2019 Online Advertising Changes

Mike Opera
By Mike Opera

Quick recap: GDPR is the General Data Protection Regulation in the European Union that puts the user back in control of the data companies and websites collect from them.

Adapt to Targeting Changes

Custom audiences will reign supreme in 2019, but you’ll need to make some changes. If you haven’t noticed, you must connect your Facebook Ad Account to a Business Manager before running ads to your email list. This should part of your ad account setup but, for some, it’s not.

Another change is partner categories or data Facebook acquired through third-party providers. After Facebook was under fire for Cambridge Analytica misusing data, they purged partner categories. These categories helped advertisers focus in on purchase trends, income, home value, and behavior-centric targeting.

Custom and Lookalikes

If your mother’s like mine, she told you to eat your vegetables growing up. I’m here to tell you to eat your vegetables as an advertiser, aka use your custom and lookalike audiences. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest know their users. They know what they like, dislike, care about, and their behavior. Let these advertising giants help you reach your prospects.

Also, think back to your buyer personas. You likely spent time “getting to know” who they are – replicate these personas using Saved Audience interest targeting.

Pay More, Get Less

The word is out, online advertising works. It’s cheaper than print or television, and it’s fully trackable.

Facebook ads have been around for 12 years and Google ads for 15 years. The tenure allowed big brands to transition their massive advertising budgets online, leaving online advertisers with less reach and more expensive conversions than in the past.

As more brands use online advertising, expect to pay more for everything from reach to clicks to conversions.

Be Genuine and Authentic

2019 consumers are smart and naturally skeptical of online brands. They’ve likely been burned by purchasing from digital ads in the past, and they’re not making the same mistake twice.

Sure, the goal of the ad is to grab the attention and encourage them to click on the ad – but your ads can only get you so far. You need a well-structured website that removes objections and relays trust to convert traffic. Incorporate a phone number, about us, our mission, and shipping and return information to establish trust. Help overcome objections with social proof sprinkled throughout the website flow and product detail pages.

Think of your website as your best salesperson; the information needs to be presented strategically to earn the conversion.

Ad Funnels are Critical

Since ad costs are up, it’s important to maximize your dollars for the best ROAS.

Cold traffic usually doesn’t convert on the first touch ad. Introduce your brand to cold traffic with a catchy video on your story or mission. Consumers love companies driven by a mission and are more likely to purchase from then rather than a one-off product. Capture their attention immediately by tailoring the video to their concerns.

Retarget the people who watched a majority of the video with a product-focused ad. How are your customer’s lives bettered from purchasing your product?

Nail down what makes your brand better than your competitors  Experiment with different ad formats and platforms. All online advertising platforms have pros and cons, and your job is to match the best message with the right platform. Test ad creative, benefits, and copy to see which has the best response.

Hot traffic is so ready to convert – maybe they abandoned their cart or filled out a form but didn’t submit it. They’re on the brink of conversion, but something is holding them back. Bring it home with an ad that demonstrates social proof like a customer testimonial, celebrity photo and/or review, or expert opinion.

At the end of the day, online advertising uses the same appeals as traditional advertising. And digital advertising needs the same attention to customer journey as traditional, from 2019 and beyond.

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