IDC (yet another IT research firm) released its newest study that shows online advertising is growing, In fact, “IDC finds overall Internet advertising revenue will double from $25.5 billion in 2007 to $51.1 billion in 2012. The Internet will go from the number 5 medium all the way to the number 2 medium in just 5 years, making it bigger than newspapers, bigger than cable TV, bigger even than broadcast TV, and second only to direct marketing.”
A few weeks ago, I received direct mail pieces from Yahoo and MSN to advertise online – I’m sure thousands of other businesses are being sent similar mailings. At a very local level, Google supports the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce. Online advertising is exploding because it’s low cost, easy to do (just go online with minimal complexity) and quite measurable. You can tell success almost instantly and adjust your campaign accordingly.
There’s two types of online advertising you can do: to current customers or new customers.
To save yourself headache, if you are not collecting email address and building customer profiles start. If you are doing so already, have an expert evaluate it. Advertising to reach and sell to new customers is important, but it’s always easier to reach existing customers than finding new customers.
In regards to reaching new customers online here’s a few things you can do:
- Assign someone in your company to study online advertising in depth – go to conferences and read, read, read
- Test – one of the benefits of online advertising is you can place an advertisement for very little and refine the advertisement or offer until you get it right
- Make sure you can measure, with detail, every element of your campaign
- Yahoo, Google and MSN provide extensive help with online advertising
- Landing pages are so important. I’ve seen advertising that is displayed as a result of me looking for a particular watch. The resulting link takes me to a generic page on watches and I have to further dig to find what I wanted to buy. Make it EASY for customers and bring them right to the product they are looking for