In the digital age we live in, there are more options than ever before for companies to reach their potential customer base. And while traditional advertising methods are still valid for many brands, there are several advantages of advertising on the internet, particularly for small companies. Whether you intend to market your brand nationally, or locally, advertising on the internet can be a very effective way to get your message across.
What Are the Advantages of Advertising?
Every company, no matter how large can benefit from advertising. It doesn’t matter how well known your product is, or how specific a group of people you’re trying to reach. Advertising allows you to pitch your product to the most amount of people at once, rather than pitching it individually. This gives you more time to meet with potential customers, and frees you up to continue running the business or creating new product. After all, word of mouth is great, but for a new or unheard of brand, you need to build a customer base that will begin to spread that word. And what better way to do this than to advertise? For that same, new company looking to maximize their impact for the least amount of cash, advertising on the internet makes the most amount of sense.
The Advantages of Advertising on the Internet
Since the days of AOL and Prodigy, businesses have been finding ways to begin advertising on the internet. And while many companies are still learning the best online advertising sources, this multifaceted method of reaching customers is a rapidly growing field. There are many advantages of advertising on the internet, any of which could help your company meet its goals for less money than you anticipated.
When you think about traditional methods of advertising, your choices are often limited to television, billboards, flyers, and direct mail. And while TV ads can be placed at varying times of day to help attract the right audience, it’s a lot more hit or miss. You have no idea if the people you are reaching out to want to buy your office furniture, or have young children who need the extra-wide shoes you make.
When you advertise on the internet, there are several ways you can help reach your target audience faster and more effectively. Algorithms on sites like Google and Facebook can take a look at a potential customer’s search history, then tailor the ads that they see to the last search made. This means that if you sell office furniture, and a customer has been browsing for this, your ad will show up on the feeds and websites that customer visits. Now you’re reaching the right audience far more consistently and effectively than you would be by blanketing a neighborhood with direct mail flyers. This not only will get you more potential customers, it will also mean your advertising dollars are being spent with the biggest possibility of return.
Local or National Advertising
The same algorithms that let you target your product directly to the people who may want to buy it, will also let you target your product to specific areas of the country. Emails, Facebook, and some local news sites will all make a note of your location, which will let you target your product to specific customers. For example, if you want to drum up business for a local company that doesn’t have an online store, a well targeted ad will direct only local people to your site. On the other hand, if you have a product that can be sold nationally, you can reach people anywhere, without having to worry about paying advertising costs in various markets.
The internet allows people to connect with one another all over the world, so it only stands to reason that it also lets you connect directly with your customer group. Never underestimate the power of good customer service as an advertising method. Solving a dispute on Twitter or leaving a comment on a blog post can give people a good feeling about your brand, which may make them more likely to connect with it on a regular basis.
Advertising on Facebook beyond the sidebar ads is also a very effective advantage of advertising on the internet. By interacting with fans on a Facebook page, you can do things like advertise the flavors at a frozen yogurt shop, or announce the name of a band that will be playing at a bar. This type of interactive marketing is a huge advantage for companies able to undertake it. People are much more likely to be loyal to brands where they feel the “know” someone, than to brands that are strangers.
The learning curve for this type of advertising is also fairly low; it’s easy to take a course in Facebook advertising, for example, that will help get you started in marketing your brand. Once you begin on one social media platform, it’s easy to cross over to others with programs that let you simultaneously post on Facebook and tweet so you can reach a greater audience in half the amount of time.
Advertising is an expense that even big companies need to set aside resources for. One of the many advantages of advertising on the internet is the ability to secure fairly low-cost ads. There are numerous ways you can advertise on the web. Some methods cost you nothing but time, such as using social media to engage your audience, while others can be customized to allow you to pay for impressions or follow throughs.
For example, in this course on pay-per-click advertising, you’ll learn how to get your ad out there, but only pay for it when it reaches your target audience. You pay a certain percentage for each time your ad shows up, and a different percentage when someone follows the ad to its destination, or clicks on it. Because algorithms control when and where you ad appears, you’re likely to be paying only to show your ad to people who are likely to do business with you.
With some ad sites, such as Google’s AdWords, you can also control what your ad looks like, based on price. For example, you may want to opt for a less expensive text ad while your company is small. As it grows, and you can allocate more funds to advertising, you can purchase larger, more featured ads that show up more frequently or that make more of an impact.
Varying Ad Types
Advertising on the internet is so multifaceted, that you’ll have no trouble varying your ad campaign to find the one that works for you. In addition to social media advertising, and side-bar text ads on search pages and Facebook, you also have the option to advertise in other ways, including:
- Banner ads on popular websites
- Advertising on popular blogs
- Having your product reviewed on popular blogs
- Giveaways on Facebook, Twitter, and blogs
Just because it’s the internet rather than television doesn’t mean you need to discount the power of video. The difference is that by utilizing a platform like YouTube to do your advertising, you can create relevant, fun ads that can take on a life of their own. This can be appealing in an age where television commercials can be edited out of a show by using digital recording methods. Involving your fan and customer base in the advertising method through contests and giveaways can also help spread your word for a lot less money than it would cost you to have the same reach on TV.
Innovative New Ideas
The internet and digital media are constantly changing, so while print and TV ads haven’t changed much over the years, internet ads are going to continue to diversify. This means you can try a variety of methods to advertise your business, without over saturating your market. This is particularly helpful if you need to change your image, or your company has been around for a while and people have stopped “seeing” your ads. The fact that internet advertising will continue to grow and change along with your company means that you can continue to have a major impact, simply by varying how and where your ad appears. Where as before you had to come up with different ways to get your point across using only one method, you now have the ability to shift rather than scraping the idea.
Start Advertising Online
With the many different advantages of advertising on the internet, just about any business can find a way to make their mark. Whether you have a small Etsy shop, or you run a national, multimillion dollar company, having an online ad presence is sure to assist your bottom line. Look into the many different ways you can advertise online from learning to build effective banner ads, to finding the right way to advertise on Facebook. With just a little bit of time and money, you’ll find a far more effective marketing campaign than anything you might have achieved in print or television. You’ll also probably find that the results speak for themselves.