Every company knows that they need to devote some of their advertising resources to Internet marketing and advertising. The question is not whether you need to be utilizing online advertising; it’s how.
The fact is that you can spend a lot of money on Internet advertising techniques that produce little to nothing in the way of results. Moreover, what works for one business won’t necessarily work for another business.
So If you’re going to make effective use of your advertising dollars, you need to properly define your Internet advertising priorities. Those priorities need to examine several factors listed below.
How to Define Your Internet Marketing Advertising Priorities
What do you want to accomplish?
Internet advertising usually falls into one of three categories:
- Actual sales. You might want to drive Internet users to a website where they can make an actual purchase.
- Lead generation. You might be simply gathering leads for your sales team at this point.
- Brand awareness. Some Internet advertising serves simply to put your business’ name in front of those potential movers and shakers in your industry.
The purpose of a given Internet marketing and advertising campaign will, to a large degree; determine the methods you use to make it happen.
For example, if you’re interested in making direct sales or gathering leads, you might consider a Google AdWords campaign. These campaigns drive traffic directly to your landing page, where you can then work to bring about a specific response.
If you’re more interested in brand awareness, a social media marketing campaign might be more appropriate. You can connect with customers, provide new product information, and promote your brand without expecting a specific and narrow response.
What’s your primary Internet presence?
Some businesses today are treating Facebook as their primary Internet presence, for example. Some companies whose websites are fairly static and don’t need to be updated on any kind of regular basis will instead engage customers and potential customers via social media.
On the other hand, your existing website might be the primary hub for information about your company and interaction with your company on the Internet. If so, your marketing efforts will be more about gathering customers and potential customers and the funneling them into your website.
How will your customers prefer to interact with you?
This one can be a little more difficult to identify, but in the end; it can mean a huge payoff for your Internet advertising campaigns. For example, if your company primarily serves other businesses, a Facebook advertising campaign might not be terribly effective. You might consider developing a strong LinkedIn profile and advertising strategy, instead. If you’re trying to reach out to consumers in the over-40 demographic, social media might not be right for you at all. You’ll probably want to look more into ranking high in search engine results, or using Google search advertising.
Understanding your target demographic and identifying their Internet use patters insures that you can more effectively get your message in front of those users, and increases the likelihood that they’ll respond.
What’s your other marketing efforts
Internet advertising doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Effective Internet advertising is driven by, and complements, your overall marketing strategy. For example, if your marketing efforts are designed to bring customers into a retail site, you’ll have a very different approach to your Internet marketing efforts than if you’re trying to get customers to visit your website. In the latter case, for example, your print media campaigns will prominently feature your website, and encourage readers to visit it. In the former case, your Internet presence will be geared toward encouraging customers to visit the physical location. Your Internet advertising should happen in concert with your other advertising efforts, not work against them.
What resources are at your disposal?
If you have the ability to bring an SEO expert on staff, your Internet advertising priorities are going to be a lot different than if you just have one PR person working 10 hours a week on Internet advertising. The same holds true for your Internet advertising budget; if you have little in the way of money to spend on Internet advertising, you need to find inexpensive media and methods to use.
Internet advertising can be a tremendous boon to your business, if done correctly. The days of the Yellow Pages are long gone, and tomorrow’s business leaders are those that can master their online presence. When you set out to define your Internet advertising priorities, start with these five areas and work outward from there; and I will see you at the top.
Dominick Frasso is SEO/SEM Specialist at Vistage International, a membership organization that helps CEOs build successful companies through business coaching groups, executive coaching and executive development opportunities.