology and its worldwide expansion on its website. There was lot of criticism against it as readers took it as genuine. Later the same day, it pulled the story and ran a statement that started with “we screwed up.” 

In 2015, ‘The A-Zzz of Bedroom Ideas‘ produced by IKEA and The Telegraph was a brilliant native advertisement highlighting the need for IKEA solutions to solve your sleep problem.

Why Companies Should Try Native Advertising?

FIPP, known as a hub of global media knowledge has published a report about the native marketing trends in 2016 – after surveying executives from more than 39 countries. The findings re-emphasises the importance of native advertising for all brands and companies. The key points are:

  • There is more purchase intent in native ads compared to banner ads.
  • For mobile media buyers, almost 97% of them consider native ads more effective at achieving marketing goals.
  • Native advertisements are comparatively economical and easy.
  • Native ads are more subtle and less annoying.
  • Native ads create more brand loyalty.
  • Users consume native advertisements more than the standard banners.
  • Users consume native advertisements more than the editorial content.
  • Great storytelling really works in native advertising.
  • Digital and printed articles, and video content perform the best.
  • Native advertising will grow more in the future.

How is Native Advertising Done?

The IAB Native Advertising Playbook has classified Native Advertising into the following 6 categories:

Content Recommendation Engine Widgets: These ads appear at the bottom of an article or blog post with a heading like “You May Also Like” , “Recommended for You”, “Elsewhere from around the web”, “From around the web”, “You may have missed” etc. The widgets display some external links or references, somewhat on related topics, which when clicked take you to other sites. Examples of recommendation widgets: Outbrain, Taboola, Disqus, Gravity.

Promoted Listings: Promoted listings are usually found in e-commerce sites in the category pages (as ‘sponsored products’). They are related to what the users are searching on the sites. Examples of platforms for promoted listings: Etsy, Amazon, Foursquare.

Paid Search Ads: These are the original native ads. They appear in search result pages of search engines where the ads will be based on the user’s search queries on them, and also on individual sites whose content or products/services match the ads. Google is the most famous example for such native ads.

In-Feed Units: These are sponsored content published within a natural index of articles, placed in a manner that both the original content and the sponsored content from advertisers are visible to the readers as part of a stream or gallery. Examples – Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Forbes.

In-Ad with Native Elements (IAB Standard): These ads are for sites that have standard IAB inventories like 300×250 or 300×600 banners. The ads contain contextually relevant content within them – which encourages the user to engage more with the ads. Example platforms that provide IAB inventories: Onespot, Appssavvy, Martini Media, Federated Media, EA.

Custom Ads: These ads are contextual ads that do not have a standard format but are created on the basis of a person’s browsing activity. Depending on his searches or the ads he clicked, he gets to see ads which might be of interest to him. For example, if you visit a site having a playlist for workout music, you might come across ads for sports products or sports drink. Example platforms where this is done: Tumblr, Pandora, Spotify, Flipboard, Hearst.

Native Advertising Platforms

Apart from the ones mentioned in the above section, here are some more platforms (with unique features) for Native Advertising:

  • AdsNative: Both in-feed and in-ad placement strategies are used.
  • Adtile: Gives focus on native advertising solutions for the mobile industry.
  • AdYouLike: Promotes brand content in any type of editorial content.
  • BidTellect: Targeted native ads are delivered across all devices and in all formats.
  • Connatix: Content spread across web and mobile media properties.
  • Disqus: A blog comment hosting service.
  • DistroScale: A marketplace for delivering, buying and measuring native content.
  • Kargo: Mobile marketplace.
  • MoPub: A full-featured ad platform optimized for mobile publishers.
  • Namo Media: Allows any mobile app to do custom mobile advertising.
  • Plista: Users are helped to determine what advertisements and recommendations to receive.
  • PubNative: Mobile publishers earn revenue by implementing native advertising.
  • Yahoo Gemini: All mobile search and native ads can be optimised in one single place.
  • Yieldmo: Optimizing revenue for publishers and connecting them with advertisers.
  • Zemanta: The original content optimized for multiple distributions.

But is Native Advertising Free from Criticism?

Several reporters and thought leaders feel that native advertising will lead to the fall of journalism. Some say that native ads make the content look organic though it is sponsored and it tricks consumers to fall for it. The ads are misleading and readers cannot differentiate between articles and ads.

Well, to counter such criticisms, the IAB (conglomerate of leading media and technology companies for digital advertising and marketing in the US) has come out with the following guidelines to standardize native advertising:

  • There must be visual clues. These must be created in such a manner that the readers must be able to identify the ad as sponsored.
  • Native ads must be labeled as ‘Promoted’ or ‘Sponsored’.
  • Consumers should know to identify the editorial of native ad content.


Traditional advertising formats like rich media and display are rapidly fading away from people’s minds. So look for native advertising opportunities for your brands. They have a strong but less intrusive format and can be integrated well into sites, apps and mobile platforms.

Today, be it the search engines like Google or Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube – marketing platforms are offering different forms of native advertising with the perfect combination of format, scale, looks and feel of advertisements and messages.