If you've been following along with us, you have your website setup and submitted to major search engines, directories and are developing reviews for your business, it’s time to consider making an investment in paid advertising campaigns.
Our prior sessions would be categorized as mostly SEO strategies or Search Engine Optimization strategies. These are tactics to get your business or non-profit found online. SEO strategies are mostly free tactics to increase the authority and rank of your website in major search engines including Google, Yahoo! and Bing. Now we are talking about using paid strategies to connect with your target audience online. SEO works is mostly a long term investment that will yield results over time. Paid campaigns if done correctly can yield immediate results and turn a visitor to your site into a paying customer. In online language, this would be called a conversion.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM): The advantage of search engine marketing is that when set up properly, your campaigns can serve ads to leads and potential customers right at the moment of the search. So at the moment of demand, when a potential customer is taking action, researching, and searching for the solutions you offer, your ad can be served and through it your offer can be made. Now this of course d. marketing is based on specific keywords. Finding the right keywords for your campaigns is key to finding your customers at just the right time. You can start with Google’s free Keyword Planner tool can help you get started with basic data on search volume per keyword, keyword ideas and breakdown by geography. Because Google has around 70% of the global market share for search, I would recommend using Google and at least to start not advertising on Yahoo! or Bing.
In addition to Search Marketing, Google also offers more advanced options to be covered in possibly a future course including Display Advertising. Display advertising is placing your interactive or image ads on the Google Display Network- a network of websites that partner with Google to serve ads to users. A number that totals around 2 million websites.
Google also tracks user activity and interests online. Users can be targeted based on this data. Last thing I want to mention which can be very effective is remarketing. Remarketing is serving ads to previous visitors to your website. As the user views other content online, your ads will be served to them on various websites. For example, a user visits your website and then visits nytimes.com. If you have a remarketing campaign set up you can serve an ad to that person.
Social Media Marketing (SMM): Social Media Marketing is using the the power and influence of social media website including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to reach the vast number of users on these websites and the incredible amount of data these networks, specifically Facebook has been able to gather about their users.
Facebook: Advertising on Facebook can allow you to very specifically target the exact user you are trying to reach. For example you can target users based on their interests including music, companies, public figures they follow, etc. You can also target your campaign based on company worked for, position held at a company, including President or Managing Director. You can also reach people based on activity including those who have made donations online and you can even target those who have made specific donations to religious causes for example.
The best part of both types of paid campaigns we have discussed is all the advertising is track able and measurable. You know what you are paying for, who you are reaching and what type of response you are getting. As you begin to advertise online and invest more of your marketing dollars online there are additional what I call 2.0 tools available including conversion tracking and more sophisticated ways to even more accurately measure your ROI through inserting code into the back end of your site to track user activity on your site.