Good advertising is essential for any successful business. And unless your business is a tiny, family-owned corner shop in a small town, you’ll likely want your advertising to reach beyond your local community newspaper.
Enter online advertising.
Online advertising offers a convenient way to advertise your products and services to potential customers. But not all online advertising is suited to all customers.
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If you think Facebook is the only place you can advertise online, think again. It may or may not be the best option for your business, which is why I thought — where is the best place to advertise online?
Location. Location. Location.
The key, of course, is to target the correct audience so that you’re not wasting your advertising budget. If your target audience is men between the ages of 18 and 35, then Pinterest — with its mostly female audience — is not the place for your promotional campaign.
Deciding where your target audience is most likely to see your advertisement is important. Your customers are being bombarded with advertising every time they go online. This list should help guide you through the weeds of online advertising and ensure that the promotional material they notice most is yours.
1. Your Company Website
It probably goes without saying that these days, in order for your business to survive, it needs a website. Your own site will give clients a place to go when they see your business advertised elsewhere.
This is where potential clients will look for your contact information and any other important information you want them to see such as a price and products/services list or current promotions.
See is the key word here. If your customers have to navigate through loads of pages or distracting material on your site before finding your contact information, they’ll lose interest and go to another business’s site.
Remember that most potential clients spend less than a minute on any given website. It’s important they find what they’re looking for in that short window of time. Make it as easy as possible for them. Keep it clean and simple.
Make sure your website is optimized for conversions. Get professional help with this. Keywords. Keywords. Keywords.
Lastly, make sure your website has some call to action options. Providing your customers with a simple way to “Click Here and Sign up for Our Newsletter,” for example, gives you an easy way to build your contact list for promotional materials.
Remember, your website itself is an ad. Make it a good one.
2. Google AdWords
Google AdWords is Google’s own advertising service and the largest advertising platform on the planet. It’s a great place to start.
Basically, you pay to have your website pop up on a search engine results page. (The payment method is a pay-per-click system that involves bidding on each keyword.) The results are immediate since you don’t need to wait for your website to move up the rankings organically.
This is especially useful if you have a new business or are just getting started with online advertising.
This can be a great way for your company to buy those keywords that you ‘have’ to rank in without having to wait for any organic traffic to take hold. For some companies, Google AdWords is the top choice to get customers to know about their business.
There are lots of different types of Google Ads as well — if you have a product, this is definitely something to consider.
When potential customers search Google for keywords related to your business, your ad pops up on the SERP (search engine results page) as either a separate ad off to the side or a result at the top of the page that looks an awful lot like an organic result but is labeled as an advertisement.
It’s easy to mistake these paid adverts as organic results since they blend in so well with the rest of the SERP — a great advantage when it’s your business being promoted. I’ve fallen for it a number of times. You probably have, too!
Here is an example of ads for “home water sensors”.
3. Custom Locations
By custom locations I mean the websites your potential clients are frequenting. Go to where your customers are. Where are they hanging out?
Do you sell sat navs? Google Maps would be a great place to advertise. Google Maps is also a great place to promote businesses to local customers. If you run an independent pizza restaurant, your target audience will be local.
You wouldn’t want to waste your money advertising to people halfway across the country. Get your ad on Google Maps and your ad will be seen by people driving through your neck of the woods.
Is your target audience young adult males? Statistics show most Twitter users fall into this category. This is a great place to advertise. One advantage is that on Twitter, you only pay for the service when you reach your marketing goals.
For example, if your goal is to have a certain number of apps installed, you only pay for the number of apps installed. And so on. And while Facebook has the same feature, lead generation has been shown to be far superior on Twitter.
Does your company distribute video recording equipment? YouTube is the perfect place for your ads. It is presently the world’s second most popular search engine. YouTube is also a great choice because it’s cheap, costing less than £1 per in-display ad view. And the use of video ads means you’ll keep your potential customers’ attention longer.
Do you offer a service used by the business community? Then buy some advert space on LinkedIn. This is a fantastic place for B2B advertising. It features an audience of 380 business professionals. A useful feature is the ability to target specific characteristics in your audiences such as job title, degree, and company name.
Another reason to have your company ad featured on LinkedIn is that your competitors are probably already there. Research shows that 94% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to distribute promotional content, likely because 94% of them also state that LinkedIn is the most effective social network for B2B marketing purposes.
And so on. You get the picture.
A good rule of thumb is to try several locations and see which works. Do a little advertising on multiple websites you think your customers are visiting. Then, look at your results.
Where are the ads that are translating into visits to your site and subsequent sales? Stick with these and scale up from there.
A successful advertising campaign that results in huge sales for your company is only truly a success if your profits outweigh the cost of the advertising. Obviously.
If you find you’re getting fantastic results from your advertising efforts but your advertising budget is being annihilated faster than the profits are coming in, there’s a problem.
If this is your situation, focus on narrowing your advertising efforts solely on what works well. Reconsider your keywords if necessary.
You can use Google Analytics or Google AdWords to set up campaign goals and track your success online. It’s easy and it’ll keep you from burning through those precious advert funds too quickly.
Get Professional Help!
Navigating the world of online advertising can be confusing, especially with the recent proliferation of social media platforms.
If you’re not sure where to start or want to make sure none of your advertising budget goes to waste, contact a professional agency to help plan an effective advertising path for you.