THAT is the question (which we intend to answer in the next few hundred words). If you are trying to decide whether web advertising is right for your company or not, the good news is that the decision doesn’t need to involve a lot of guess work. If you know where to look and you know what you’re looking for there is a lot of research you can carry out that should help you discover what your market are looking for, where they are looking and what you can say to them to maximize uptake. The even better news is that lots of web advertising is available on a cost per click (CPC) basis, so you can often dip your toe in the waters of online advertising even if you’re on a relatively low budget.
This is the web – Google can practically monitor how many breaths you took last time you were online – there is a wealth of information that you can unearth if you do a bit of digging.
Use social media monitoring tools – run a search on that term if you don’t know what they are – learn about the tools (there are various free ones) and use them to search for your brand, the names of your competitors and any other relevant key words. Find out what domains come up.
If you don’t have a web analytics tool installed on your site then you should have. Analysis of your website will provide you with invaluable information about who is visiting your site and what pages they are looking at when they arrive. Importantly it will also show you where they came from. Knowing which sites are already referring visitors to you might help you decide where to advertise, it might help you find out what’s working for you at the moment and it will definitely help you, once you have begun a few campaigns, to monitor any changes.
Google AdWords and Facebook are great places to start your web advertising journey; with no minimum spend and low minimum spend respectively, they need not cost the earth. They are also easy to tailor, so you can put your research to good use and target the demographic or the keyword searches that will work best for you. To really keep spend to a minimum research thoroughly and target as accurately as possible.
Monitor, Adjust, Repeat
The real beauty of online advertising is the ability to monitor it consistently from day one, keep a close eye on exactly what’s working and change your tactics accordingly. If you are willing to dedicate a bit of time to this, there is no need to spend money that isn’t working hard for you.
To be truly thorough, track each lead right through to the sale – there is no point getting excited about the number of clicks you receive from your AdWords campaign if they are not turning into extra revenue!
So – to advertise online or not to advertise online? We say ‘all systems go’!