Category: Online Advertising

Dec 12 2008

Where to Start: Advertising 101 Part 3

Kinds of Ads continued

* Direct mail advertising is another form of advertising which is trackable.  We have all received the envelopes full of different kinds of coupons or offers.

Even though industry states that this is mainly for business to business advertising, it also happens to hit individuals is becoming more popular, the junk mail you got in your box for many years, but which dwindled as the popularity of the internet increases.

However, despite postage and printing costs, it is making a come-back as internet companies are vying for your attention and eyeballs.

If you do decide to go the direct mail route, make sure you give a coupon code, or a special landing page, so you can determine just how successful each promotion has been.

* Radio ads on small stations that are affordable are also popular. These can be anything from public service announcements, to podcasts in which you will play a part, to local radio stations that are in line with the product or service you are offering.

* Penny-saver or classified ads can be inexpensive, and an effective way to migrate people online to see what your site has to offer.

* Television advertising is probably the most powerful of all advertising forms, simply due to the amount of people who watch TV as a leisure activity.  This is also the most visual and can hold more appeal simply for that reason.

There are a lot of internet TV and video based opportunities now, including YouTube, owned by Google.

Which brings us to Search Engine Marketing, also referred to as SEM or Pay Per Click (PPC). We cover it on this site in great depth, but briefly, you run ads based on keywords which describe your product or service, and Google, Yahoo, MSN and other search engines run your ads alongside the natural or organic search results. It is a cost-effective and very targeted way to get traffic interested in what you have to offer.

So, the communication levels and the markets you are trying to reach will determine where you will end up going for advertising.  Ask yourself how many buyers you want to reach and consider the demographics of this answer.

Make a few phone calls to ad agencies and see what they have to offer or what ideas they can give you, or shoot off a few emails to an online marketing company to see what is their main area of expertise. You can also hire search engine marketing companies who do nothing but PPC.

Any one of these approaches should be able to drive traffic to you provided that you have a good, clear message, and once there, it is up to you to convert them from browsers to customers.

So before you undertake any advertising, save yourself money and time by being sure you have tested your site and your conversion architecture and marketing message is all in place.

Dec 10 2008

Where to Start: Advertising 101 Part 2

Once you have made the decision to advertise and either hire help, or do it yourself, you need to start thinking about the kinds of advertising media which are accessible to you given your budget.

* Internet advertising is a popular form of advertising and generally less expensive than other forms of mass media.  It can get into more niches than newspapers, radio or magazines.

It usually takes the form of banners, but there is also sponsorship, links,  and webmalls.

Internet advertising also uses auto responders, email marketing/advertising, though you do have the choice not to use these.  Auto responders will automatically forward a response or information from an incoming email or a set subscription.

Then there is straight email marketing, in which you mail to a list, or you take out an ad with a popular ezine.

There are also blogging and article submission options.

Article submission is simply writing and submitting articles to directories. It is usually for free, though it does take time and effort.

With a blog, you can submit this to a directory as well, and again, it does not usually cost anything unless you want to have your own blog site, but it does cost in terms of time and effort.

Affiliate marketing is also available.  Affiliate marketing will also connect you to many other companies, and you will generate an additional income by using affiliate marketing which can help offset the overall cost of advertising.

Affiliate marketing does not cost you money–in fact they pay YOU for every  sale.  But it does take time and effort, and you will usually need to have an efficient way to contact your prospective buyers, such as email.

For a robust email program with autoresponders, you might want to consider Aweber

Make sure every link and campaign is trackable with its own unique code, so you can determine the success of each and do more of the most successful campaigns to get more bang for your buck, as well as your time and effort.

Dec 08 2008

Where to Start: Advertising 101 Part 1

Once you have arrived at the decision that you need to advertise your business or services, the next thing you need to decide is where to start.

This decision will depend in part on what you are advertising, and the marketing niche you are going after, as well as who will be managing the advertising, you or an agency.

With regard to this decision, you need to take a realistic look at how much you are prepared to spend. In addition, you then have to determine how much help you want or need, versus how much you are willing or able to do yourself.

