How to Choose Your Online Advertising
Research is continually telling us that for businesses that want to survive the economic downturn online advertising is essential. Furthermore, you shouldn’t advertise in only one place. To reach audiences that can make a difference you need to spread your promotions across a range of carefully chosen channels.
PPC (e.g. Google Adwords)
Pay-per-click advertising or sponsored keywords (via programmes such as Google’s AdSense) can be very good for quick-burst results or to support the launch of a new product or feature. But be careful not to rely on it too much as the initial results can often taper off quickly. It’s important to keep your online marketing efforts fresh. Bear in mind also that the results can vary according to business type. What may be good for one industry can be useless to another, so plan well and measure the value carefully.
InPlymouth.com can be an extremely effective marketing channel for the savvy marketer. Large audience sizes combined with highly localised content make for a powerful formula. Any business addressing the local marketplace such as hotels, restaurants, pubs or services such as hairdressers and beauty salons should give it serious attention. As the site is focused on promoting local businesses, it can be particularly effective for local tradespeople.
Local-focus websites tend to have a flexible range of packages to suit every budget and InPlymouth is no different. Furthermore, InPlymouth’s unique Guides provide powerful opportunities for focused and targeted promotion. For tourism related businesses, InPlymouth’s unique position on Google makes it essential. If you need to raise your own site’s Google profile, InPlymouth’s rankings can even boost your own.
Blogs can give you direct access to your customers, but you must keep it relevant. Latest research shows us that you are likely to get a much better ROI by advertising on niche or specialist websites that match your target consumers’ interests. The Online Advertising Trends Report conducted by YouGov tells us that a staggering 73 per cent of users of niche/specialist sites say they pay attention to the advertising on the page. In a medium which attracts increasingly ad-averse users, this is an enormous number.
Article marketing has been the subject of quite a bit of discussion lately. Opinion is generally divided as to its effectiveness but two things are clear: it is reasonably easy to try out and there is no expense required. Perfect for small businesses who are short on budget but aren’t afraid to be creative. It’s great too for professionals who want to raise their profile. The principle is simple: you submit your articles via a portal such as ezinearticles.com. Your articles are then syndicated on your behalf. Many online magazines (such as InPlymouth.com) don’t use syndicated articles though. If you want to get on one of those sites, you have to submit them yourself. If the subject is relevant you may be surprised at how welcome your articles can be. Try to keep to a word count of between 400 – 500 words.
Relevant Forums or Online Magazines
Beware of throwing your ad spend onto big social media sites such as Facebook as they still have to prove their worth to advertisers. Most users never pay attention to the ads there. Instead, you should find sites where visitors go to find real information or benefits. For example, if you are targeting business clients, locate websites where they go to get free business information such as InPlymouth’s Business Unwrapped. Alternatively, if your product is something that would appeal to mountain biking enthusiasts you could try a mountain biking forum such as BikeRadar.
The research as well as experience clearly demonstrates that advertising online is essential for business survival in the recession. The Rule of Thumb is simple: don’t just advertise in one place, no matter how good it is: spread the load. Now is the time to investigate the opportunities offered by online advertising. The decision is yours, but don’t leave it too late or you may find your competitors are there before you.