Advertising Options

June 29, 2011

Tommy Hobin

Blog

Online advertising options

Offline advertising has so many outlets that we are all familiar with. It’s easy to understand the differences between TV and Billboard or Newspaper versus magazine, but when you want to advertise in the digital space, the spectrum really gets broad and the pricing differences can be tremendous. I want to explain a few channels where you could digitally advertise that can give you very good returns.

The main question is who are you trying to reach?

Who are you trying to reach?
This is a quick one and it’s totally up to you. It is the first question you should ask yourself when thinking about advertising on the Internet. Once you have that figured out, here are a few options that will help you boost your online brand.

Social Media Advertising:

Social media advertising is a great place for small to mid-sized companies to test the waters. Advertising on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter are an excellent way to target the very specific audience you are looking to reach. Here is a list of reasons social media advertising is a great place to start:

It’s inexpensive:
On some channels you can spend as little as $5.00 per day
It’s familiar:
You are probably amongst the 600 million people on Facebook, so when you advertise there, you know where your ad is going.
It’s highly targeted:
On LinkedIn you can target company size, position at the company, rank in the company and of course the area where your target lives – the options are vast.
It’s Flexible:
If you find that you are talking to the wrong audience, you can make real-time changes to your advertising plan and budget.
It has great analytics:
You may figure out that your target audience is not men ages 34 – 55 but actually women ages 25 – 30. It’s all in the analytics.

Contextual Advertising:

Between Google, Bing and Yahoo!, you have a lot of options. It’s amazing how targeted you can be with your marketing in search. Not all of the services are offered by all of the channels but a mix with all three can get you:

Keyword Advertising:
This is the basic function of advertising on any of these channels. Advertising using keywords needs a bit of massaging but it is a great way to target those who are looking for exactly what you are selling.
Highly Geotargeted options:
You want to advertise to only the people in the neighborhood within 10 miles from your storefront? No problem.
Behavioral Targeting:
Yahoo! offers this function. This means you can target anyone on the Yahoo! channel who are showing certain behaviors online. For example, if the user is looking at shoe stores online, you can slip your ad in front of them for a special on shoes.
Retargeting:
This form of advertising offers your business a way to target the user after they have visited your website. You enter a piece of code on the page you want to target and serve ads that are built for that page  – after they leave your site.

Mobile Advertising:

Typically mobile is a pay-per-click method of advertising with a comparatively good click-thru rate. Mobile advertising is often displayed on games for mobile devices but that doesn’t mean that the CEO of a major company doesn’t enjoy the free version of Words with Friends. Mobile advertising offers:

Mobility:
Advertising on mobile devices gives you an outlet to put your brand in the hand of a broad audience.
Great Branding Opportunities:
Videos are often displayed on mobile devices and give you the ability to grab someone’s attention that is standing in line or waiting for a train. The message may not be super timely but it’s one more touch point to let them know you are here.
A Broad Reach:
Because at the moment, it is very expensive to really geotarget to a micro level, mobile is better for those who want a vast area such as the state where your business offices are located. This broad reach is a great option because the prices for such broad targeting are traditionally less expensive.

Overall, there are plenty of options for targeting your audience online – choosing the right one for you is mainly determined by the simple question. Who do you want to reach? Get that answered and market your company where everyone is hanging out.

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