Five Priorities for Your Online Advertising

By: Guest | August 7, 2012 | 

Google Ad Scoring Flowchart

Today’s guest post is written by Dominick Frasso

Every company knows they need to devote some of their advertising resources to the web.

The question isn’t whether or not you need to be using it, it’s “how?”

The fact is, you can spend a lot of money on techniques that produce little to nothing in the way of results. Moreover, what works for one business won’t necessarily work for another.

If you’re going to make effective use of your advertising dollars, you need to properly define what it is you’ve set out to do.

Following are five priorities to consider when developing an online advertising campaign.

1. Identify your goals. Internet advertising usually falls into one of three categories:

  • Actual sales. You might want to drive traffic to a website where they can make a purchase.
  • Leads. You might be simply gathering leads for your sales team at this point.
  • Brand awareness. Some advertising serves simply to put your business’ name in front of those potential movers and shakers in your industry.

The purpose of a given campaign will, to a large degree, determine the methods you use to make it happen.

For example, if you’re interested in making direct sales or gathering leads, you might consider a Google AdWords campaign. These campaigns drive traffic directly to your landing page, where you can then work to bring about a specific response.

If you’re more interested in brand awareness, a social media marketing campaign might be more appropriate. You can connect with customers, provide new product information, and promote your brand without expecting a specific and narrow response.

2. Where is the hub of your Internet presence? Some businesses today are treating Facebook as their primary Internet presence, for example. Companies whose websites are fairly static and don’t need to be updated on any kind of regular basis will instead engage customers and potential customers via social media.

On the other hand, your existing website might be the primary hub for information about and interaction with your company on the Internet. If so, your marketing efforts will be more about gathering customers and potential customers and the funneling them into your website.

3. How your customers would prefer to interact with you. This one can be a little more difficult to identify, but in the end it can mean a huge payoff for your campaigns. If, for example, your company primarily serves other businesses, a Facebook advertising campaign might not be terribly effective. You might consider developing a strong LinkedIn profile and advertising strategy there, instead.

Understanding your target demographic and identifying their Internet use patterns ensures you can more effectively get your message in front of those users, and increases the likelihood they’ll respond.

4. Integrate with your other marketing efforts. Internet advertising doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It is driven by, and complements, your overall marketing strategy. For example, if your goal is to get customers to visit your website, your print media campaigns might prominently feature your URL, and encourage readers to visit. Or, if your goal is to get people to a retail location, your  online presence will be geared toward the physical location.

Your online advertising should happen in concert with your other advertising efforts, not against them.

5. Your resources. If you have the ability to bring an SEO expert on staff, your priorities are going to be a lot different than if you have one PR person managing the program. The same holds true for your budget; if you have little in the way of money to spend, you need to find inexpensive media and methods to use.

Internet advertising can be a tremendous boon to your business, if done correctly. The days of the Yellow Pages are long gone, and tomorrow’s business leaders are those that can master their online presence. When you set out to define your priorities, start with these five areas and work outward from there.

Dominick Frasso is SEO/SEM specialist at Vistage International, a membership organization that helps CEOs build successful companies through business coaching groups, executive coaching and executive development opportunities.

 Image license by Creative Commons

  • Companies that use Facebook as their primary business presence are taking a risk. I hope they are collecting the information they gather there. Facebook can shut you down without warning at any time and then you could be stuck.

  • danielschiller

    I’d echo @TheJackB’s comment. Companies that are using Facebook as their primary web presence are playing by someone else’s rules. That someone else is Facebook. Maybe that is a risk worth bearing, but there is value in having an owned media presence.

  • DominickFrasso

    Thanks @danielschiller , @TheJackB . Sure there is value, but don’t limit your presence. Using social media is often cheap, convenient and easy to use/adapt. These social channels may also have a greater impact on your overall web presence, search traffic and bring your brand greater visibility. 

    • danielschiller

       @DominickFrasso That’s exactly my point. That is having a limited presence by participating only on third party platforms. And just to be clear, there’s nothing inherently wrong with those platforms (ie. Facebook, Twitter). It’s just that you’re bound by their strictures, ui etc. Serious content marketers (a distinct subset of advertisers) should have an owned platform/podium as well.

    •  @DominickFrasso  @danielschiller Sometimes what is good is not cheap and what is cheap is not good.
      A good online campaign receives support from the advertiser in a number of ways:
      1) Tracking. The advertiser needs more than a landing page. They need to track what happens on that page from start to finish. If you don’t have metrics for your post click conversion you are missing out on significant and important data.
      2) Time- Some advertisers make the mistake of thinking that because the campaign is online it should offer a faster turnaround than traditional advertising. It is not always true and much depends on the nature of the product/service being sold and type of campaign.
      What I really like about your post is the push for integration between the digital and broadcast worlds. When they don’t work in concert it creates issues.

  • Yo Dominick. This made me think about categorizing strategies into those 3 things you mentioned.. brand awareness, sales and.. leads I think it was. Ooo! Now I’m going to build strategies around those three outcomes. I like the overall tone to this, the sort of.. days of the yellow pages are gone, and in with the new! 

  • Guytkca1edc
  • Pingback: Do You Know The 5 Priorities You Should Have For Your Online Advertising? | Bay Business Help()

  • Pingback: Internet Marketing - Channel or Business Model?()

  • Pingback: VNIM: Internet Marketing – Channel or Business Model? | Viet Nam Internet MarketingViet Nam Internet Marketing()

  • Pingback: Internet Marketing – Channel or Business Model? | Future PC News()

  • Pingback: Internet Marketing – Channel or Business Model? | Electronic Staff()

  • Pingback: Prime Real Estate: How to Advertise on Google’s Homepage Given the Chance - BizBlog()