There are quite a few ways to use online marketing to advertise your business, but that doesn’t mean that you should. Start by developing a strategy that answers why before you determine the how. Below we include many of the different ways to advertise online and some special offers from our partners.
Types Of Online Advertising
Search Engine Marketing: Picking and choosing when to display ads for your product or service based on potential customers’ search keywords has turned the advertising world on it’s head. Never before have you been able to target just those who are in the market for what you sell. Even better, this advertising model only charges you when someone clicks your ad, so the more targeted you make your marketing message, the better. Work with a search engine marketing specialist or PPC company to implement you campaigns based on your budget
We have a free $50 ad credit from Bing Ads to get started with search engine marketing! No strings attached. 🙂
Content Marketing or Inbound Marketing: Often referred to as inbound marketing, content marketing is especially powerful because it allows you to solve problems for your customers, solidifying your expertise, and maintaining as their company of choice. Similar to SEO, content marketing attracts users to your content
Display Ads: Display ads are featured in various ad sizes throughout website and utilize many of the targeting options mentioned in this list. Display ads can be static images, flash, video and expandable.
Group Buying: Sites like LivingSocial and Groupon have become extremely popular, literally guaranteeing customers for businesses. However, these “deal sites” come with a price and often result in very few long-term customers. These can work for certain businesses, but do your research and tread with caution here.
Discounting: Very popular among online retailers, discounting products with specialized short-term coupon codes can provide an incentive to purchase your product over a competitor.
Press Releases: When you have news to share it can be hard to get the news out quickly. That’s where a press release comes in and they can be very effective in getting the media’s attention to write about your business. We suggest only using press releases when something significant happens and then maximizing your contacts to get additional coverage.
SMS Marketing: Mobile is becoming a bigger market for targeted advertising as phones and tablets with iOS and Android mobile operation systems become more popular. You should start collecting your customers mobile phone numbers and permission to send them announcements now, even if you don’t have a strategy in place.
Organic Social: Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter have opened the door for the rise of the virtual “Word-of-Mouth” referral, which is a large factor in many consumer buying decisions. Companies should be building a social media strategy that involves use of networks (large and small) that make sense for their industry.
Paid Social – Almost every social media site now allows for promoted posts, including Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, StumbleUpon, and more. Leveraging promoted posts to gain new followers and customers is a smart strategy.
Affiliate Marketing: Affiliate marketing can be a great way to make sales, as it effectively is the outsourcing of a sales staff to users who are selling your product for a small commission per sale.
Online Videos: Video is a great way to make your product or service even more real to those who are visiting your website. Customer testimonials, product overviews, and demos all work nicely and properly titled videos can drive SEO based traffic.
Local Listings: These are free and are a must for local businesses. I’m talking about Google Places for Business, Yahoo! Local, Yelp for Business, and more. And, more than likely, your business already has a listing that just needs to be claimed. Most of this type of content was provided by larger Yellow Pages like companies like InfoUSA that have been collecting this information for years. Make sure your listings are claimed, up to date, and have as much keyword rich and relevant information as possible.
Online Ad Targeting Methods
Geotargeting: Sell a generally needed product to a specific area? You might be successful utilizing geotargeted advertising which can be targeted down to the country, state, city or zip code of the user. Geo-targeting your advertising to a specific area can typically be achieved on any online advertising platform.
Contextual: By placing you ads next to content that contains the same keywords and concepts, you are likely to find more customers who are more receptive to your marketing message. Contextual advertising involves using
Behavioral Targeting: By leveraging anonymous data, many advertising platforms allow you to target internet users who may be interested in your product based on the similarities to your existing customers.
You have been sending out semi-frequent emails to your customers in the form of monthly newsletters, product release announcements, or annual holiday-type greetings. You’re doing better than most of your competitors with email marketing and sometimes your customers even tell you that they saw something in one of your emails that leads to a sale. However, you’re still perplexed why some companies are fanatic about the power of email for their business. What is different about your emails and theirs?
How To Segment Your Audience
Segment your customer email list by product, niche, or audience
To be successful, email marketing should be personal and attempt to identify the exact needs of the user. “How would I know exactly what my customer wants?” you ask. This can be done by segmenting your email marketing lists by buying patterns, online shopping behavior, and simply by asking your customer what they want to be informed about at the initial opt-in point.
Instead of simply having an email list, have an email list with multiple subsets that are segmented by products lines that they’ve bought or expressed interest in. A study by eMarketer shows that email segmenting can increase open rates, make emails more relevant, and improve revenue. It can take a little bit more work to deploy a few additional newsletters, but when your emails are more targeted to the needs of your customer, it will improve your business.
A few possible segmentation methods:
- Existing vs. potential customers
- Product lines purchased
- Average purchase price (high-end vs. low-end customer)
- Engaged customers (those opening your emails vs. those who aren’t)
- Geography (East Coast vs. West Coast, by city, by country, etc)
Other Online Marketing Tips
Make your emails easy to read and the CTA (or the next step) as clear as day
You’ve heard of the K.I.S.S. principle and it applies here too. Emails shouldn’t be overly long or too complicated to skim and should utilize many of the landing page design tips we’ve already discussed. Make sure your email clearly shows what the reader should do next.
Automate your email marketing with drip marketing
Let’s say you have a bunch of great content on your website and you want to make sure your new business prospects know about your expertise. You should create an automated email series that sends a fixed series of emails that includes or links to this content. The series of emails can include 3, 5, or 15 emails and time between send dates can vary. This type of email