Business, Online Marketing Get the best out of your Online Advertising

SMBs all over the world are trying to maximize their Online Advertising benefits, while at the same time keeping their budget as low as possible. That is for sure a hard play, considering the various media that we have to choose from and the fact that everyone claims to be the most effective one.

Throughout this post, i will try to describe as simple as i can, the advertising mix and the critical elements that can achieve maximum results for an SMB, taking under consideration two parameters. A local market targeting and a limited advertising budget.

Four major online advertising media categories can cover almost 95% of the internet advertising need of SMBs.

Search Marketing: Google, Bing, Yahoo, stand for an amazing market share especially for small countries and local search. Search marketing is quite simple to understand by SMBs as it is keyword based and targets searches that are almost ready to convert in to customers. It is the need for a product or service that drives the whole search process. This conversion on the other hand means a steadily increasing CPC that might explode SMB’s advertising budget in the near future.

Display Advertising: Google Display Network, AOL, etc. are working hard to drive display advertising to a new era, especially after the contextual targeting came to life. It is now easier than ever before to target your audience and drive better conversions. But display advertising is still not closely tied with the need a user has when searching. Targeting local websites remains a great option that has to be utilized by SMBs when designing their local advertising campaign.

Social Media Advertising: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, are seeking for their portion in the Internet advertising pie, by offering an advertising product based on user profiles. SMBs must have a very clear understanding of their customers profile, in order to take advantage of social media advertising. It is important to always remember that ‘Social’ must be seriously taken under consideration before setting advertising goals.

Local Directories: Yellow Pages, vertical directories, seem to recover from their book-to-internet transition and serving in an efficient way the advertising needs of local markets. SMBs can not ignore this advertising channel which usually works as a screening funnel between search engines and advertisers, by excluding the not-ready-to-buy users.

I have seen many SMBs in the past going from one media to another trying to find which one gives better results and comparing entirely different metrics. How about starting by setting clear advertising goals? What is the most important metric for your company? Clicks, Conversions, Impressions, Downloads or Likes? Or maybe all of the above? Is it getting complicated? Yes it sure does!!

Don’t freak out. Start by setting a realistic goal and a feasible budget. Make sure you have a realistic way to measure your advertising conversions. Even if you have to ask each one of your prospect clients how they found you, believe me it pays out. Set a time frame to evaluate your results i.e. 3 months. Split your budget to all media and make sure you target each one by using the targeting capabilities it best performs. Compare your actual sales with the actual spending per media. That is your real cost for every client you acquire (CPA). Reallocate budget according to findings and continue. Do not entirely exclude media from your budget since you never know how users will react in the future.

Don’t have the time and expertise to follow such a strategy? Find a qualified agency that understands your needs and goals and work closely with them. Remember that your contribution will always be vital since no one knows better than you do your customers needs and wants.

If you are willing to acquire potential customers from the Internet, online advertising is your way. Set goals and budget, target your audience, make clear messages and measure results. This is what will make the best out of your Online Advertising.

Kostas Pantis

Digital Marketing Strategist
Pulse Media Director

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