Online Advertising for Your BusinessDoes your target market spend a lot of time online?

If you’re able to give a confident YES to this question, then it’s safe to say your business could absolutely benefit from online advertising.

If you’re not sure who your target market is or how much time they spend surfing the web, you may need to take a step back a do a bit of market research.  Consider doing some Generational marketing research may be a good spot to start to get an idea.

I realize simply knowing your prospects are online isn’t enough to know for sure if online marketing is ideal for your business. You may have to dig deeper for that, but overall, online advertising definitely has it’s perks.

What can online advertising do for me?

1. Online advertising is fast, flexible, and trackable.

With online advertising, you can take advantage of the wonderful perks that come with digital media, like instant access, freely updating and editing your ads, and results tracking .

Planning an event to promote your new service? Rather than placing an ad with the local paper 6 weeks in advance and wondering who’ll see it, then waiting weeks or months to ACTUALLY know how well it was received, you can create and launch an online campaign promoting your service or event in as little as an hour (I’d say 5 minutes, but you want it to be a good campaign, don’t you?).

What’s more is you can instantly track which ads are working, how many people are seeing them, where they’re seeing them, who’s clicking on them and when. With that kind of information at your fingertips, you can optimize your ads instantly if they’re not performing as well as you’d like instead of waiting until end of month sales reports tell you if your newspaper ad was working or not.

2. Drive traffic to your website & increase conversions.

Given your website is the hub of your online presence, it makes sense to generate traffic to it, right?

When all’s said and done, it comes down to the numbers: online ads can draw more traffic to your website. When you have more traffic coming to your website, you’re increasing the probability of leads from your site. (Side note: you have to make sure your website is setup correctly to convert visitors into leads.  Here are some tips to make sure your website is setting you up for success, and what to avoid on your site.)

3. Increase brand awareness, credibility & trust.

Running online ads gets your brand name in front of your online prospects wherever they are on the web. Just like branding through radio or TV, your online ads will keep your business in front of potential buyers. Once your prospects become familiar with who you are, they begin to recognize your brand and will be more likely to come to you when they have a need you can fill for them.

Not only that, online ads reinforce the idea that you’re a legit business, so running ads can actually increase credibility for your business as well.

4. Promote to your specific target markets.

When you advertise online, you can tailor your message to speak specifically to your target markets, or multiple messages tailored to segmented target audiences.

Think about it like this: Maybe you sell security systems. While your product may appeal to both families and businesses, your product benefits would be different for each. The business owner doesn’t need a system that allows him to shut his home garage door remotely, and the homeowner isn’t interested tracking clock-in and -out times for employees. Advertising is most effective when you’re speaking directly to each person’s needs rather than using a blanket message to catch everyone’s interest.

That’s where segmentation comes in. As a security company owner, you would write two ads with separate messages: one tailored to business owners, the other to homeowners. Advertising this way is far more cost-effective online than in TV, radio, or print advertising.

According to a study outlined in an AdAge.com article, a retargeted display ad encourages 1000% more people to search for a product over a standard ad. Online marketing lets you segment and specify your target markets to get the absolute most out of your marketing efforts and dollars rather than getting your message out to people you’re not interested in working with.

5. Reach the Hard-to-Reach Millennials

It can’t be denied, since the birth of this generation (which includes people born between 1981 and 2000), practically every field of technology has made significant advancements. Millennials have had extreme exposure to all the modern gadgets and platforms. They don’t see immediate results, excellent service and competitive pricing as a benefit of working with a company, it’s their expectation.  According to Statista.com, American users from 25 to 34 years old had the highest monthly average of internet usage in 2016 over all other age groups.

This generation holds extreme potential for buying power, and if you want them to notice you, you’ll have to connect with them. An ideal way to do that is to interact with and advertise to them where they are: online.

6. Re-engage previous prospects with retargeting ads.

With retargeting, you can remarket to people based on their previous online activities, namely those who’ve been to your website.  Forty-six percent of search engine marketing professionals believe retargeting is the most underused online marketing technology.

Remember last week when you jumped onto Backcountry.com to look at a pair of hiking boots? How many times have you seen those same boots displayed on other websites since then? Probably like a billion, right? And even though you ended up buying a pair on Amazon, those boots are STILL following you around.

Why? Because you’ve been retargeted. Those companies retarget because they know website visitors who are retargeted with display ads are 70% more likely to convert on your website. You can leverage this power as well to make sure your prospects don’t forget about you.  

7. Meet your prospects where they are.

Again, times have changed. It seems like everyone’s online, and when consumers are making buying decisions, they tend to do some heavy online research before pulling the trigger. Or maybe they’ve already done the research and they’re ready to take the plunge. Wherever they are, go to them, nurture them, pamper them with the information they crave by creating ads to reach prospects in each stage of the buying process.

For example, you’ve written a blog article that answers a common question you’re asked about your services. You can create an ad based on that post to draw in the consumers that are in the information gathering phase of the buying cycle. Other consumers may be ready to take the next step and schedule a consultation, so you can design ads that create a bit more urgency, encouraging them to take action now.

8. Lower your marketing costs.

You have a ridiculous amount of control over your advertising costs when running ads online. First off, online ad campaigns are usually far less expensive than running radio, TV and print ads. Secondly, you pick exactly what you want to spend and when you want to spend it. Don’t like the original budget you set for your campaign? Change it in less than a minute. Third, you decide and maintain full control of when your ads run and for how long. Your ads aren’t performing? Pause the campaign to decrease spending.

9. Your competitors are doing it.

I know, we’ve all learned not to do something just because other people are doing it, but in this case, there’s an exception. If your competition’s out there engaging with your target market, they’re gaining market share and nabbing prospects that could be yours. And prospects will never know your name if you don’t put it right in front of their faces.

It’s like hoping you’ll win the jackpot but never buying lottery tickets: no one’s going to come to you to fulfill their consumer needs if they don’t know who you are, so get out there and show them who you are and what you do. Provide a memorable user experience, offer valuable information and outline clear calls-to-action so you can gain the traction you crave in your target market.

Start planning today.

There’s no doubt that online advertising is a cost-effective, efficient and convenient method for promoting your business in that it helps increase brand recognition, gain prospects’ trust, and target exactly who you want to work with.

Convinced? Get started on a marketing plan to advertise your business online. Here are 6 online advertising tools that’ll get you going in the right direction.

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