Your budget will affect the types of advertising you can do, and this helps determine where you will start. For example, TV and radio are out for most of us, larger newspapers too. However, there are still a great number of offline and especially online advertising opportunities you can take advantage of.

Your advertising decision will also be based upon the type of business you have. If you are an online business, it makes sense to advertise online. However, with offline advertising being a bit more slim than it used to be, you might see the chance to capture market share by trying to migrate people offline to coming online to see all you have to offer.

Finally, you need to decide just how professional your ad copy is, and whether or not you need professional help to produce it, or to set up and manage the campaign.

Managing campaigns offline can be very different from the kind of technical, and tracking and testing skills required for an online campaign, so once again, think about all the components that are going to go into advertising your company first before moving onto the second level of decisions.

In the next section we will deal with various different kinds of advertising, and where to go for these types of advertising.

Dec 06 2008

The Online Advertising Playbook: Book Review

The Online Advertising Playbook: Proven Strategies and Tested Tactics from the Advertising Research Foundation

Advertising is not easy. You can’t just go and start placing ads without having an in-depth knowledge of crucial metrics. Like your target market, what sites and stores they frequent, how to email market to them effectively, and what effect social media, or social networking, is having on ad buys and the overall landscape of online advertising.

With The Online Advertising Playbook, you will discover how to achieve the full range of marketing objectives, from lead generation and customer acquisition, to driving traffic and inspiring loyalty to your brand with your online advertising.

The book has very detailed coverage on many advertising topics, excellent citations and references to actual studies, and many case studies discussed in very useful detail.

It is not just a how-to book, because it takes real world examples and analyzes them.
A few of the topics covered in the book include:

* Targeting Approaches and Marketing Objectives Online Targeting Potential.

* Advertising Reach and Frequency of Exposure

* Optimize the Media Mix to Maximize Branding and Sales

* Portrait of the Online Searcher

* Strategies for Effective Paid Placement Advertising

* Word of Mouth Strategies

* List Building as Brand Building

This book explains, in a clear and straightforward manner what marketers have learned from a decade of substantial change in the world of advertising, and what lessons have been learned online. By offering examples of ‘best practices’ you can avoid many of the (expensive) pitfalls of online advertising.

The Online Advertising Playbook’s principles, case studies, and tactical insights equip marketers with the best knowledge available for their advertising needs.

It is not a quick book, and will read more like a text book to many, but if you are willing to learn some really deep inside strategies to help with your advertising goals, then this is a great book to pick up and have on hand.

The Online Advertising Playbook: Proven Strategies and Tested Tactics from the Advertising Research Foundation

Nov 30 2008

How to Use the Internet to Promote your Business Book Review:

How to Use the Internet to Advertise, Promote and Market Your Business or Website with Little or No Money

Interested in promoting your business and/or Web site, but don’t have the big budget for traditional advertising? This book will show you how to build, promote, and make money from your Web site or brick and mortar store using the Internet with minimal costs, just some time and effort.

How to Use the Internet to Advertise, Promote and Market Your Business or Website with Little or No Money will arm you with the knowledge you need to make your business a success. Find out how to generate more traffic for your site or store with hundreds of Internet Marketing methods, including free and low-cost promotions. This book is a comprehensive, hands-on, step-by-step guide for increasing traffic to your web site.

You will learn:

* How to target more customers to your business and optimize your Web site from a marketing perspective

* To target your campaign, use keywords, generate free advertising, search-engine strategies, learn the inside secrets of e-mail marketing

* How to build Web communities, co-branding, auto-responders, Google advertising, banner advertising, eBay storefronts, Web-design information, search-engine registration, directories

* Real-world examples of what strategies are succeeding and what strategies are failing

How to Use the Internet to Advertise, Promote and Market Your Business or Website with Little or No Money offers helpful, thorough, up-to-date advice without wasting readers’ time.

The only thing it is lacking is information on social networking and Web 2.0, but there is a lot of hype about these topics already, and there are other books devoted to that subject exclusively.

The strategies are doable, the information is priceless and the lessons can be applied. It is definitely a book worth having on your shelf. So don’t delay, especially if you are a business owner looking to create an effective and lasting web presence.

How to Use the Internet to Advertise Promote and Market Your Business or Website with Little or No Money