When the internet was in its infancy, it seemed like everybody who was anybody on the World Wide Web had a banner ad for some kind of product or service. The big perk of banner ads over ones printed in magazines or newspapers is that clicking the online ad takes the consumer right to the business’ website.
Another perk about using online banner ads over ones found in magazines, newspapers, or direct mailers is that print ads circulate to a small number of people once or twice before the literature is tossed into the garbage or dropped into the recycling bin. The exception to this guideline however, were ads in the Yellow Pages. For example, when a lawyer would take out a full page then everyone with a copy of the directory would see it until the new issue comes out the following year.
The new challenge that now even the yellow pages and other local phone books are becoming obsolete, forcing people to look at new advertising strategies.
A Tip from the Top about Advertising
The late retail advertising pioneer Bernice Fitz-Gibbon once said that “A good ad should be like a good sermon: It must not only comfort the afflicted, it also must afflict the comfortable.” She wasn’t joking. This Advertising Hall of Fame member worked for mega-retailers such as Macy’s, Wanamaker’s, and Gimbels. Fitz-Gibbon’s advice isn’t limited to print ads, though.
Although she passed away in the early 1980s, before the internet stormed to life and took over life as we humans know it, I like to think she would have offered the same sentiment regardless of the vastly different marketing venues. That’s because business owners who are marketing their products and services should use strategies that yield the highest return on investment.
While in the past a high ROI may have come from marketing that involved an ad in the Yellow Pages, but more and more everyday people are turning to the digital world for their information. People are spending less time in front of the paper and other print material and more time in from of their tablet and computer screens, a good thing from a marketing perspective since advertising online is typically much less expensive than traditional forms of print advertising.
Making the Most of Your Budget
Any type of operating cost associated with your business has a budget. A budget not only helps you manage your business finances but it also increases your chances of staying in the black. But often, businesses squander their advertising budget on traditional marketing strategies when they should be investing in things like social networks and search engine optimization. Unless you’re a large corporation with the budget to handle multiple types of marketing, then it may be best to lean towards digital as it is one of the most efficient formats available.
For example, consider a criminal defense attorney who takes out a full-page ad in the Yellow Pages. He could include a link on that ad to the company website where he uses WordPress to add fresh, new, compelling content. That content is what Google loves, and so that helps him rank higher in the search engine’s natural results. Here are some other benefits of transitioning to modern marketing formats.
- Spend Less Money – As stated above, online marketing costs less than traditional means. Per-click advertising, search engine optimization, and banner ads in websites that boast high amounts of traffic can direct a lot of business to your website.
- Track Ad Results – Mobile advertising allows you to retrieve analytics in real-time format. There’s no waiting for the end of the week or month to get a report, and if you don’t like the way things are going you can tweak them immediately.
- Reach Larger Audiences – Billions of people use the internet, whether it is for social networking, email, or just browsing the web. You can bet there is an internet marketing strategy to help you yield the best return on investment for each of them.
Benefits of Google+
Even if your company doesn’t have a website, it is worth the effort to create a Google+ page. That is because Google+ pages help people find you when they use the search engine to look for specific keywords. If you use WordPress, then as explained before using a criminal attorney as an example, you can use Google+ to help index your content as it’s added to your blog.
However, one of the best advantages of using Google+ as a marketing tool is that when people visit your page, your contact information along with a map and directions to your company’s physical location is included in the search results. And if someone likes your content, they can +1 to make it more credible according to Google’s search engine results as well.
More Are Making the Transition
The market research company eMarketer reported in July of 2011 that businesses were allocating more of their advertising budgets to online means. They predict that by 2015, companies will be spending over two times the budget on internet marketing than they will on traditional means such as newspaper and magazine ads (www.emarketer.com).
Outdated forms of advertising targeted small towns and tight-knit communities. Even if they only reached a small portion of the residents in those areas, word of mouth advertising took care of the rest. When someone likes, re-tweets, re-pins, or +1’s something that you post online about your company, then it is a digital type of word of mouth that has the same effect without wiping out your advertising budget.