Monthly Archives: November 2015

How to Advertise your Small Business Online

If you own a small business then you must be regularly looking for economical ways to advertise your business. The Internet is the answer to this problem, and there are many great avenues that are worth exploring since they require minimal investment.

The Internet is perhaps the most cost-effective and wide reaching means of advertising today, and with the number of worldwide Internet users rising steadily, this is a realm that holds much optimism for business owners. Smaller businesses are restricted to smaller advertising budgets, so they need to make the most out of any channel that they get. The Internet represents a completely risk free and low resource utilizing medium that is very easy to tackle.

A small business owner can undertake a number of Internet advertising methods on his own, or he can hire a team of specialists to do the same for him. Either way, the objective should be to make the company’s presence felt in various different forums and to get people talking about the company and the services and the products that it offers.

Ways to Advertise Small Businesses Online

If you really want to advertise your business on the Internet, then you need to understand the dynamics of your targeted segment and the kind of websites and portals that they visit. Internet marketing also has a firm design and blueprint behind it, and it is necessary to stick to this plan. You also need to understand the concepts of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as this will enable the content of your website to rank higher on search engine results, thus improving your visibility. And yes, you will most certainly need a website. This is something you can achieve with minimal costs, so do not even think twice about creating a website since this is the best way to do it. With that said, here are some tried and tested ways to advertise.

Use Social Networks
Social networks like Facebook and Twitter have more than 700 million users combined, and these are breeding grounds for advertisers. You will have to negotiate a revenue sharing model with the network itself, but the exposure that you will get will be immense. You can target the age groups and profiles that you feel match your potential customers, and you can spread information and awareness about your business. Social media marketing is the new buzzword in the marketing world, and you must act soon to exploit the potential this provides.

Maintain and Update Blogs
The objective here is to convince people that your company is an entity, and this can be achieved by creating and maintaining a blog on a regular basis. This can be done for free, and it allows the users to connect with your business on a more personal level. The first rule of marketing is to connect with your customers, and a blog is the perfect platform to achieve this.

Online Classified Ads
There is no better way to gain exposure than to be present when the customer really needs the service that you provide. By registering with classified ads online and other Internet marketing monitoring systems, you will ensure that your name will arise when the customer carries out a search. Some of these platforms needs to be paid for, whereas some are free. The free platforms will only hold your ads for a limited period of time though, so you will need to keep updating your ads on a regular basis.

Chat Rooms and Forums
You can hire a team of a few people to regularly visit chat rooms and forums and talk about your company and your services. This advertising will be completely free of cost and it will give you a great deal of exposure. You can even solve some people’s problems online, and this will build your goodwill in their eyes. The process of branding and image building is a continuous process, and the Internet provides you with various methods in which you can achieve this goal.

Emailers
Everyone who uses the Internet has an email address, and if you can convince them to give you their email address you can create a massive database of existing and potential customers. You can regularly send them email based ads which are very simple to design, and the best part of this OTL (Over The Line) technique is that the customer feels like he is getting personalized attention. This builds a relationship with him and eventually aids your business.

There are many companies and individuals who are adept and well versed with digital marketing and online advertising. You can enlist the help of such parties and have them carry out all these tasks for you as well. Marketing over the Internet has changed the dynamics and the concept of the term completely, as it gives you access to an individual every time he goes online. Moreover, the negligible costs involved make this a very attractive proposition for small businesses who are operating on a shoestring budget.

Internet Advertising Methods

If you are worried about spending on advertising and the kind of returns it would yield, play it safe with Internet advertising methods. Not only are these cost-effective, but they are extremely effective too.
The Internet is perhaps the most cost-effective and wide reaching means of advertising today, and with the number of worldwide Internet users rising steadily, this is a realm that holds much optimism for business owners. Smaller businesses are restricted to smaller advertising budgets, so they need to make the most out of any channel that they get. The Internet represents a completely risk free and low resource utilizing medium that is very easy to tackle.

A small business owner can undertake a number of Internet advertising methods on his own, or he can hire a team of specialists to do the same for him. Either way, the objective should be to make the company’s presence felt in various different forums and to get people talking about the company and the services and the products that it offers.

