Why Your Business Needs to Advertise – Marketing Magic Tip
3rd February 2019
in Advertising, Advice, Articles, Blog, Business tips, Entrepreneurs, facebook marketing, Marketing, Marketing Magic Tip, Small Business, Social media marketing, Startups
Why Your Business Needs To Advertise – Marketing Magic Tip
Every company needs customers no matter the sector in which you are. In today’s digital age, driving traffic to your business’ website is one of the primary methods businesses depend on getting visitors to become potential buyers who make an enquiry or deepen their relationship in some way (for example, newsletter signup).
It is no secret that having a website alone is rarely enough to generate the steady stream of prospects we need to build a profitable business, let alone to achieve business growth ambitions. Read on to discover the challenges of growing a business organically, and why advertising is ultimately the answer to your traffic issues. You will also learn some of the more effective advertising channels that could help your business and some minefields to avoid.
The battle for visitors
I was online in 1998 when there were fewer than 5,000 websites in the UK. In those early days of digital, a search on Google would show the ‘big businesses’ that dominated the sector at the top of the page. However, small players like ourselves had an excellent chance to be on the first page of search results, especially if we created good content. Visibility also was much easier to get for your brand online if you invested in search engine optimisation (SEO).
Fast-forward to today, and there are 9.2 billion websites in existence. We can’t all be on the first page of the ever-shrinking Google search engine results page that now has a large part of the real estate taken up by featured snippets box, search ads, the local pack and video options. In short, most websites have little to no chance to be seen by people looking for their products and services, even if they have fantastic content and the best SEO.
No visibility = no visitors
Social media promises an enticing resource for companies to sidestep the search engine results conundrum as we can publicise our content and brands, build a large following and thereby generate a substantial volume of traffic to your website. Wait. Have you noticed that algorithms and active monetisation policies have skewed the promise of fair and transparent marketing platforms?
The effect is that social media no longer gives us an equal chance to be seen by people who may be interested in your brand. With visibility of your organic posts on Facebook down to roughly 2 per cent of your followers, it is clear that organic social media marketing will also struggle to generate the numbers of visitors you require.
What about creative alternatives like Community groups, WhatsApp and connecting on LinkedIn? My experience is that advertising on these platforms can provide more visibility without additional spending. However, none of them will give you the potential reach as Google’s millions of daily searchers or Facebook’s billions of regular users.
Faced with the apparent glass ceiling on getting seen by a sufficient number of people to generate the volume of website visitors consistently to enable you to build a reliable sales machine, we must find another way to reach more people.
Alternatives to organic traffic
It so happens that Google and Facebook – the biggest windows to our potential clients online have already developed the answers to our problem. It is no accident that they restrict organics reach. Both platforms have built their colossal business by making money in a ‘pay-to-play’ revenue model. They do so because they want us to pay for their advertising platforms to get significant reach. Getting traffic to your website means paying for Google Ads, and Facebook Ads must be part of your digital marketing strategy.
Many question the morality and ethics of tech giants controlling the visibility of businesses online. As I write this post, I just heard author & commentator, Jaron Lanier, describe Facebook as ‘a Manipulation business’ on BBC News. So you are not alone if you are thinking that the major social media platforms are being unfair on small businesses.
Smart advertisers don’t achieve success in ad campaigns by chance; they choose the right platform to reach their target customers and develop appropriate collateral (for example, content, creatives, message, targeting, budget) to achieve their business objectives. I will highlight the more effective advertising methods to consider in the following section.
Before embarking on advertising online, it is always useful to know what pitfalls can quickly swallow your hard-earned budget. I tend to steer clear of choosing to display ads on third-party sites and partner sites off for my clients, for example. I also prefer to Pay Per Click (PPC) payment settings so that my clients pay for someone clicking on the website link, instead of paying for impressions which may not have any tangible outcome.
Where you should advertise
Businesses have several advertising avenues in today’s ever-evolving technological marketplace.
“Online advertising is a marketing strategy that involves the use of the Internet as a medium to obtain website traffic and target and deliver marketing messages to the right customers”.
