The world of advertising is a very difficult one to navigate, particularly because of the sporadic nature of the consumer. Today, the consumer may expect one thing, while a few years past, that same person thought or felt differently about that same thing. That’s actually why it’s hard to make any return on investment from an advertising campaign. Learning to use the tools of the trade requires a lot of experimenting, so you’re going to need a nice fat budget when you begin.
Advertising your business can get confusing really fast. If you don’t understand the online world and the basics of how consumer psychology applies to the Internet, using an ad platform can be compared to entering a foreign country where Swahili is the official language.
There are two types of online advertising: Social Media and Web. I’ll try to get into social media advertising, but my main focus here is web-based advertising (you know, the kinds of ads that appear on websites you visit). These two methods have the ultimate goal of driving traffic to your business and (hopefully) engaging a few people so you score a sale. There’s a lot of disagreement on what’s the best way to do this, but there are a few general black/white areas where people completely agree. Here are a few general rules you should follow when creating an ad that would appear on websites (some of this can also be applied to social media ads):
- Place your ads above the fold, if you can. Many advertising publishers allow you to select where your ads will be. “Above the fold” would be anywhere where visitors to a website would see your content without having to scroll down. These ads are naturally more expensive, but they’re very much worth it. Your ads will be in a high-visibility position and they’ll get the brunt of clicks.
- Change your ads as time passes to see how newer designs work out. One of the coolest things about advertising platforms is that they let you change your ads. This gives you the opportunity to make changes that could drive more traffic.
- Remember to tell visitors what exactly you want them to do. For example, saying “Download our free guide for advertising” is better than saying “We have a guide for advertising.” If you’re offering a product with a promotional discount, you can do something like this: say the product’s name (i.e. “Samsung Galaxy S4”), show the visitor a shiny picture of the product, show the original price of the product with a slash going through it (i.e. “
$699“), and then show them the promotional price, in a big, bold font (i.e. “$599“). After that, place a button on the bottom of the ad saying “Buy Now!” or something to that extent. That’s an example of a proper traffic-driving ad. If you want customers to remember your business, place its logo on the bottom or top of the ad.
- If you’ve got more ads running, make sure that your logo and call to action remains the same throughout all of these ads. Otherwise, you confuse visitors that spot more of your ads (especially during remarketing).
- If your ad promotes a particular product or service, remember to make the ad lead to the landing page for that particular item. By the way, ads promoting a product or service are more likely to succeed than those that promote your business as a whole.
While you’re pondering a new strategy based on what has been discussed here, there’s one final piece of advice: Engage in retargeting/remarketing as much as you can. It’s a very elegant way of branding. Show Internet users that you’re a serious company by plastering your ads wherever you can. If you want more details about remarketing, and three tools that will give you this edge, have a look here.
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