Online Advertising – Where to Start?

Online Advertising

For many businesses the obvious starting point for online advertising is Google Adwords. Google accounts for around 90% of search engine queries in Australia and many people are familiar with how ads appear on Google – at the very top and down the right hand side of search results pages or ad blocks on content related sites.

But Google is just the vehicle for disseminating your advertising. Before deciding on how to advertise the first step needs to be working out what to advertise. Are you going to advertise your brand and build awareness in the marketplace of what you do? Do you want to directly make a sale from placing an ad? Do you need to focus on pre-selling first before a potential customer is likely to order?

Working out the answers to these questions will give your advertising greater clarity, greater chance of success and make it easier to structure your campaigns and backend processes.

If, for example, you need to pre-sell customers first then you will need to work out how you’ll do that.

Perhaps that is best done by offering a free report, creating an e-course on a related area, offering a discount on a future purchase or providing more information on how your product or service can be used or has been used by satisfied customers. If you’re going to offer customers free information then you’ll need to have a way to deliver that information (email? post it? download?) and prepare the material and supporting information.

Once you’ve determined what your advertising approach is going to be, it’s then time to work out how best to reach your target customers. Do you know who your ideal customers are? Do you know where they hang out? Are they looking for what you offer? Or will you need to approach them when they are looking for a related product or service?

If potential customers are looking for what you offer (the Google keyword tool is a rough guide to determine the kind of search volume you can expect) then setting up an Adwords campaign is a good way to test your approach and strategy, it’s simple to get started and you can get traffic flowing to your site quickly.

However, Google only accounts for 30% of total internet traffic and may not be the ideal choice for your business.

If you know that your ideal customer is aged 25-35, male and likes music then you maybe better with demographic targeted advertising through a platform like Facebook. Or perhaps your target market is into food and eating out. If so then it may be best to look at advertising directly on food related sites.

Online advertising is a varied landscape that can provide excellent returns but don’t just waltz in with your guns blazing, take the time to figure out the what and how first.