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    16 Replies Latest reply on Feb 17, 2013 1:13 PM by Moderator Berta

    Have you tried using online advertising?

    LeslieVZ Adventurer

      I work for a small startup that does online display advertising for small businesses.  That means, we make banner ads and run them in geographically-restricted areas online. As marketing manager, I am always considering how does the average business owner approach online advertising. So I put this question to the group - have you tried using online advertising? If so, what forms have you used, and what worked well or did not work for you?

        • Re: Have you tried using online advertising?
          Moderator Berta Guide

          Hi Leslie,

           

          Great questions! I can't wait to see how our members respond.

           

          ~Berta

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • Re: Have you tried using online advertising?
            homegrownpromos Wayfarer

            Leslie,

             

            To me, the answer is.. It depends on what you do. My business is mainly online with local focus. So, I advertise using Google Adwords when I can in specific metro areas. I tend to stay away from display ads because they are largely ignored. PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising is more effective because you can target your keywords and/or geographic location and bring a much better customer to your website.

             

            Other sites to look to for advertising, depending on your clientele is Facebook, LinkedIn, Bing/Yahoo and Twitter. All these sites have similar advertising options but with more ability to find that perfect customer to bring to your site. Facebook, for example has options where you can advertise only to users who classify themselves as business owners, or who are interested in rock music, whatever your company offers.

             

            Also, a big mistake that lots of companies do is to forget to keep up with their SEO (Search Engine Optimization). The best form of advertising is the free ads you get through good link rankings on Google, Bing and Yahoo. These customers type in the keywords that are directly associated with your business and if your company comes up near the top, it's a free targeted lead for the business.

             

            Jim

            www.homegrownpromos.com

              • Re: Have you tried using online advertising?
                LeslieVZ Adventurer

                Hi Jim,

                You make some excellent points here.  Definitely, whether online advertising works depends on the type of business.  Just like there are different flavors of ice cream, different ad channels accomplish different things.  My view of display ads versus search ads is that these are sort of like the difference between an ad in the newspaper and a premium listing in the yellow pages. One catches people while they are doing something else, probably earlier in their buying decision process, while the other is there to catch people while they are actively looking for your solution.  If you are getting plenty of business from search, you might not need display.  But running display ads is shown to boost the number of people who search for your company by name, so it can be a great way to go when the search ads aren't enough anymore.

                Thanks for your response!

                Leslie

                Vantage Local

              • Re: Have you tried using online advertising?
                koln123 Tracker

                We have used paid advertising on some search engines in the past such as adwords and some other similar ways.   The results have been mixed.  As in many forms of advertising, much of the responses will not bear fruit  due to needs and services mismatch, the customer may really be window shopping, and other reasons.   The bill can run up in a hurry for paid advertising.   If some decent customers are not obtained fairly quickly, it may not be cost effective.  Other forms of advertising need to be included, including referrals, going back to old customers, really good follow up, cross sales.   This will take weight and expense off the costly paid advertising.

                 

                Many companies that offer online advertising for small businesses such as banner ads should consider telling the client that they offer customer contact services after the initial contact by the customer (from the ad itself).   The client gives the marketing company a list of the leads or better leads and the marketing company can help some smaller businesses keep these leads warm and restart cold leads.  There is a market for this.  It can be commission or partially commissioned based.   There are companies out there now will make appointments for a charge.   Why not make appointments or get accounts for your existing customers. 

                This ties in to the original question of what works well in online advertising.   Services such as these may help your customer's paid advertising work better for them.   SBLD

                  • Re: Have you tried using online advertising?
                    LeslieVZ Adventurer

                    Very interesting point you make about keeping leads warm and restarting cold leads. There are service providers that can help relieve the burden of just about any step in the sales funnel, from attracting attention, generating leads, to nurturing them through to converting into clients. There are even services that will handle customer service and loyalty programs.  So really, the whole chain could potentially be outsourced!

                    Personally, I feel that it is important to gain firsthand knowledge of what prospects are saying at the point of trying to close the sale.  But these are issues that go directly to how scalable the business is. 

                     

                    Would be interesting to hear who else has used marketing automation services and what their experience has been. Maybe a new thread?

