Leverage Online Advertising and Grow your Business
There is no question that many industry sectors manufacturers have been hit hard in the past few years. First hit by skyrocketing commodity driven prices by and consumer shift in preference, then by the crash of the global economy. All of these events have left those businesses that are still open for business stinging and closely watching the bottom line. So how do you continue to promote your business and maintain your tight advertising budget, in this challenging environment? These goals can be accomplished by tapping into the power of online advertising. Adding online advertising channels to your marketing mix can help you: • Keep traffic coming through your doors • Measure the effectiveness of your ad dollar While traditional advertising is capital intensive, difficult to measure in terms of return on investment and requires a significant lead time, online advertising can be quite affordable and can be measured and optimized for effectiveness. Once you have learned the principles, online marketing is simple enough to be managed in-house or it can be outsourced to agencies or consultants. There are a few areas of online advertising that you can add to your marketing mix:
Paid Search text ads, also known as pay per click (PPC) or Adwords Paid Display ads, which run as a PPC ad and sometimes also called Image ads or Banner ads Social Media Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), this is a method by which you attract web traffic from the organic search results on Google and other search engines
Paid Search Paid Search ads are highly powerful in that they place your ad in front of your audience when they are in the purchase mindset. The best part? Each time your ad is displayed you increase your mind share with that individual and you only pay for your ad when it is clicked on. Paid Search ads are highly targeted and are extremely optimize-able to meet your business goals. Display Ads Also a form of Paid Search advertising, display ads can be as affordable or costly as your resources allow. For instance, Google allows you to upload some of your existing creative media and distributes your display ads across their network. You can target your ads to geographic locations and to publishers that are relevant to your community or audience. Google AdWords uses an auction based payment system and also offers affordable CPM’s (cost per 1000 impressions). Social Media One of the newcomers to the online marketing space is Social Media advertising. Social Media advertising leverages the natural conversation happening between people on sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, blogs and other online communities to extend your brand and share your dealerships offerings. Your customers are already using Social Media to share with each other their experiences around your service, your business and your competitors. By using Social Media marketing you are able to tap into these conversations and build a feedback loop with your customers. The search engines are starting to pay a lot more attention to the Social Media space. In the near future if not already, the content and context of social media traffic will influence Google and other search engines in determining relevancy and in turn search results. This will increase as social media becomes even more widely used. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Yes, adding online advertising to your marketing mix has very low barriers to entry, will allow you to get the most value from your ad dollars, while monitoring and growing your reputation within your base. Now consider Search Engine Optimisation as a strategy. As a business you are easily able to obtain and build SEO skills via readily available resources. You may be able to identify a particular staff member who could be up skilled to take on this responsibility, you could contract in some or all of the skills, or you could decide to learn the skills yourself. Consider this SEO reality:
SEO (if done correctly) can yield around 4 times the amount of traffic than paid search advertising! Once implemented SEO incurs far less cost to maintain the results than paid advertising does. SEO derived traffic is far more targeted and likely to convert.
Search engine marketing (SEM) or online advertising is a powerful and rewarding medium. As the search engines and social networks continue to evolve into even more pivotal parts of the whole internet, marketing on this platform will become more critical, and if you can master it, particularly with techniques such as SEO you will be well positioned to reap the rewards.