Ways to Advertise Small Businesses Online

If you really want to advertise your business on the Internet, then you need to understand the dynamics of your targeted segment and the kind of websites and portals that they visit. Internet marketing also has a firm design and blueprint behind it, and it is necessary to stick to this plan. You also need to understand the concepts of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as this will enable the content of your website to rank higher on search engine results, thus improving your visibility. And yes, you will most certainly need a website. This is something you can achieve with minimal costs, so do not even think twice about creating a website since this is the best way to do it. With that said, here are some tried and tested ways to advertise.

Use Social Networks
Social networks like Facebook and Twitter have more than 700 million users combined, and these are breeding grounds for advertisers. You will have to negotiate a revenue sharing model with the network itself, but the exposure that you will get will be immense. You can target the age groups and profiles that you feel match your potential customers, and you can spread information and awareness about your business. Social media marketing is the new buzzword in the marketing world, and you must act soon to exploit the potential this provides.

Maintain and Update Blogs
The objective here is to convince people that your company is an entity, and this can be achieved by creating and maintaining a blog on a regular basis. This can be done for free, and it allows the users to connect with your business on a more personal level. The first rule of marketing is to connect with your customers, and a blog is the perfect platform to achieve this.

Online Classified Ads
There is no better way to gain exposure than to be present when the customer really needs the service that you provide. By registering with classified ads online and other Internet marketing monitoring systems, you will ensure that your name will arise when the customer carries out a search. Some of these platforms needs to be paid for, whereas some are free. The free platforms will only hold your ads for a limited period of time though, so you will need to keep updating your ads on a regular basis.

Chat Rooms and Forums
You can hire a team of a few people to regularly visit chat rooms and forums and talk about your company and your services. This advertising will be completely free of cost and it will give you a great deal of exposure. You can even solve some people’s problems online, and this will build your goodwill in their eyes. The process of branding and image building is a continuous process, and the Internet provides you with various methods in which you can achieve this goal.

Emailers
Everyone who uses the Internet has an email address, and if you can convince them to give you their email address you can create a massive database of existing and potential customers. You can regularly send them email based ads which are very simple to design, and the best part of this OTL (Over The Line) technique is that the customer feels like he is getting personalized attention. This builds a relationship with him and eventually aids your business.

There are many companies and individuals who are adept and well versed with digital marketing and online advertising. You can enlist the help of such parties and have them carry out all these tasks for you as well. Marketing over the Internet has changed the dynamics and the concept of the term completely, as it gives you access to an individual every time he goes online. Moreover, the negligible costs involved make this a very attractive proposition for small businesses who are operating on a shoestring budget.

Types of Online Advertising

There are various types of online advertising that are used by companies to reach their audience in cyber world. Let’s see what some of them are, in this article.
Advertising has undergone a sea change since its inception, not only in its methods, but also in its medium. Online advertising has become a widely sought complement (if not an alternative) to other forms of advertising. And even within online advertising, there are different types that aim at reaching different clientele by using different tactics, techniques, and even technologies. In this article, we will give you a glimpse of some of the major online advertising types used.

Online Advertising Types

What are the different types of advertising that are used by people who market their services or products online? Given below are some of the major types into which one can categorize online advertising.

Banner
The first and relatively widely used type of online advertising is a banner ad. You may have noticed a strip (horizontal or vertical) highlighting a particular company’s name, services, and tag line at the top, bottom or sides of the web page. This is a banner ad and its size depends on the space that the company gets on a website.

Pop Ups
This is another quite a familiar type of online advertising. When you visit a particular website, you are sometimes warned by your browser about it having blocked a pop up. At other times, as soon as you enter a website, before you can view the content you wish to, you are made to view a pop up ad of a particular company. This type of online advertising is considered invasive and hence browsers are enabled with blockers.

Email or Newsletter
Using email and newsletters can be termed as merely an advancement of snail mail. Following the same principle of picking random postal addresses, email ads target email addresses that may have been entered on a site that may cater to a need the user may have felt at some point of time or completely random ones. Newsletters however are mostly sent to those users who subscribe them.

Video Ads
You are sure to have come across video ads at least a couple of times a day, if you’re an avid Internet surfer. These ads are quite similar to television commercials. They are in video format and need to be loaded and played when clicked. These are high quality videos and are very popular on video sharing websites.

Classifieds
Noticed classified ads in newspapers? Well, now just put that on a web page, and you have the same effect, just in color and a little bit more attractive. These companies too have to buy ad space on a web page, just like they do in newspapers.

