Recipe for Successful Online Advertising / Part 1

Online advertising campaigns can be a great way to drive targeted traffic to your website and help your business grow. Consumers are increasingly trusting of online forms of advertising, not to mention web-based ads tend to be more cost-effective for small businesses.

You think you’re ready to start your own online campaign?  Here’s the first of a two-part checklist before you get going.

1. Determine your goals
Are you aiming to raise awareness for your brand? Do you want to drive more traffic to your website? Or do you need to generate leads? It’s important to identify your goals and decide which key performance indicators (KPI) will be used to measure the success of your campaign. KPIs can include click-through rates (CTR), online sales, brand awareness, and engagement. Quantifying your objectives is key for judging the effectiveness of your online campaign.

2. Identify your audience
Identify the characteristics of the audience that you want to target with your campaign. If you have a limited budget, trying to reach everyone in the market will probably lead to failure. Segment your market and select the audience that is the most likely to respond to your offer.

3. Choose your media
What are the best channels to reach your audience? Search Engine Marketing (SEM) through keyword targeting has gained 14% more trust from consumers over the last 5 years. Facebook advertising uses targeting tools that can give you access to a specific audience and a large reach to help raise brand awareness. Retargeting with online banner ads can help keep your brand within the sight of people who visited your website and recapture their interest. Mobile ads can target consumers who are in the surrounding area of your store. Why not attract them with a special coupon? Research consumer insights in order to better understand your target audience’s online habits and choose the right media.

4. Set your budget
Choose the pricing structure based on your budget and goals. The two main ones are Cost-per-click (CPC) and Cost per 1,000 impressions (CPM). With CPC you can get thousands of “free impressions” and only pay for the clicks. Therefore, you only pay for people who visit your site and thus avoid wasting your investment on those who are not interested in your offer. CPM can help get your ad in front of a high number of viewers and can be useful for increasing awareness. By creating a very attractive offer and visual, you can generate many clicks without having to pay for every single one.

Be sure to check part 2 of the checklist!

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