I was at a business roundtable event recently and mentioned that one of my business’s services was ‘digital advertising’. Several heads nodded like they understood what I meant, but one woman tilted hers to the side in confusion. She came up to me later and asked point blank, “What is digital advertising anyway?” I’ve found that she is not alone in needing an answer, and even the folks who think they know what I’m talking about need a refresher.
SO WHAT IS IT?
Digital advertising is simply paying for space on a website to place ads that promote your business, services, events, etc. The most common websites to place ads are Google, Bing and Facebook, though many others exist. For 98 percent of local, small businesses those three sites are all you have to deal with.
If you’ve been in business for longer than a decade, you have probably taken out or have been positioned to take out an ad in the newspaper or yellow pages. The problems with placing paper ads are (1) you don’t know exactly who sees them, (2) you don’t always know if your ads are effective or action-spurring, and (3) you pay for the ads whether they work or not. It’s a bad system, one that digital advertising makes right.
WHAT’S THE BENEFIT?
The best example of good digital advertising is on Google. When you perform a search on Google the top results that show are usually ads (we’ve all seen this, right?) This is a highly effective way to get more clicks through to your website. The great benefit of this kind of digital advertising is that you only pay Google if your ad is clicked on. So, if nobody clicks on your ad you don’t owe Google anything. You only pay for what works.
It gets even better. Unlike those print ads we were talking about earlier, you can track which ads actually elicit response and bring in revenue. Because people are clicking on your ads, you know which ones work and which ones don’t. This kind of metrics tracking allows you to stop poorly performing ads or rewrite them to be more effective.
HOW DO I GET STARTED?
It’s easy to set up a Google AdWords account (you can do it here). It’s not daunting to start as you can set your own budget, and again you only pay if it works! Facebook ads, as mentioned before, are also a great way to get the word out there on your business.
If you already have a Facebook page for your site you can easily start running ads today. The benefit here is Facebook allows you to choose the demographic and location you want to advertise to, making your ads more specific and successful. To learn more about pricing and usability, visit there site here.
Digital advertising, whether through Google AdWords, Bing ads, or Facebook ads, brings your business more customers for less money than almost any other form of advertising. Because you know which ads work and which ones don’t, you can make more money by promoting good ads and stopping bad ones. Try it today, and let us know what you think!
If you want some help with your advertising, reach out and we can help!