Choosing the Right Digital Advertising Channels and Predicting ROI

By Raka October 13, 2023

Whether you’re just getting started with digital advertising or you’re an industry vet looking for a change in strategy, predicting advertising results can be a difficult task. We know, because we do it for our clients all the time. That’s why we’ve created this digital advertising calculator to help simplify the process of projecting results from some of the most popular digital advertising channels.

Powered by a combination of proprietary data and industry performance metrics from our friends at WordStream, the calculator only requires you to select your industry and budgets, then it does the rest. Not happy with the initial results? Adjust your budgets to find the most efficient spend breakdown for your needs, and use that information to begin building your digital advertising strategy.

If you’re an industry vet, odds are you already have a strong handle on the advertising channels where you net the greatest returns. But if you’re new to digital advertising, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed by all the options out there. Trust us: you’re not alone. Fortunately, there are a few advertising channels that are a great place for anyone to start, regardless of industry.

Which Digital Advertising Channels Should I Start With?

Great question! That’s why you’re here after all. As we mentioned above, the industry you’re in is an important variable in choosing the most impactful digital advertising channels for your company (and how much to spend on each). Let’s start with the basics.

Google Search

It makes sense to meet your prospects where they are—looking for answers on the largest search engine in the world. When you spend ad dollars on Google Search, through Google Ads, you will get premium placement in the search engines with the goal of increasing visibility and traffic when users place queries based on certain keywords related to your business.

There are a number of options for placement in Google Ads. There are search ads that pop up in the top or bottom spots of a user’s SERP, like you see below in this search for “surfing vacation.”

surfing vacation SERP

There’s also Google Shopping Ads, which are great for ecommerce sites. These land an image of a specific product, the price, a starred rating and a link to the product in a slider at the top of a user’s SERP. Below is an example using the keyword “surfboards.”

surfboards in a SERP

Strategy, spend, and keywords selected for bidding should be highly personalized to your business. Our most successful Google Ads campaigns have all started with clients following these three sets of keywords to bid on in Google Ads: bidding on their brand, bidding on their competitors’ brands, and placing bids on their products or services.


Who doesn’t love options? When you advertise on YouTube, your company has a number of ad choices, from standard display (banner) ads to in-stream ads that play before and during videos, as well as cards that are served as overlays on a playing video. You can see an example of a display ad on this video about surfing big waves. As you can see, the subject of the ad isn’t about surfing, but about getting more leads and ad spending. Why? Because that’s the kind of stuff I’m reading online (when I’m not watching videos about riding epic waves), and my browsing history influences the ads show to me.

surfing video YouTube ads

If your company is targeting a younger demographic, YouTube can be especially valuable. The platform reaches more people in the 18-49 age range than any broadcast or cable channel on mobile.

Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn

Most businesses are familiar with the benefits of advertising on Facebook. It continues to dominate the social media universe with 2.32 billion monthly active users around the globe. Besides the sheer number of eyeballs on the site each day, Facebook has a vast amount of information on user preferences from their self-identifying through “likes” and engaging with posts, pages, and advertising. For ecommerce and retailers, Facebook gives you the ability to sharpen your targeting to reach the users most interested in your products and services, leading to more qualified leads faster.

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Facebook’s trendy little sister, Instagram, has also become a powerful tool for retailers and ecommerce companies. Because Instagram is largely a visual platform, ads here let companies show off their products in the best light, through stunning photos and engaging videos. There’s also a carousel that lets online retailers show off multiple products in one ad, with a CTA link urging users to take a break from social media and do a little shopping, as you can see in this ad for West Elm. More so than Facebook, Instagram users are receptive to shopping CTAs, with 72% of users reporting they made a purchase decision after seeing something on Instagram.

Advertising on Instagram


For B2B businesses, Facebook and Instagram may not net the same ROI as retailers because the demographics aren’t in their favor on these platforms. However, LinkedIn has emerged as a serious social media advertising player for B2B businesses because of their unique targeting options. LinkedIn saw it had become a place to scope out who and what’s happening in an industry, so it developed targeting options that allow advertisers to connect with professionals in specific industries. Advertisers can even upload their contact list to target leads. Looking to boost your company’s brand awareness in the medical device or nanotech industries? LinkedIn is the place to invest your ad dollars.

Setting goals

Of course, while a digital advertising calculator is a great place to start planning your strategy, it’s no true indicator of future success. The best digital advertising strategies are highly customized to your brand, with a focus on multiple metrics or goals, not just lead generation or conversions. With that in mind, it may be helpful to utilize the calculator to predict digital advertising campaign goals, rather than digital advertising channel or portfolio goals.

However you choose to use it, it’s our hope that the digital advertising calculator helps save you lots of time and frustration while putting together your next advertising campaign or strategy. If you have any questions about the projected results or need help getting to work achieving them, contact Raka today and we’ll be happy to help.

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