Last week, we presented tips on how to manage your online advertising: Marketing Tips for Online Businesses. Now we want to help you discover which type of online marketing would work best for you and your business.
Engaging in online advertising can be very profitable when done right and there are many ways to advertise your business online, but it can be difficult to know where to focus your advertising budget. In this segment of our “Payza E-Commerce School” series, we’ll share the online marketing tips and tricks we’ve learned by serving thousands of online merchants.
Here are different types of online marketing you can use to promote your business:
Social Media Marketing: Increase Visibility
Social media is very popular today, and you can take advantage of this to increase your business’ visibility by creating a business profile and placing ads on the bigger social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Blue Fountain Media states that “social media marketing is a key element for success in marketing.” Here are some of the many advantages of using social media to market your business:
- With the help of social media, you can increase your business’ visibility and brand awareness, as social media offers a broad audience of consumers.
- Social media lets you interact with your customers directly, which is important for marketing.
- Your customers can send messages to your business so you get marketplace insight through direct feedback.
- By being active and reachable on social media, you have the opportunity to reach customers outside of your existing customer segments.
- Social media marketing is a “cost-efficient part of an advertising strategy” as it is free to sign up and create a profile on most social media networks.
- It’s not expensive to design ads and buy advertising space on the social media networks.
If you’re ready to try social media marketing, here are some steps to take:
- Get exposure and interact with online influencers and potential customers by creating social media profiles for your business.
- Create high-quality content that integrates the targeted keywords for your business.
- Design and place ads for your business on the social media networks.
- Develop relationships with your customers by being interactive: share content, comment, post statuses, and respond to customers’ comments. This personifies your brand and attracts more customers. Also, posting original content and responding to customers “makes you appear more credible.”
- Increase your reach by publishing your content and participating in discussions on as many platforms as possible.
- Monitor the activity on your profiles to see what your customers’ interests and opinions are.
Embrace social media marketing and, in the words of Blue Fountain Media, “be communicative, connect with your audience, share content, and promote your authority.”
Video Ads: Appeal to a Wider Range of Senses
Take advantage of video-centric social media networks such as YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat and Vimeo to produce and distribute short video ads. These networks have massive audiences: YouTube currently has over one billion users, Instagram over 500 million daily active users, Snapchat over 173 million daily active users, and Vimeo over 100 million users. Take advantage of the attention these social networks can provide for your ads by running them before and after other popular videos.
The study “Video Marketing Statistics 2016” shows that many consumers prefer to watch a video ad than reading a product explanation. “Video ads generate far more emotional cues than a photo can, with the ability to tell an extensive story and appeal to a wider range of senses.” A video can evoke more emotional responses than a simple text can and this type of advertising has been proven to be successful.
Video ads can however be tricky to get right. If you don’t have the expertise to film and edit your own professional looking videos, it can be a good idea to have an agency create these videos for you. The blog Shakr.com has written a blog post about “Promotional Facebook Videos: The Good, The Bad, The Indifferent”, and this video has some examples of good and bad ads: “Good Vs. Bad Advertisements.”
Google AdWords & other Pay-Per-Click Ads: Target Your Industry Keywords
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads and campaigns are “Internet-based advertising modes specifically used to direct traffic to a particular website,” so when using this you simply pay a publisher when the ad has been clicked on by someone. Google AdWords is Google’s advertising platform that you can use to reach your target customer. With AdWords you bid on keywords in order to make your clickable ads appear in Google’s search results.
WordStream states that Google AdWords can be effective for many kinds of businesses, “as long as they don’t waste their money on the wrong keywords, or write weak, low CTR ads.” So the effectiveness of Google AdWords depends on the keywords you’re bidding for and the relevancy of that keyword for your business’ sales. Since you pay for each click, it’s important to optimize these ads by using your target customer profiles to deliver the ads to the people you want to reach.
Yes, Google AdWords costs money as all marketing channels do, but if you learn how to use it you can get an impressive return on that investment. However, fine-tuning and tracking your ads can also be time-consuming. Luckily, today there are many time-reducing tools and systems that can help with the time spent on paid search. “AdWords is an affordable form of advertising that allows for targeting qualified, in-market prospects, and if managed correctly, it can deliver strong ROI, helping you grow your business’s leads and sales.” Learn more here: Does Google AdWords Work?
Other Forms of Online Advertising
In their article “10 Popular Paid Online Advertising Strategies,” Ballantine presents several other types of paid online advertising methods that you can also use to promote your business:
- Banner Ads: These are “small, rectangular ads that appear on various Web pages.” Once someone clicks on these, they will be directed to your website or landing page. Banners let you add visual branding elements to your ad along with a descriptive text.
- Contextual Ads: These ads are “placed by an automated sponsored ad system on a number of related web pages.” This type of ads is becoming popular on mobile sites for mobile visitors.
- Floating Ads: These ads are “superimposed over a page that has been requested or visited by a user” which means that they appear over a page that someone is visiting and disappear after a while. They’re useful as they “make their appearance over a web page.” While these ads definitely are seen, you need to be careful as many consumers find them intrusive and annoying.
Along with a well-thought-out ad strategy, you should create landing pages for your online business. With landing pages, when the customers click on your ad they are brought to the landing page that presents the specific product or service that was seen in the original ad. These pages are optimized for the specific ad to help you maximize your conversion rate by displaying a customized message for your customers.
It can be difficult to decide upon the best type of online marketing for your online business. Depending on what type of products or services you offer, a mix of some or all of the types of online marketing presented here may be profitable for your business. Whichever method you choose, be sure to track your ads to see if they are performing up to your expectations. If not, you’ll want to make adjustments or opt for a different type of advertisement.