Running an online advertising campaign can be confusing and frustrating. And it doesn’t help when everyone you talk to has a different answer on how and where to run your ads.

So what are you missing, and why is everyone doing something different?

The problem is that most ad agencies and digital experts have their favourite spots to run ads or partnerships with other agencies that they can contract work out to. So delivering you a return on your investment becomes secondary to “engagement”, “clicks”, or “profile views.”

These agencies have a product they want you to buy, and they’re quick to tell you what’s ‘best’ for your business. But how do you know if their methods are really the best method for your ad campaigns?

Data! Because data doesn’t lie.

Consumer data is readily available and accessible with the right partnerships. If an agency wants to run an ad campaign for you, ask them some very simple questions.

  • How will you be collecting data on my audience?
  • Can we start collecting data before we begin advertising?

What are pixels and why are they so important?

Every advertising platform has something called a “pixel” – you may have heard of the Facebook pixel, LinkedIn Pixel, or maybe you’ve heard of a remarketing pixel. Not only do these pixels allow you to understand your customers better, but they also help you understand how customers engage with your business and your ad campaigns.

But what is it, how does it work, and why do agencies run campaigns without them?

A website pixel is a data container. This vessel compiles information on any audience that is currently engaged on your website, social media platforms, and ad campaigns. Without placing any of these pixels on your website, you end up guessing when it comes to your demographics, target audience, and your engaged audience. But with one, you can clearly see who is engaging with your marketing campaign and how they are interacting with it.

You see, every one of our devices has a set profile for us – our phones know exactly who we are, and the items we are shopping for. You may have noticed when you shop for something online,  targetted ads begin to appear for companies you’ve already engaged with, or for competing companies and products.

That’s because when a consumer visits a website, the pixel immediately pulls this customer’s information, including age, income, job-role, hobbies, interests, buying habits, and current shopping habits. It knows what the consumer is looking for, and follows customer movement throughout the website.

If a consumer sees your ad and then comes to your website through a search engine, the pixel knows this and can show you which ad they originally saw. The pixel will show you which website pages they engaged with and whether they converted into a customer (i.e., purchased something; filled out a contact form; or signed up for an email newsletter). Once this consumer leaves your website, the pixel will then allow you to advertise to this same consumer for up to 30, 60 or 90+ days, inviting them back to your website, and following them to the point of conversion. If this consumer is no longer engaging with your business, your competitors, or performing shopping habits relevant to your business, the pixel recognizes this and stops following them.

So now that you’ve read this, you may want to install these website pixels and begin tracking data. You can set up pixels yourself, but you may want to hire a skilled web designer or a qualified digital marketing expert to help you with this. In Front Marketing does this for free. The best part is, once it’s installed, the data is yours; you just need to find a way to connect into it.

Once you have access to your data, you can make an educated decision on how to use it and how to market to potential customers. More importantly, once you begin advertising, the data will show you how consumers are engaging with you. It will help you build out a true path to conversion, stay top of mind with more consumers, and determine the best way to invest your hard-earned money into digital advertising.

There are still plenty of options upon how you can invest in digital advertising and the list of products and partners you can work with is a long one. For more information on display banners, content marketing, video, digital radio, billboards, restaurant or transit ads, YouTube, social media platforms, and Google AdWords, reach out to a marketing company like In Front Marketing. Or keep your eyes on the Business Link Blog for future posts about these products and their overall cost.