eCommerce is the buzzword in business nowadays. Everyone wants to get on the bandwagon but many don’t know how to do it the right way. If you’re wanting to grow your business then knowing how to advertise your business online may be the way to go.
Online sales are growing, there’s no doubt about it. But so is the amount of businesses adding their offerings to the online market. The internet is flooded with millions of businesses offering products and services.
The plus side of the internet is that companies can offer their products and services to a global audience relatively easily. But the downside is that organisations large and small are competing with other companies from around the globe.
There are so many options out there when it comes to online advertising, but it doesn’t mean that every option is best for your business. Knowing how to advertise your business online correctly and which avenues to take is key to successful online advertising.
The key thing to remember when embarking on the online advertising journey is that “online” has so many aspects to it. Just like TV advertising and billboards are used for different types of messages, so should all the elements of the internet be used for specific messaging. From YouTube to Instagram, each online advertising outlet has its own unique characteristics and uses when it comes to online advertising.
1. Pay per click and SEO
Google is King
Whether it’s Google’s Adwords advertising platform for paid online advertising or it’s organic traffic, Google is king when it comes to online advertising.
Either way, if you pay for it with Pay per Click (PPC) or depend on organic searches through search engine optimisation (SEO), the crux is that 75 percent of all the traffic that searches on Google, does not go past the first page.
With Google you can either pay for a listing to appear on their top three or four advertising positions. Or Google can, using their own discretion, list your website for free.
You can either pay to use their AdWords platform, or you can improve the quality and relevance of your website so that Google will sponsor a position for you on page one.
Depending on your goals, you can choose either route for your online advertising.
PPC marketing or using Adwords gets you fast and immediate results, while organic search traffic using SEO is a slower alternative to generating traffic, but it’s a much more trusted source. Think about when you do a Google search, would you click on a paid ad or click on a search result that comes up on page one?
That answer will determine which route your organisation takes when engaging Google for your online advertising.
Bing is a good alternative to Google when it comes to online advertising, it offers paid adverts with PPC but it also functions as a search engine providing organic search options. It’s got a large portion of the search engine market as it’s not as large as Google, however its market share is rising.
Bing has its pluses and minuses. There’s not as much competition when it comes to PPC because it’s not as flooded, but this means there’s less exposure. Bing ads aren’t as expensive as Google ads when it comes to cost per click, so that may be a draw card for your business.
The organic searches work similarly to that of Google so once again you need to determine what your end goal is.
Either way, Bing is growing in popularity so it shouldn’t be overlooked as an online advertising platform.
2. Social Media
Facebook is no doubt a heavy weight when it comes to online advertising. Facebook paid ads are extremely popular for all types of businesses. Fact: 2.23 billion people log in to the platform every month.
Facebook has all the bells and whistles when it comes to analytics so you can easily target your audience using their features, as well as track your progress.
The downside is that only 35% of Facebook’s ad audience is under 25. If you’re target audience is below 25 years of age, then your ad will not be reaching the right people. You may need to look at an alternative online advertising medium if your audience doesn’t sit within this bracket.
Instagram is one of the leading platforms for business advertising; it now has 1 billion monthly active users. If that isn’t a pro then I don’t know what is. Advertising on Instagram opens up opportunities that so many businesses wouldn’t have access to. Over 60% of users log in daily, making it the second most engaged network after Facebook and 35% of US internet users are now on Instagram.
This opens your business up to a huge portion of the population. Advertising on Instagram allows your business to target your audience by location, demographics, interests, behaviour and much more. Instagram will also help you create an audience through their automated features.
They have an array of advertising options from stories to video and carousel ads; the advertising options are endless on Instagram.
But the crux of it is that Instagram is a visually focused platform, you need to have visually appealing content to successfully advertise on Instagram.
The downside is that 90 percent of Instagram users are younger than 35. So, if your audience is aged above 35 then this platform may not be suitable as an online advertising platform for your business.
YouTube has become a major player when it comes to reaching audiences. Whether you pay for a YouTube advertising video or you’re just creating video content, YouTube is a great way to engage with global audiences.
