If you started business 50 years ago you most likely advertised in your local paper. 20 years ago: radio or television. In today’s marketplace you must in one way, shape, or form promote your business online.
This growing trend in business communications is what advertising and marketing professionals refer to as the era of digital convergence; when media and businesses deliver and receive information primarily through means of technology. (Paul Christ, Know This Marketing Basics. Pg 209.) In order for your business to succeed in this increasingly competitive marketplace, you must adapt the way your business communicates with its existing and potential customers. If they’re online, guess what? You are too.
Not only do we provide our clients with quality web hosting and email hosting services, but we also want your online business to succeed. So here are some strategic pointers to get your online business moving forward in this new economy.
Having a website is the best place to start. Once people do realize that they need your service they’ll need to know more about you. When people want to find out further information on anything the first place they to turn to is the internet: dog walkers, carpet cleaners, logo designers, web hosting companies, cheese makers, and so on. If you need to find something, search engines will find it for you. Your job is to capitalize on how consumers use the internet to locate brands, and use online marketing functions to generate traffic to your website.
Fortunately there are services to utilize and resources at your disposal. Having a website means you’re ready to communicate with your consumers on a more frequent basis. Utilize its potential by involving your brand with as many social networking sites as possible. Create a personal email and blog for your site and post them online through Twitter or LinkedIn. This will ensure that you maintain accessibility to your public in as many different forms of communication as possible.
The next step is getting people to need you. Or at the very least consider you. It’s kind of like dating in the 8th grade, just hearing your name mentioned is a reason to jump. But don’t stop at the excitement stage; take it to the next level with search engine marketing tools like Google Adwords.
Adwords is a Google brand word for search engine advertising. It’s one way, (i.e. the quickest way) of getting your business’ name in the Google lexicon. The service is available to anyone right from Google’s homepage and can adapt to any budget size. Google then gauges the results of this program on a simple three point platform.
- Your ad will appear next to a related search result.
- Assuming people are already interested in what you business offers, they click on your ad.
- The consumer connects directly to you business.
The success of the program relies heavily on the quality and accuracy of the keywords you select when setting up your online advertising account. Those keywords become a navigational tool which guides the user to your business based on a related search.
Google claims that the results produced from this tactic are once again measured by three simple standards of practice:
- Targeted reach implies that your business is now available on Google’s infinite and ever-growing network, constantly available to new and emerging audiences.
- Greater control means you have the freedom to adjust your budget until you see the results you want.
- And measurable value identifies a cost-per-click system which suggests that Google only takes a fee based on user click-throughs and impressions, making every dollar that you invest into this online program accounted for.
Google definitely does not own the monopoly on online advertising, but they do control to a larger extent more advertising dollars than any other website in the world. That being said there are other options.
Bing’s online advertising program is called Microsoft Advertising or AdCenter, and works on the same search engine platform as Google Adwords. From a functional perspective there is no overwhelming difference between one brand’s online search tool from the other’s. From a strategic stand point the more search engine keyword platforms you run your ads on, the greater the potential for consumer growth. That being said, budget must also play a significant role when establishing your strategy. When it comes to making the most out of your accessible funds, really think hard. When was the last time you heard someone say, “Bing that”?
Using this method of keyword advertising is extremely effective in getting your online business in front of potential customers. Out of the billions of websites fighting for attention you grabbed the line bypass and got invited to party with the top 10 crowd. But now that you’re at the front of the line ask yourself; what else, where else, and how else can you help your business grow through online advertising?
One way would be to become an advertiser yourself. You have a website, and you have maximized its potential and online presence through AdWords, but the reality is that although the odds of making a transaction have significantly increased, not every unique visitor will in-fact buy something. But that doesn’t mean you still can’t turn each visit into a profit.
Google’s AdSense program covers the full spectrum of your business’ ability to make profits online. On one end you are advertising your service on Google, experiencing growth, and developing a larger community of users for your brand. On the other end you are creating a profit by allowing other brands to do the very same on your site.
AdSense is a free online program which helps users maximize revenue through online content by promoting other websites off of their own site. This free program has created four potential avenues for profitability:
- AdSense for website content lets you display and profit off of targeted Google ads that are visited from your site. This can be extremely beneficiary for the site host because you have the power to tailor the ads to your audience thanks to Google’s infinite network of websites.
- AdSense for mobile let’s your visitors access other websites as they use your services on the go by displaying relevant text and image ads on their mobile devices.
- AdSense for search allows users to search the internet from your site and earn from ads on the search results page.
- AdSense for feeds helps you to earn a profit by displaying targeted text and image ads throughout your content.
Involving yourself in this program benefits your online business in two ways. Firstly, by involving your brand in many different online resources you’re also becoming more knowledgeable and familiar with the medium you’re using to communicate with your audience. And secondly, by integrating your brand into more online advertising arenas you’ve increased the likelihood of success for your company.
Digital convergence literally implies: Out with the old and in with the new. Say “Goodbye” to something that used to be familiar and “Hello” to something completely different. “Goodbye” to Mr. and Mrs. 8.5 × 11 piece of paper, “Hello” infinite capacity. It’s an extremely exciting era for entrepreneurs. But in order to be successful you must ensure that you understand the various forms of online advertising, know how they work, and how your customers work them.
- Take Me To Your Homepage: How to use online advertising to drive traffic to your website
- The Benefits of Advertising with the Yahoo! | Bing Network
- myhosting.com offers Free Google AdWords Credits to Web Hosting Customers
- Getting Started with Google Adwords credits from myhosting.com
- Protect and Grow Your Business with a Mobile Website