                  • Re: Have you tried using online advertising?
                    Yovonne Kenny Adventurer

                    All forms of online marketing "works" if done properly.  I think sometimes the definition of "works" is what is not clearly defined or communicated because sales people are so excited to make a sale and are afraid to set realistic expectations. However, if expectations are set properly most business owners are very smart and will invest but it will take you longer to "sell" them.   PPC, Display, and a solid social media strategy with good content will drive high quality traffic to a website if set up right.  It is the websites job to convert the traffic and the responsibility of the business to handle the leads properly.  Marketing is a shared responsibility between the business and the form of marketing.  Most of the time all the responsibility is placed on the form of marketing. 

                     

                    Example:  If you are running a keyword PPC campaign that drives 1000 visitors to your website for very specific keywords that are highly relevant to what you do, your text ad speaks specifically to what your value proposition is and the click occurs....the PPC did its job.   From there the click turns into a visitor on your website that swings and misses because the site does not meet the expectation of the visitor then the website swang and missed.

                     

                    Or the website does its job and a potential customer reaches out by calling, emailing or submitting a form and the business did not answer, answered poorly or handled the lead poorly.

                     

                    I pose a question...what did not "work"?.

                     

                    The business paid for a click and probably after 30 days or so paid for quite a bit of them and the perception is that the form of marketing did not work when in fact the website or the handling of the lead is what really did not work failed!   There is always shared responsibilities in every marketing campaign.

                     

                    Especially with Display marketing....generally it does not generate a lot phone calls, email, or form submittals within a reporting dashboard of the the marketing because the conversion happens sometime down the road not immediately.   The lead later comes into the site as a direct entry and the form of marketing never gets the credit.  Display should be bought to create brand awareness an online billboard if you will!  Site retargeting a form of Display marketing should be used to follow past visitors to your website that came in through PPC or SEO.  You have already paid on average a couple dollars to get them there...why would you not pay a fraction of a penny to keep showing those visitors an ad over and over again?

                     

                    Feel Free to reach out to learn more!

                    1 of 1 people found this helpful
                      • Re: Have you tried using online advertising?
                        LeslieVZ Adventurer

                        Hi Yovonne,

                         

                        Thank you very much for stating this so well!  Determining whether something is successful can be hard with advertising, even national brands struggle with this.  There are tools now that can highlight how many of your visitors to your site were exposed to display ads, even if they did not click on the ad. In addition, there are low-tech ways to test your marketing channels, such as having separate phone numbers or making unique promotional offers in different channels or even giving out a code word to receive a special discount.

                         

                        Leslie

                         

                        PS - yes- retargeting is so effective, it should be a must for anyone trying to capture new business with a website!  I had a blog post just last week discussing how this works, check it out to learn more.

                      • Re: Have you tried using online advertising?
                        Jim Peters Tracker

                        Hi, I havent trued online advertising, but I consider online banner ads to be very effective. These ads catch the mind and get well registered. You can click them and directly go on the site. Also a lot of people are online most of the times through their phones or PC. So online advertising is the best thing in todays date.

                        • Re: Have you tried using online advertising?
                          jayjay Wayfarer

                          I've used paid Facebook advertising and it's actually had a moderate level of success. Initially I just tried it out and applied a very small limit to the total ad campaign expenditure; had I invested more, I think I'd have achieved more success than my small business could have handled at the time!

                           

                          At the moment I haven't tried any other type of online advertising as people tend to find me via my site, so I don't have to reach out for work very often. If anything, there's too much! I don't really want to expand the business at the moment, so I'm staying put.

                          • Re: Have you tried using online advertising?
                            Guide

                            Hi Leslie,

                             

                            In this day and age one can not afford to NOT advertise on-line. The competition is very hard especially in this economy. Many companies get a head by advertising on-line.

                             

                            We have used every form of advertisement available and have found that the least expensive and least time consuming is on-line advertising. We have literally placed an ad on-line and have gotten new clients with in minutes of posting. I don't think you can get such quick and immediate results with any other form.

                             

                            Melinda

                            • Re: Have you tried using online advertising?
                              Moderator Berta Guide

                              What a great thread and lots of great and interesting information. Thanks to all of you for posting your advice and experiences. Please keep them coming.

                               

                              ~Berta

                              • Re: Have you tried using online advertising?
                                ClaimJustice Wayfarer

                                Hello,

                                 

                                I have tried several things in the past... some work and some are just a waste of money. Getting business from Google has been the best thing for us (the natural listings) not adwords.

                                 

                                Advertising banners on websites with good traffic has also work nicely.

                                Lastly free classified ads has work out good for us to:

                                craigslist I guess will be good for you because I think your in the US...but for me it has been freeads

                                 

                                Hope this helps.

                                Let me know if you need more info