Getting Started with Online Advertising
|Date Added: January 08, 2009 03:59:33 PM|
|Category: Business & Economy: Marketing and Advertising|
You’ve likely heard about people making millions of dollars with online ventures. If you own a small business and have a website, you need to drive customers to your site. While you probably won’t earn millions of dollars overnight, online advertising is the secret to maximizing your potential profits over the long term.
Think about it this way. Imagine the Internet is a giant brick and mortar shopping mall the size of a small country. Your business’s website is a small kiosk in a distant corner of the complex. You are nowhere near the major department stores or high traffic areas like the bathrooms or food court. You sell great products that people want, but how do you let all the mall shoppers know you exist?
Some small business owners answer this question by saying they depend on word of mouth advertising. If you’ve got a great product and happy customers, odds are they will recommend you to their friends and family. This cycle repeats with each happy client, and it is a fantastic way to build your reputation on a very small scale.
Advertising is the next level. Don’t discount the importance of word of mouth business. Keep your reputation immaculate. But imagine the difference between word of mouth and online advertising this way. What would happen if one of your satisfied customers spent an entire day in the middle of the imaginary mall holding a sign for your business? If they did nothing but talk to their friends, relatives and even absolute strangers about your wonderful products all day, the results would be dramatic, right?
Online advertising serves the same purpose. Day and night, it tells people what you’ve got to offer and where they can find you. It serves as your advocate and endorses your products as far and wide across the Internet as your advertising budget allows.
A great advantage of online advertising as compared with print, radio or billboard advertising is the measurability of online ads. You will know exactly how many people see your ads each day. You will even know how many people click on your ads and visit your site because of your online advertising. In this way, online campaigns are easy to refine for maximum success and return on investment.
How does a small business owner get started in the world of online advertising? The first step is to educate yourself about your options. Find someone with experience to teach you a bit about the subject or research it online.
The first goal is to increase your visibility. List your site with all the major search engines. Then start to think about expanding your audience. Banner ads, back links and blogs are a great way to reach a larger audience with your message, but there are numerous other options available to you such as a listing on a online business directory.
Find out where you ideal customer goes when they surf the web. Once you know your target demographic, it is easy to market your products or services. Align your business with your clients’ interests, and you will see results.
Getting started in online advertising is a must for small businesses. Simply having a website isn’t enough if you aren’t promoting it. Maximize your earning potential by reaching out to new customers online.
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