Gone are the good old days when advertising dollars were a roll of the dice. In today’s virtual world, advertising dollars are a business development investment and – the best news – every dollar is quantifiable. With the advent of PPC (pay-per-click), SEO (search engine optimization) and SMM (social media marketing), advertising is no longer a loss. If managed right, you can hit the jackpot every time by targeting your customers and reeling-in direct sales.
Advertising is an investment not an expense
For decades, businesses have spent thousands of dollars to advertise on radio, television, billboards and print. Even in our modern world, there is no certain and measurable way to track the success of traditional ad campaigns. It’s for this reason traditional advertising is an expense instead of an investment.
It’s the right time to rethink the way you get the word out about your business and reach customers. Newspaper readership is steadily diving, air-time on television and radio has become outrageously expensive, and ad dollars can’t be stretched the way they used to be. Why not get rid of the “expense” of advertising and take what budget you have and “invest” in online marketing that works for you?
The advertising paradigm has drastically shifted due to online marketing. As a business owner, you’re in the driver’s seat. Why is online marketing an investment rather than an expense? It has a fully measurable ROI (return on investment), unlike traditional advertising.
With the help of Google Analytics that tracks online activity and sales, businesses are now able to monitor exactly which campaigns were successful, how many customers they’ve reached, and how many sales were generated – at the click of a button.
Online marketing – how it works
Peddling door-to-door is the oldest form of selling a service or product away from a fixed retail location. A strategic salesman plays to the needs and emotions of the buyer. If the product or service is desirable to a potential buyer, it’s hard to resist, and a sale is made. This is how online marketing works – and why it’s so successful. It targets the needs (and emotions) of people searching online for a specific good, service or interest, and it beckons them to click their way to making a purchase. It’s a win-win situation for the business and the consumer.
Online marketing currently has three profitable ways to invest your marketing budget:
1. PPC (pay-per-click): PPC is an internet marketing method where online advertisers pay Internet Publishers an agreed upon PPC rate when an ad is clicked on by a potential customer, regardless if a sale is made or not. In search engine advertising (such as Google AdWords), the advertiser bids on keywords, so the PPC rate changes. On a website, the site publisher typically sets a fixed rate of pay-per-click.
2. SEO (search engine optimization): Every website wants to be ranked (placed high on the list) of the search engine results of Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask and more. Internet surfers do not enjoy sifting through page after page of search engine results to find what they’re looking for – and business websites don’t want to be lost in the abyss of the web. The higher you’re ranked on a list, the better the chance of someone clicking the link to your website. Customized SEO strategy is a tactic used to enhance the accessibility of a website or page to a search engine, and improves the chances that the site will be found by the search engine.
3. SMM (social media marketing): Social media marketing is a way to utilize social networking websites to reach core customers. By producing trustworthy, valuable content that comes across as “sharing” vs. “selling,” SMM can be the Holy Grail for marketers. When people choose to “like” or “follow” a business on a social media page (such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest), posts made to the page are then automatically fed to the newsfeeds of the fans of your page. When someone likes what you’ve posted, they often “share” the post with their friends, and an organic social effect takes place. If the posts include backlinks to your website, it drives traffic to your site, and so on.
Online marketing is a complex marketing realm that requires a lot of skill and experience to navigate. In order to compete online, businesses need a web strategy that perfectly fits the goals of your business and the needs of your customers. More importantly, you need a way to measure the results of that internet marketing strategy, and have someone monitoring campaigns to move funds to the areas where you’re seeing the best results.
Already Set Up is the right hand of small business. We provide value-based professional web design and internet marketing services, and offer fully managed and measurable online visibility solutions. From integrated website and mobile design to PPC (pay-per-click) advertising, social media and video marketing, we can help your business gain the edge online it needs, and reach potential customers.