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  • Writer's pictureCooper Shattuck

Digital Advertising: Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck

Digital advertising is a cost-effective way to reach your target audience, but it can be a wasted effort for the unwary. Digital advertising can include a lot of different methods – paid social media ads, search engine marketing, and display ads. All have the advantage of identifying, with an amazing degree of specificity, those who are to receive them. This specificity goes way beyond superficial demographics and can include things such as search history, associations, and geographic location. So, ideally, you aren’t paying to reach those who are not likely to need your services. But there is a certain amount of black box hocus pocus that takes place which demands trust in your provider.

Traditional advertising isn’t devoid of specificity. If you buy a billboard, you can see it. You know where it is. But what you don’t necessarily know is who else sees it. Oh sure, you can get some rough idea but not much detail at a granular level. Suffice it to say, there are lots of people who may pass it and never see it. And there are also many that do who have no desire for your services. The same is true, to a certain extent, with television and radio. Unless you have nothing better to do, you must rely on the stations to confirm that they ran your ads. Again, you may know some general information about who sees or hears your ads, but that is about it. And, of course, there is no option for interaction with your advertisements with traditional mass marketing.[i]

The information you can get on your target audience with digital advertising is a little scary.

Advertisers can overwhelm you with statistics – impressions, click-throughs, time on page, etc. These are important. But they aren’t the ultimate point, right? Are they resulting in the opportunity for new business?

To ensure that your digital advertising is putting its best foot forward, time must be spent on the front side.

With most practices, it is important to accurately describe your target audience – your model or ideal client. The more you can narrow your search, the more saturated your target audience will be. For search engine marketing, it is also important to include as many relevant search terms as possible. Remember, many searchers aren’t too specific or accurate in their attempts to find what they are looking for. There are some great tools to help, which show the most common searches for particular subject matters. An advertiser knowledgeable about your practice can be very helpful.

As with any form of advertising, you can spend as much as you want on it. The person selling advertising rarely says enough is enough. Do politicians ever quit fundraising? No, because there is always more to spend on getting the message out. But as lawyers, we must have a budget. And we must get the most bang for our buck. Digital advertising is driven by artificial intelligence. A campaign should adjust its parameters and targets based on what it learns is working. As amazing as AI is, it takes time to work. Patience is required.

[i] I didn’t mention newspapers. Does anyone remember those?


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