Every business across every industry has always advertised. From primetime TV campaigns to sign-written vans advertising has always been undertaken to further the awareness of a brand, product or service. Over the last 10 years the digital age has led to online advertising exploding. Your business needs to compete.
It is quite clear that we now spend a lot more time online that at any point before. For most people the first and last action of the day is to roll over in bed and check their email, news or Facebook on their smartphone. With our attention shifting online and so much of our time being spent working and playing on the internet it is obvious that advertisers have shifted their focus too. Ignoring online advertising is foolish; firstly your target customers are online right now, secondly it is relatively cheap for you to be advertising to them right now, thirdly your competitors are advertising to your audience right now!
Let’s take a simplified look at the evolution of advertising to show just how cost effective and successful online advertising can be. In the old days people advertised via posters in the town and one particular advertiser knew that for every 100 people walking past just 1 might be in his target market. It might take a week of people walking past for him to actually make a sale as a result of the poster. This wasn’t a huge issue since posters are cheap to print therefore the hit rate, whilst extremely low was balanced by a very low cost and thus a very high return on investment (ROI).
A few years later and that same company decided to get an advert printed in a national magazine. The cost was far more expensive, however, with so many publications available he could target his advert better ensuring that his hit rate improved. He knew roughly what sort of person would buy his products and therefore picking a magazine which those same people read meant a higher percentage of people would likely be interested. Hit rate was much improved, however, the number of eyes seeing his brand went down because fewer people read the magazine each month than walked through the town. ROI went up a little way because although the advert was far more costly it gained a better response leading to more sales.
Fast-forward to today and that same business is now advertising online. Millions of websites with billions of users upon which the advertiser can now place his advert, however, with each click costing a few pence if he is not careful he could be bankrupt by lunchtime! However, with most websites collecting data on their typical user the advertiser can target much more precisely and if the advertiser were to choose Facebook the targeting is extremely precise.
He can choose to show his advert to some people and hide it from others. He can choose to show it on a Wednesday morning to people of a certain age, living in a certain location. He can select to show his advert to people who match a specific buyer profile, (Clothing, Food & Drink, Health & Beauty etc) and within each category he can drill down further into types of behaviour to target, for example, DIYers, Fashionistas, Foodies, etc.
Certain types of businesses may benefit from targeting people experiencing certain major life events. Home moving services want to advertise to you if you’ve just purchased a new house or apartment. Wedding photographers want to target people who are engaged. Facebook has pretty much every conceivable life event targeting option, since users tend to post these to their timeline. You can choose to target people at specific intervals of time after the change. For example, a jewellery company could target people celebrating their one-year anniversary by targeting audience members who got married one year before. The really powerful thing about Facebook Ads in particular is in the advertiser’s ability to layer targeting options on top of one another, gradually making the audience more and more specific. A small local events business specialising in kids’ parties could create a promotion giving a discount on all 5 year olds birthday parties. The advert could target mothers of five year old children who live within a 10 mile radius of the business; all of the component pieces of information have already been shared by the mother with Facebook.
Of course online advertising is not just taking place on Facebook, in fact most internet based activities start off on a search engine, usually Google. With every search for a topic the user is provided with a list of websites that match their request. Some of these listings (always at the top of the page) will be for websites that are paying to appear at the top of the list. The remaining listings lower down the page and on subsequent pages are not paying to be there but are deemed to be most relevant. In either case, the fact that the website appears in front of the user is a result of online advertising, either Pay Per Click (PPC) or via Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Hundreds of millions of people are using Google everyday to find something online and by targeting search phrases your website can appear in front of them. The use of PPC advertising and SEO services to ensure an appearance in search results should feature in every advertiser’s toolkit since it such a common way for a customer to begin their journey online.
Online advertising also includes the proactive reach out to target consumers via email. It is worth pointing out that there is a clear distinction between well designed, visually attractive emails with great content that are sent to recipients who have signed up to receive them and SPAM. We only deal in the former! Designing and sending emails to specific targets at specific times and with specific content is the key to successful email advertising.
We can assist you in numerous ways from building a Facebook Ads campaign to LinkedIn advertising. We can help you climb higher up the search results pages by building an SEO campaign around your site. If you want to tap into an instant source of sales then PPC advertising is likely to be your best bet and we can help with the setup and management. Our designers are also on hand to create beautiful email marketing campaigns and send them to your target market whilst our analytics specialists can tell you who responded, how they acted and what sales came as a result. You tell us how you want to advertise online by creating a completely bespoke project yourself. You have complete control over the campaigns and cost and you can start building your project online and be live within just 3 hours!