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Microcredential

Digital Advertising Strategy

University of Colorado Boulder via Coursera Specialization

Overview

This specialization takes a critical look at digital advertising tactics for small business. Students will learn how to generate and launch ad campaigns on small budgets with limited-to-no design skills. These courses include: 1) search (Google Ads), 2) social media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) and 3) native advertising (Taboola). Students who complete our search course will also gain a résumé credential through the official Google Ads Search Certification and a certification through programmatic advertising leader, The Trade Desk.

Syllabus

Course 1: Introduction to the Digital Advertising Landscape
- The digital advertising landscape is complex. There are many different types of ads, including: display, video, audio, sponsored, native, social media and search. Consumer data and the ad tech that action on that data are both ubiquitous and complicated. As a result the sheer number of options available to digital marketers is hard to comprehend and manage. This course covers the major forms of digital advertising, from basic display ads to search to cutting-edge programmatic advertising concepts. The Trade Desk, the leading programmatic advertising provider, joins us as our programmatic experts and offers an actionable roadmap on how small businesses can leverage state of the art advertising technologies to accomplish business objectives. In all, this course leaves students with an understanding of digital advertising in its various forms, and how to strategically identify digital advertising opportunities.

Course 2: Search Advertising
- Consumers search for virtually everything. This includes the things that small businesses do, from restaurants to bespoke products. When consumers search they get organic results along with paid results. Paid search ads are systematically designed to be relevant. As a result, they’re often useful at getting consumers where they want to go. Consumers don’t tune out paid search like other types of digital ads. Search ads can be a small business opportunity. While larger advertisers pay massive amounts to place their ads via search, we highlight smart ways small businesses can create their own tailored search campaigns on small budgets. This course shows small businesses how to create and execute search campaigns on Google Ads Search (formally AdWords). Through an introductory overview, students are guided through the official Google Ads Search training materials where they will ultimately earn an official Google Ads Search Certification. Beyond Google materials, practical campaign creation and optimization best practices and exercises are provided by real experts.

Course 3: Social Media Advertising
- Social media platforms are driven by digital advertising. As a result, social media advertising is affordable and can be purchased at almost any budget. Targeting options in social media advertising are also sophisticated. It is possible to tailor ads around a user’s behaviors (e.g., likes, posts and clicks). This course unpacks small business use cases of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter advertising. From basic campaigns, to advanced techniques including lookalike modeling and audience retargeting, this course shows how to effectively advertise on three major social media platforms.

Course 4: Native Advertising
- Native advertising is a niche form of advertising that leverages the design and format of news and entertainment content. Native advertising is less about selling products and more about producing useful content for consumers who are in the ‘consideration’ phase of the advertising purchase funnel. Often in the form of news-like stories, native advertising has been shown to persuade consumers. Native advertising is affordable, and doesn’t require graphic design to get started. For these reasons, it’s a compelling advertising technique for small businesses. This course outlines a case study where a small travel startup used native advertising to drive hotel sales. Execution strategies for a successful, no-creative native campaign are laid out, including: gathering existing news coverage, ethical content seeding, and content generation.

Courses

Taught by

Chris J. Vargo and Harsha Gangadharbatla

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