Executing an advertising campaign using any medium can be significantly challenging. The question of whom to target, how to target them, and what message to convey can sometimes leave an advertiser with too many questions to handle. As the inherent nature of the online community is to be wary of promotions or messages on the Internet, it makes the task of delivering the communication even more challenging for the online marketer.
This isn’t to say that an effective online advertising campaign can’t be pulled off. A company’s web presence is a highly important facet of their image and businesses should be utilizing various online advertising vehicles as a part of their overall integrated marketing communications. Fancy marketing talk aside, this means that if a company is pursuing an advertising strategy with billboards and on the radio, they should also be executing this campaign on the web.
Since market research coupled with a certain desired effect or outcome is the factor that binds together all of your advertising mediums, your company may already have a targeted group that you’re going after from a previous or existing campaign. It may also be that different mediums are targeting different demographics, e.g., radio and television are targeting your older crowd while social media is going after the younger generations. Whichever strategy your business is pursuing, be sure to know who you’re targeting and what you would like them to do as a result of the exposure to your message. Once you have a plan in mind, the next step is to execute it properly.
Using search engines for advertising purposes is different than search engine optimization (SEO). Instead of getting ranked organically by Google’s algorithm, you’re paying for the placement of your ad in certain spots on search engine results pages (SERPs). We’ve all seen them; they’re the search results that are typically at the top of the page highlighted in a yellow that seems to be blending in more and more with the background. Creating a content marketing strategy around what search engines are looking for is key as well.
I’m going to use the blanket-term of social media to describe the various vehicles that are Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. for the brevity of this bullet point; however, this doesn’t mean that the message should be the same for all of these different platforms. The basic idea is to deliver your message to your fans and followers with the ability of interaction afterward. If a user has a question concerning the message they are able to reply directly to you via your post, which gives you the chance to answer back immediately.
Programs like MailChimp have made it extremely easy to execute your own email marketing campaigns. The caveat surrounding email marketing is that the emails you send out are highly susceptible to being discarded without being read or marked as spam. To minimize this, send out emails only to those people who have opted into receiving your communications or have willingly given you their email addresses.
Advertising with online radio stations like Pandora is a relatively recent development, but can prove to be quite effective if done correctly. More and more people are listening to online radio in their cars or at work, and placing your ad by targeting the right geographical location may prove to be rewarding. With Pandora, you are able to choose between a banner ad or an audio-visual campaign. One limitation to be aware of with online radio is that your targeting is restricted to a set location and suspected age group. This demographic does not ensure that you are reaching your ideal buyer persona.
As is true with any good advertising campaign, you’ll want to set up a way to track conversions and where those conversions came from. A good way of doing this would be to set up an online-only promotion code or a promotion code specific to the different vehicles you are utilizing. The different vehicles you use also have great tools in tracking conversions, e.g., Google’s AdWords platform.
Whichever message you’re attempting to convey to potential customers, make sure that it speaks to the audience that you’re targeting.