Pay Per Click (PPC)
By far, the most widely used and quite effective method of online advertising is the Pay Per Click one. This system will generate and display ads that are based on what information the user has entered in the search engine. For instance, if you happen to be searching for shampoo, immediately above the search results, you’ll see links taking you to a hair care website. Revenue is generated, as the name goes, per click. It can be very useful for making money, but needs to be managed rather carefully.

Floating
A rather annoying form of online advertising (and I say this only because I’ve experienced it myself) is a floating ad. These ads will actually ‘float’ over your content, or above or below it as you view the web page. They will hover until you close them. But do they get your notice? You bet!

Takeover
This type of online advertising does exactly what its name suggests. It ‘takes over’ the web page and consecutive pages of the same website all throughout your duration there. It begins as a huge ad on the first page, and the ad, in various sizes and forms keep reminding you about it!

Contextual Ads
The next time you enter a search phrase in your search engine and get redirected to a website, notice the ads that appear on the sides, top or bottom of the page. If they’re related to what you’ve searched for, then the advertiser most probably uses the contextual form of advertising, which involves browsing the content and search phrases to generate relevant and related ads.

Roughly stated, these are the most popularly used types of online advertising. So, if you’re looking to advertise on a website, you can decide what the most efficient way to get to your target audience is. And if you’re simply browsing through, you know what form of advertising you’re seeing on numerous websites!

Online Publicity

Online publicity has four main advantages :
  1. Targeting
  2. Following
  3. Transmitting
  4. Flexibility and interactivity

See how all these combine for effective online publicity.

Those who want to advertise something via Internet have a lot of new methods at their disposal. They can focus on users belonging to certain companies, to certain geographic regions or countries or to those who are online at a certain hour, who own a certain type of PC or use a certain browser. The targeting is done with the help of database, the supporting pillars of direct marketing. Also, targeting can be done depending on personal preferences and behavior.

Thus, as far as following is concerned, marketers can follow the way in which users interact with their brands and what is interesting for their current customers, as well as for their future potential customers/clients. For instance, a car manufacturer can follow the way in which users surf on his site or can determine their number and how many of them are interested more on the car’s safety features or on the benefits of choosing a certain model. The announcers can also determine the number of answers a certain commercial has generated (by determining how many times that particular commercial was accessed or the degree of shopping that commercial caused, and so on), which is hard to do by using a traditional publicity environment such as television, publications and posting.

As far as transmitting and flexibility are concerned, on the Internet, a commercial is transmitted in a real time of 24/7 out of 365 days in a year. Moreover, one can launch a publicity campaign and keep it updated or immediately stopped. An announcer can see the results of the daily campaign, even if for instance this generates a too small answer in the first week, to modify it and to replace it with another in the following week. So by this, online publicity very much differs from prints, where a commercial will be replaced at the next edition or as compared with television where high costs of producing a commercial can be very discouraging especially in the beginning of a business when the money are thin.

The purpose of an announcer is to draw attention of a certain consumer towards a certain brand or product. This can be more efficiently done online, where consumers can interact with a certain product, they can test it and if they decide they want that specific product or service, they can buy it. For instance, a commercial for a software product can send the users straight to a webpage where they can download a demo or trial version of the product which can thus be immediately put under testing. If the customer likes and appreciates the product, he/she can return to that particular webpage to buy that particular product. There is no other type of environment that can help the consumer gather essential information so easily before deciding whether or not to purchase a product or a service.

There are also certain special techniques that can help generate traffic. As far as the Internet is concerned, one cannot rely on simply building up a webpage or a certain commercial to instantly attract customers. In order to create traffic to its own site, a company will have to use a multitude of techniques. Without traffic, a site is actually like a TV commercial that will never be broadcasted; therefore it’s a work without any final result. The implication of creating traffic is attracting as many users as possible, but most importantly they should also belong to the company’s target audience. The traffic of a site is generally represented by the number of unique visitors.

Of course, there is a need to invest in creating traffic. Supposing that the created site has a very well-defined target audience, the first thing a company needs to bear in mind is that she has to determine the budget for creating such traffic. Then the company needs to choose one or more out of the many techniques, depending on the company’s needs and possibilities. Then the company should plan the implementation of these techniques so that one could measure their result very efficiently. For instance, a banner campaign developed on let us say 5 sites needs to be accompanied by the technical means necessary for the measurement of the visitors brought by each of the 5 locations. Without exact measurements, one cannot determine the result of each of the promotional activities.

Presently, being online represents an effective and efficient means of communication and publicity with obvious advantages!