Do you have a great product or service but no one knows about it?  That’s a challenge for a number of companies.

How can an online advertiser capture and create demand? It turns out digital marketing can answer both of these questions.

 

Capturing Demand

While there may be very little search traffic for your brand early on, there is probably a lot of traffic around the products and services you offer. Grab a net and capture that demand with paid search ads. Then stay in front of that audience with follow up impressions until they take action. Search and retargeting should be a key part of your digital marketing strategy.

Apart from the obvious search terms relevant to your brand, it’s important to brainstorm synonyms and parallel terms people may search for. With these non-obvious terms, be careful with spend until you know they are winners. Start conservative and adjust based on performance. Be sure to cover your brand terms as well with PPC ads. By doing this, you control the brand ad message without relying on changes to organic results or falling victim to competitors stealing your hard earned customers.

At the same time, think of irrelevant terms that may be associated with your traffic and need to be avoided. Use these terms as negative keywords to avoid displaying ads for those queries. Soon you’ll find the right balance of relevant traffic and a stable of solid keywords that convert customers at the ROI you need.

Once someone has visited your site, how can you stay in front of them if they did not immediately convert? Set up retargeting. This way you can continue serving display ads to that searcher until they take action. Remarketing image and text ads should offer a compelling reason to come back. These people didn’t take action the first time so they need a reminder and a reason.  Retargeting is built on the fundamental advertising concept that people often need multiple impressions before truly engaging with a product or service and making a buying decision.

 

Creating Demand

How do you introduce your brand to prospective customers who may never have heard of your company or the products/services you offer? Using attention-grabbing creative and video on display networks, social media, and YouTube can be the spark you need.

Whether it is ads on the Google Display Network or larger programmatic display buys through 3rd party vendors, there are a number of ways to get your message in front of your target audience. Here are some sample ads:

patagonia1 joinme1 underwear1

 

Facebook is a great display channel to generate awareness and drive new customers:

freshly1

 

With 1 billion viewers, YouTube advertising is a powerful platform to introduce your brand to new people:

youtube1

 

Regardless of what demand-generation channels you are targeting, be sure to proceed with caution. An unchecked spark can quickly turn into a fire storm that will burn through your budget faster than jet fuel. Unlike paid search, display and video advertising have an almost unlimited inventory and it can be easy to spend money quickly on irrelevant traffic.

By researching relevant site placements, demographic targeting, and interest targeting, you can drive traffic from a more focused and qualified audience. Start with the most relevant targets then expand out if those perform well. Be sure to check in frequently on performance. Beyond controlling spend, these checks can reveal opportunities for growth and efficiency as bids and targets are adjusted, added, and excluded. Budgets should be conservative during this initial testing phase while campaign targets are dialed in for success. Once the right mix is achieved, more budget can be added to maximize coverage.

Your customers are out there. It’s not only important to answer their searches and capture demand, but you also need to generate demand with thoughtful creative.  Prospective customers that are actively looking for you is great, but advertisers must also dedicate budget to fill the sales funnel and generate broader brand awareness.