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What is digital advertising?

Simplistically, this means any paid advertising that customers will be exposed to on the anywhere on the internet. Digital advertising is also known as online advertising or internet advertising. Digital advertising can be broadly broken down into display advertising (the adverts that appear as web banners, social media adverts and e-mail adverts) and paid search (which are the ‘sponsored’ search results that appear in search engines like Google).

A digital campaign should consider the ideal mix of these forms of digital advertising for your business:

  1. Banner Advertising

    Banner advertising is similar to print advertising, in that an advert is placed in websites amongst the articles or content a reader is looking at. The key difference with print is that not everyone sees the same advert at the same time. When someone opens a webpage, there is process in the background which decides which adverts to display to that person based the criteria we have selected. This cuts down the wastage, but can mean that you may not see your own advert immediately.

  2. Facebook Advertising

    Facebook adverts can be sponsored posts with appear in the person’s timeline, or banner-type adverts which appear to the right of the newsfeed. Like with banner adverts, these can be very targeted, and Facebook has a huge reach and can be very effective in reaching a certain type of person. Twitter and LinkedIn advertising will also be considered where relevant.

  3. Search Advertising

    Search advertising is all about making your website seen amongst the 1.6 billion websites on the internet. It works by making your site rank (come to the top) when your potential customers are looking for the products or services you offer. For some times of businesses search advertising will be critically important, and even more so than banner or Facebook advertising.

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Why is it ideal for local businesses?

Most small to medium sized businesses face the same issue - you need to promote yourself to grow your customer base but advertising options seem limited. Print and radio can be very expensive, and you end up paying to reach a lot of people who are not even your target customers. Digital advertising is changing this.

There has been a huge shift to advertising on the internet. In fact, in the United Kingdom, more advertising money is now spent on digital advertising than all other advertising put together (including television, radio, print, and outdoor). This is as the result of consumers spending and increasing amount of their time online – up to 5.4 hours a day in a recent study. But digital advertising can seem confusing, intimidating and inaccessible for smaller and more local businesses. This need not be the case.

The features of Turf’s digital advertising are devised with local businesses in mind. Turf looks at the particular profiles of your local customers and uses the power of the internet to target precisely. You get a campaign that is:

  1. Targeted only to your customers:

    We place adverts in the specific geographic areas where your customers are located, and then profile them on demographic and behavioural attributes. This can be as focused as a 5km radius around your business, to as wide as you want it to be.

  2. Measurable:

    You will know exactly how many people have seen your advert. This is not like print or radio where numbers are theoretical - these are actual views and clicks.

  3. Best reach:

    We have access to over 95% of global websites and all search engines. Your local customer may be viewing international sites, so with the widest range of sites possible we can be assured of reaching them.

  4. Value for money:

    We have a team of media traders based both locally and in London who are actively negotiating the best advertising rates across leading websites on our behalf. You will generally find that our cost of targeted online advertising solutions is more cost efficient than other media partners.

  5. Budget friendly:

    We can scale a campaign to suit a fixed budget exactly. You can start small to see how it works, and increase when you see the results.

  6. Flexible:

    We can increase, decrease or stop spending within days. You can also change the adverts at any time. This means you are never contractually locked in.

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How local is 'local'?

The beauty of online advertising is that local can mean within a 1km radius of any point. And it can be by suburb, city or province, or you can exclude certain areas. You cherry pick only the areas you want to advertise in, where your prospects are the greatest.

This is why it is so suited to service-based businesses that serve a particular community. The likelihood of someone driving 30 minutes to come to you is lower than someone on your doorstep, and that’s why you may want to focus your advertising closer to home. Even the most local of newspapers will still have to be distributed wider than you probably need – and you are paying to reach those low-prospect people.

What does Turf actually do?

Turf takes your business profile, your objectives and your budget, and turns it into a digital advertising campaign. Our perspective is that small business owners are not generally digital advertising experts, so we don’t believe in the ‘self-service’ model. We will take you through every step of the process, and in a way that you will understand what you are getting.

There are 4 broad services that make up each campaign:

  1. 1. Campaign strategy and planning:

    This is to ensure that we are talking to the right people, with the right message at the right time. Get one of these wrong, and you could be wasting a lot of money.

  2. 2. Media buying:

    We have a team of local and international buyers (or traders as they are more correctly termed) who are continuously negotiating with website owners to get the best prices and placements.

  3. 3. Campaign management:

    We will place your adverts, and report back monthly with a detailed analysis of what was achieved. We may adjust our strategy over time based on the results – do more of what works for you, and less of what doesn’t.

  4. 4. Creative:

    If you need adverts designed, we can do that for you. Even if we don’t do the design, we may give our view on how to enhance effectiveness. It’s our interests for the campaign to work. Remember that you don’t pay for the campaign plan, and are only committed when you sign off on it and we are about to buy the media.

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How much do I need to spend?

This is one of those ‘how long is a piece of string’ questions. It will depend on how big the area is you want to cover, the number of times you want your advert seen, and how narrow you want to target your potential customers. We wouldn’t suggest spending less than R3000 per month because it can be too dilute to be effective. We break this down daily – unlike a newspaper when you have one chance a week to be seen – which equates to less than R100 per day.

It is important to understand a couple of things about where your adverts will be seen, especially if you are comparing it to other media (print advert for example):

  1. Based on how we profile your target customer:

    Not everyone looking at the same website at the same time will see the same advert. For example, we will favour people searching for home improvements when we decide who to target for your electrical business.

  2. Based on where they are:

    It doesn’t matter which website they are on – could be any site in the world – but the advert will only be seen by them if they are in your local area.

  3. What you want people to do:

    If it’s just awareness we might choose a different strategy to one where you want them to click through to your website.

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