Choosing the right platform to spend your money is not always, and many companies have burnt considerable holes in their marketing budget by spending their money in the wrong way. However, there is evidence to show that many entrepreneurs have built their business from getting the return on their digital advertising investment. Click HERE to find out about some of them. Here’s how.
The crucial first step in deciding which ads channel may be right for your business is to identify your target audience. You can then determine where they spend their spend their time online and thus where to make your company most visible. Lack of targeting or incorrect targeting is one of the biggest reasons that so many advertisers don’t get the returns they want. Once you identify your target audience you can decide whether to reach them on one or more of these digital advertising options:
- Facebook ads – these social media ads have a creative (image or video) as well as a description, headline and often and offer. Advertisers can take advantage of Facebook’s hyper-targeting capabilities to increase the chances of the right people seeing their adverts. Facebook ads work because they provide several options to display your ads as well as more destination options for advertisers including (lead collection, Facebook Messenger, website traffic, Facebook page and more) than any other ads platform. An added benefit of advertising on Facebook is the ability to advertise your products and services on Instagram at the same time. The Instagram connection with Facebook essentially enables you to promote on two major social media platforms for the price of one, never mind the increased reach you achieve. A note of caution about cross advertising from Facebook to Instagram – it is easy to assume that Facebook’s granular targeting facilitates a similar level of hyper-targeting on Instagram. From my experience, however, the targeting on Instagram is much less detailed.
- Google Search ads – If you know that people are actively searching for your products and services online, then Google Pay per click ads could be for you. All you need is a headline, short description, and link to your website or landing page make these ads. Google will even provide keyword suggestions to simplify the process for advertisers further. Google Analytics is also invaluable to identify the keywords that are getting you visitors and track performance metrics.
- Youtube ads – businesses that have high-quality video can publicise their offerings in those short videos that you see before the video you want to watch on Youtube starts. You can set up video adverts for Youtube via Google Adwords. The benefits of video advertising are the ability reach a good number of people with engaging content and gain brand awareness relatively quickly. The ads are also cost-effective because advertisers don’t pay a penny when viewers ‘skip’ your ad in the first few seconds.
- Google Shop Ads – shopping campaigns are a great way to promote your products through Google; though they are less useful for advertising services. Shopping ads, which appear on the top of search results pages (as you can see in the image above), include an image, title, price, webpage or landing page and your brand name. These ads as hold valuable prominence on Search Engine Results Pages in these days when people are attracted to anything that makes it easier to see what we can buy without doing anything. These ads require setting up a Google Shop on Google Merchant Centre, which is considerably more involved than setting up search ads.
We also have experience of creating and managing ads on other social media platforms that I have not listed here. I am sceptical about Twitter ads, which, despite improved targeting and advertising options in recent years, and achieve high levels of impressions, do not tend to get the engagement that leads to enquiries and sales. Similarly, ads on LinkedIn can work for businesses. I am weary of their relatively monstrous ‘cost per click’, however.
Moving forward with ads
Advertising offers the fastest and most cost-effective route to get your messages about your business’ products and services to more of your target audience quickly. There are many aspects that you have to get right, often through costly experimentation, until you arrive at formats and wording that get the results you want.
I always caution against ad formats that some companies peddle, even though there is relatively little evidence that they can work for everyone. Out-dated banner ads fall into the category of what you don’t want to waste your money on, regardless of the reach or impressions. People including you and I have ‘banner blindness’ which means that we virtually don’t see them on pages.
It is helpful to seek advice from marketing professionals like ourselves who have learnt through experience how advertising online work and how to avoid the pitfalls that lead to total despair and words that we all hear at one time or another: “ads didn’t work for me’.
Global.Media provides expert online and offline advertising, and marketing on all digital platforms to get qualified leads for businesses. Check out our Services page to see how our advertising and marketing services can help your business to get more customers and sell more, faster. Why not sign up for our newsletter using the simple form on the right? You can also follow us on social networks. Finally, we’d love for you to share this post with your network using the share buttons below.
We’d love to have your feedback and suggestions about this post. Howw have ads worked for your business? What strategies have helped or hindered getting optimal results? lease leave your comments in the Comments Section below.
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