If you have ever wondered what’s the best place to advertise online, and whether you should be paying for it or not, the following should help you:
Advertise Your Niche Only
If you are a start-up business, you should consider finding a niche to specialise in. If you are positioned strongly at the top of a single niche, it gives you more credibility. Strangely enough it also increases your chances of getting more business in other niches. As an expert in online marketing I have often been asked to help with offline marketing campaigns as well.
Once you find your niche, you can look for Facebook pages or groups, blogs, forums, e-zines and websites in your niche and you can post content. Articles are the best for this, but you can also post comments and replies to others’ posts. These should all be free of charge.
You can pay for advertising in magazines and newspapers but this should only happen when you have tested your ads and tweaked them until they work. Only then will it be beneficial to pay for advertising because you know you will get a return on investment.
Advertising in a group or forum that specialise in your niche will make your traffic more targeted which will give you more sales. This is because you know which people to target and where to find them.
Google AdWords is still a great way to advertise if you are a start-up business. However, competition makes it more expensive than it used to be.
Also if you are not too sure of what you are doing, you will lose money on advertising rather than making money.
With Google, you mainly use a powerful headline. To make sure you get response from the ad, you need to have tested it. Flyers are the best for this. Once you get a response from your flyers, you know it will pull clients to you with AdWords.
It is better to get someone who knows what they’re doing to help you with your first ad on Google AdWords.
Or you can read a good book about it: The Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords, available from Amazon.com.
Advertising on Facebook
Facebook is a great option because you can target gender, specific age groups, relationship status and demographics. You can even target interests and occupations.
If your ad doesn’t have a high click through rate you will pay a higher rate per click. So it is necessary for you to have a great picture, a powerful headline, and focusing your targeting.
You can start with a small budget of $5 – $10 per day to test the waters. Once your ad starts converting well into signups for your newsletter or sales, you can increase the amount.
To get your ad converting well, target your market exactly. For example: “Investors: Looking for an investment property in (City)?”
You need to monitor your ad closely. If the clicks start to get more expensive, it is time to change something: the words or the demographics. It is hard work to keep your cost per click down, but it is worth it.
StumbleUpon is great for getting traffic to your website. It offers both free and paid traffic. The trick with StumbleUpon is to get your visitors to stay longer than 2 seconds. You can also pay for clicks and it is much cheaper (5c per click) than anywhere else, but you need good visual content or a good article to entertain so that they stay long enough to get hooked.
StumbleUpon has the potential to go viral. So if someone likes your content, they may share it with others, making the 1000 clicks the potential to turn into 10,000.
Clicks have the potential to be very cheap with Reddit, it can be as little as 3 cents.
Your ad needs to be similar to Google Adwords: Containing a Killer Headline. And it has to be similar to Facebook in that your ad needs an excellent picture that capture the reader’s attention.
If you choose one good business directory where you can showcase your business, and where you are guaranteed first page listing for your business in Google, it would be well worth the money spent. Join a few and upgrade to the one that you get the best results from. If you want international business in addition to local listings, you may want to look at PurpleBiz.
Free Online Small Business Advertising Success – 10 Golden Rules will help you in your advertising efforts.
The bottom line to advertising on the internet is that unless you are rich, and have a lot of money to spend on advertising, you should be careful how you spend your money. It remains better to test your ads until you are sure they convert before you spend money on them.