Should I Advertise My Business Or Organization Online?
As a small to medium-sized business or organization, you don’t have a huge marketing budget. It is critical to the long-term success of your business or organization to allocate the marketing resources you have in a sensible and productive manner. Therefore it is important to determine if spending part of your marketing budget on online advertising is a practical and productive use of those resources.
There are many advantages to advertising online. You can target an audience with almost pinpoint accuracy, and the options available are extremely flexible – both in medium and in price. At the same time, it is important to determine who your customers and potential customers are before you commit a portion of your marketing budget to advertising online. As a small business or organization, it is also important to determine where your limited resources will be the most effective.
Who Are My Customers?
Before you commit to spending part of your marketing budget on online advertising, it is important to determine who your customers are and how much time they spend consuming various forms of media.
If you are in the business of selling consumer electronics such as laptops, mobile phones, video games and various accessories, it is likely that your target audience spends a lot of time online and less time watching more traditional media such as television and radio and perhaps no time at all consuming outdated media such as newspapers. However, if you are in the business of selling more traditional products such as groceries, toiletries or lawn care products, is it safe to assume that the majority of your customers spend all day surfing the Internet on smartphones? If you sell more traditional products or services, it may be more advantageous to continue advertising with traditional media formats such as television, print media and mail circulars in addition to limited online advertising.
If you are unsure where to begin, it may be advantageous to seek out a publication or website that profiles businesses or organizations in your industry. You will be able to study trends, research demographics, and determine who your customers really are and where your marketing dollars will be the most effective.
I Want To Advertise Online. Where Should I Begin?
Currently, there is one internet company that dominates online advertising: Google Inc. and their AdWords platform. In 2012, Google reported $42.5 billion in total advertising revenues. Simply put, Google is the dominant player in online advertising and their platform offers many advantageous over rival products, including greater flexibility, scalability and support from both Google employees and other AdWords users. You have the option of choosing simple text ads, banner ads and rich-media ads and the ability to set a strict budget.
Other options for online advertising include Bing Ads, Yahoo Advertising Solutions, Facebook Ads and Twitter for Business. While these services may offer fewer options and less flexibility than AdWords, they do offer unique opportunities to target your advertising to specific demographics and users searching for specific keywords or accounts on social media networks. Twitter offers “Promoted Tweets”, which are tweets that appear in user’s Twitter feeds regardless of whether or not the user follows your business or organization. These tweets can be specifically targeted based on a user’s history or search queries.
Focus Your Message to Boost Your Results
Get access to our Brand Worksheet: Your Customer Journey. You’ll find valuable insights when looking closer at your ideal customer and their journey to working with you. Take your insights into creating more focused, clear messaging to attract the right customers.