A great way to build a following on YouTube is to create useful video tutorials. If you’re focusing on adding value rather than generating profit then you’ll build an audience quickly.
Online advertising isn’t all about selling, it’s about building your brand and getting it out there to an audience. The more people that know about your brand, the more visibility you have to potential customers.
YouTube is a great way to teach people just about anything in an easy-to-understand format. You can screen-share to teach a digital skill, or capture something in the real world.
You may be thinking that it sounds like an easy way to engage with an audience but you’ll need to stand out from the crowd. In 2015, 400 hours of content are uploaded to YouTube every minute.
You’ll have to create video content which takes time in itself. But you’ll need to ensure that it’s good quality. Whatever your online advertising medium, you need to ensure that your brand image is maintained. Quality video content that adds value will attract attention.
3. Have Unique Advertising Copy
Nothing says I value my customers more than individually created copy and content. Gone are the days of blanket advertising. These days consumers are savvy and educated. The internet allows consumers to research any product or service in just one click. They’re no longer persuaded by generic content.
Just like any other advertising medium out there, your online advertising content needs to be uniquely created for your audience. Your customer needs to feel special. You need to invest in creating unique content that is visually appealing and interesting, and specifically targeted to your audience.
Only with the right content and copy will you attract the right audience.
People are bombarded with messages all day, in the real world and online. If you’re complacent when it comes to copy, there’s a big chance that your online advertising will go unnoticed. So why spend any time and effort on copy if it’s not going to do the job?
Know your audience
If you haven’t gotten to know your audience then this is a good time to start. Like any other form of advertising, you need to understand your audience in order to effectively communicate with them.
Get to know the people that are buying your products or services, as well as the people who will potentially buy your product or service. The more you know about them, and their habits, the better tailored your advertising message will be.
Target them specifically
The joy of online advertising is the ease at which you can select your audience. All of the social media platforms allow you to effortlessly target specific groups, which makes your life that much easier.
4. Have a customised landing page
Online advertising is fantastic but it needs to be supported. Your online adverts need to be supported with a message customised landing page.
If you are successful with getting your audience to click through, you’ll fail at the next step if the page that they reach is not message specific.
How to advertise your business correctly online is multifaceted. Let’s say you place a Facebook advert that is hugely appealing and is encouraging your audience to click through to your website. But they get to a page that isn’t directly related to your advert. Do you think they would be frustrated and confused? Yes, they would be. And they’ll leave your website in a jiffy.
However, if your online advert clicks through to a landing page that is message specific and gives them the exact answer that they’re looking for, then you’re guaranteed to have won them over.
5. Make adjustments as you go
The benefit of online advertising and all of the social media platforms out there is the ease of making adjustments as you go. You may have already created your social media marketing plan, but you should understand at the start that it’s not set in stone. Online advertising allows you to make adjustments as you go, if what you’re communicating now isn’t working.
All of the analytics on Instagram, Facebook etc. provide detailed insights into how your online adverts are performing in real time. The joy of online advertising is that it is instant. If an online advert didn’t work, you can immediately adjust it. You can test different messages and easily gauge the results.
The platforms will tell you how to advertise your business online. They can create target audiences automatically and do all sorts of things to help you advertise your business online. Utilise all of these features to maximise your advertising capability.
The analytics that these platforms offer is constantly evolving, providing online advertisers with more and more insights.
Don’t be afraid to try something new if what you’re doing now isn’t having an impact. Businesses need to be adaptable in our fast paced world, and online advertising is no exception.
Putting the work into planning is fantastic, but if you’re not constantly monitoring the performance of your online advertising and making the necessary adjustments as you go, then all of that work upfront will have been a vein.
Having a plan B, or ensuring that you have the resources to make adjustments to your strategy is key to marketing effectively online.
If your business isn’t flexible and adaptable then online advertising may not be the right fit for your organisation.
Knowing how to advertise your business online is key to operational success. It’s one thing to advertise online, but it’s another thing to advertise online successfully. You need to take online advertising seriously, if it’s not done correctly then it could tarnish your company’s brand.
If you put sloppy advertising out there, it’ll give your business a sloppy image.