Where do you advertise online?

Substitute your clients for you if you’re a consultant/coach/copywriter.

There was big news that came out earlier this week, that anybody spending even a dollar advertising online during 2017 should pay attention to.

I’ll share the news.  Then, I’ll share what I think it means for YOU — on a strategic level.

First, here’s the most important thing you need to know…

The money goes where the clicks come from…

According to CNBC and pretty much every other news organization, Google and Facebook are expected to make a combined $106 billion from advertising in 2017.  That’s not even what made it headline news, though…

The headline news is that the combined take of these two companies is roughly HALF the world’s expected digital ad spend for the year.

46.4% is the exact percentage.

Take all the money in the world that’s expected to go into digital advertising in the next year.  Take $4.64 out of every $10.  And hand that to Facebook and Google to fight over.  (Google’s expected to win that fight this year — taking home a little over two-thirds of their combined take — but Facebook has been gaining fast.)

Every other company in the world that sells digital advertising?  They get to fight over the rest of the remaining $5.36.  Two companies, $4.64.  Everybody else, $5.36.

But here’s the thing.  Google and Facebook are actually EARNING it.  They’re both pay-per-click platforms.  Which means they are only getting paid when a user clicks on an ad.

That’s $106 billion, one 10-cent or 50-cent or 1-dollar click at a time.  They’re not getting exorbitant Super Bowl air time money.  They’re getting the revenue from competitive bidding on actual clicks and visits to the advertisers’ websites.

So, what should you take from this?

If you’re in digital marketing, understanding the fundamentals of these platforms isn’t really optional…

I haven’t been in the trenches buying large volumes of web traffic since 2009 or so.  And even then, it was pretty much all Google.

For reference, 2009 was the year Facebook actually created the functionality for page owners to set up and manage their own ads.  The freaking Stone Age of Facebook advertising (all of 8 years ago!).

I’m not telling you this because I think every copywriter, marketing consultant, coach, and whoever else should suddenly go out and start spending $1,000 per month on Facebook and Google ads.

HOWEVER, you should understand the platforms — which I’ll call The Big 2.  What they are.  How they allow you to reach and target a market.  And what functionalities they offer to advertisers.

Because if you or your clients are doing any kind of marketing and selling online, nearly 50% of their dollars — on average — are likely to be going to these two platforms.

And if you’re in an English-speaking country and dealing with the average marketer, the reality is that it’s more like 60%, 80%, even 100% of their online advertising budget going to The Big 2.

So with that said, let’s look from a strategic level what you get out of these platforms…

What Google AdWords gives you access to…

The kind of Google ads that most people would recognize in a minute are the search ads.  These are the ads that show up alongside your Google search results, on Google, and are usually pretty closely-related to what you searched for.

These allow you to show up exactly when and where your customers are looking for something.  The answer to a question.  The solution to a problem.  A specific brand or product in your competitive space.

Done right, search is a really good place to catch prospective buyers as they’re actively shopping, and can often lead to quick conversions because you’re solving a problem they’re actively looking for the solution to.

Then there’s Google Display.  These are ads that show up all over the internet, and because most are graphical, aren’t instantly recognizable as Google ads.

The good news is that if you can get Google Display to work really well, you’re basically off to the races.  It lets you put your ads in front of almost anyone anywhere in the world who uses the internet (or get hyper-targeted by interest, geographic area, or a whole host of other targeting).

The bad news about Display is that it’s far from the sale.  You’re interrupting someone’s web surfing, so you have to grab the attention of qualified prospects, get them to actually click to your site when they were doing something else, engage with your message and get excited about what it is you do, and then eventually push them over the threshold to a buying decision.  This is very cold traffic, and you must have much more complex funnels, selling systems, or simply really, really, really dang good copy to make this work.

Plus, Google gives you access to other platforms.

The most notable?  YouTube.  Between Google.com and YouTube, you have the #1 and #2 sites on the internet (Facebook is #3).  Google’s advertising network lets you run all kinds of ad formats through YouTube (not just video).  Again here you’re interrupting people’s surfing, but the right kinds of ads and funnels will pull users to you, and can start them down the path to purchase.

Plus, Google’s platform gives you access to in-app ads.  Because so much of the world is going mobile, this is a smart place to play.

And, Google tracks users across devices, which we’ll get to in a minute…

What Facebook Marketing gives you access to…

Facebook Marketing just keeps getting better.

The platform still isn’t as robust as Google, but it’s getting there.  And they keep expanding reach as well.  Plus, users spend more time per day on Facebook than they do on either Google or YouTube.

Facebook’s ads give you access to all sorts of social features that you don’t get in the same way through Google (and you do get a bit, but less so through YouTube).  For example, you can use Facebook ads to build an audience on Facebook, which makes it easier to reach more people through Facebook.  It’s cumulative — it adds up.  (I don’t think you should build an audience just for the sake of that — but it can be a stepping stone to bigger business goals.)

Plus Facebook Marketing gives you access to running ads on Instragram.  Plus Facebook is developing its Audience Network, to allow you to advertise to Facebook users as they browse the internet.

Facebook advertising doesn’t have a “close to the sale” equivalent of Google search ads.  It’s hard to identify people based on buying intent.  But the targeting options are extremely robust, in large part because users tell you exactly who they are based on what they like.

And if you take the same tact as you would with Google Display (with complex funnels and sales processes that lead people through a process rather than trying to sell immediately), you have a huge opportunity in Facebook as well.

Oh shoot, I’m running long and late!

I’ve just scratched the surface on what I wanted to tell you about advertising on The Big 2…  And beyond…

So I’m going to stretch this out to tomorrow.

Here are my notes/bullets about what else I wanted to cover, which should be a nice teaser for why you should open my email tomorrow as soon as you get it!

Tomorrow:

— The hidden hidden “license to print money” in both platforms…

— How much do you need to know if you’re NOT the one buying ads…

— The cons of going beyond The Big 2…

— The pros of going beyond The Big 2…

— You’ll still create the biggest online marketing breakthroughs if…

Until then…

Yours for bigger breakthroughs,

Roy Furr

Part 2 of this post is now published.  Click here to read now…

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