Looking for a way to rapidly get new, good quality, highly qualified leads directly to your business?

Depending on who your target market is, Google, Facebook and LinkedIn could be an absolute gold mine.

We’ll get to which platforms you should choose later, but first let’s look at why you should be advertising online.

Online advertising allows you to very specifically target your audience and track your conversions. i.e. you can find out exactly which ads are working or not, how your website copy is converting, how many leads you need to get a sale and how much you should be spending.

And you can continually adjust – invest more money at activities which are working and cut the rest. Try doing that with a Yellow Pages print ad – which may cost you upwards of $30,000 at the beginning of the year – and which you’re stuck with.

Broadly speaking you have two choices online.

  • Search Engine Advertising
    You can target people directly looking for your product or service because they have a specific need.

    i.e. Someone looking for a plumber, dentist, motor mechanic or even a wedding planner types this into their favourite search engine (usually Google) and up your ad comes.

  • Content or Display Advertising

    These are the ads that appear on websites as you browse the web. They could take the form of banner ads, images or text and are designed to interrupt and divert your attention from what you’re reading to the ad.

    Somewhat akin to reading the paper or a magazine, seeing an ad and going, “That’s interesting, let me find out more…”

Which form you choose and where you advertise comes down to how your audience is likely to look for you and what targeting options you want.

Here are some examples:

Let’s start with Search Engine Advertising:

A cosmetic surgeon could write ads which get triggered when someone types in “Face Lift”, “Remove Wrinkles” etc. intoSearch Advertising Example Google.

Google will display the search results with 3 ads at the top and up to 8 ads down the right hand side. See the image to the right.

However, the surgeon could be missing out on a gold mine by stopping here.

There is a whole market out there who aren’t necessarily thinking about improving their wrinkles until it’s brought to their attention.

Enter Display or Content Advertising.

You’re browsing a healthy and beauty site and a “Remove Wrinkles” ad shows up. It catches your eye and you head off to the surgeon’s site to have a closer look.

Somewhat akin to reading a magazine and seeing a printed ad which is not part of the story.

Travel is another huge topic.

You’re search for air fare information and get presented with hotel ads, car rentals or travel insurance. These ads remind you that you need additional services which you can then check out.

Browsing the financial pages of a major newspaper you’ll see ads for everything from cars, travel, luggage and wine club membership.

Advertisers targeting these pages assume you’re likely to have money and are willing to spend it given the right offer.

The possibilities are endless!

But Google is only one player.

Depending on your market, you can also choose to advertise on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Facebook is especially good for consumer related products – everything from dating, holidays, beauty, professionalfacebook ad photography, to wealth creation.

Facebook allows you to specifically target by interest, geography, age, family status and a host of other criteria – which means you can decide who should see your ads. This way you don’t waste time and money dealing with inappropriate leads.

Having said that, realise that people coming to Facebook do so to catch up with friends. They’re not directly searching for a product or service. So your advertising has to appeal to their curiosity and needs to be changed frequently to avoid ad blindness (where people simply stop noticing your ads because they never change).

And finally, there’s LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the world’s largest Business Connection site – boasting over 1 million, mainly white collar, professional users in Australia.

If your target market is white collar, B2B or B2C products/services, give LinkedIn a go. Their ads run similarly to Google’s display network and Facebook with some measure of prospect targeting.

Now the caveats.

It sounds really easy to throw up a set of ads on the various sites. However, it’s also very easy to lose your shirt and be presented with a bill for hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, without getting a qualified lead.

Many of the accounts I review make some fundamental mistakes when it comes to targeting, as well as actual ad copy. The biggest and most costly mistake is running the same ads, dollar spend and targeting for Search and Display networks on Google. These systems are very different, and you really need to be aware of the nuances.

Others send prospects to inappropriate, generic pages on their website – pages which don’t specifically relate to the ad and what the person was looking for.

Cathy Pacific Airlines recently offered a special from Sydney to Hong Kong. However clicking the ad took you to their generic home page – with no reference to the special offer. You search, give up and find another airline!

Contrast this with Virgin Airlines who will send you to a specific booking page where you can directly book your flight at a special rate advertised.

You have less than one second to engage your visitor. The back button is a click away. Give them what they wanted to find, easily and clearly – or else they leave for your competition.

Online marketing is a specialist activity. While anyone can throw up an account, doing it well is quite another matter.

This is what we can do to help you get the best bang for your buck.

Whether you already advertise online, or you’re thinking about it, and don’t know where to start, we’re offering a limited number of complimentary reviews where we’ll look at your campaigns and give you optimisation suggestions.

These are the 7 critical aspects we’ll cover:

  1. Review your campaign structure to ensure you’re not overspending.
  2. Review your keywords to ensure you are targeting the right traffic.
  3. Ensure your ads are delivering the right message so you don’t pay for tyre kickers.
  4. Critique your web landing pages to ensure your ad matches the landing page – so your prospects get a consistent message and trust you to deliver.
  5. Review your Facebook Business page
  6. Review your LinkedIn profile to ensure you attract good prospects searching on LinkedIn.
  7. Determine if you should be advertising on Facebook and/or LinkedIn

This review is valued at $550.

And a final word.

Online advertising is an excellent pre-cursor to offline advertising. It’s fast, relatively cheap in comparison and you can start and stop at will.

You can rapidly test new target markets, products, services, advertisement ideas, even book titles to see what people respond to.

You could call it the purest form of Direct Response Marketing because you know exactly how your prospects respond, in real time!

Call us on (02) 9499-7958 and we’ll get your review underway.

Rashid & Barbara.

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