Advertising your small business on the web is no small undertaking. Big or small – web advertising is big business and even though it may be deceptively easy to launch an web advertising campaign – the real goal is to create a web advertising campaign that delivers new customers to your business.
Preparing to Advertise your Small Business on the Web
Failing to prepare properly is like preparing to fail when it comes to advertising your business – big or small – on the web. If you want your web advertising to find new customers online for your business – you need to make the proper preparations for success.
Begin your preparation by tightly targeting who you want to reach with your advertising message. The best thing about advertising your business on the web can be the worst thing about advertising your business on the web – seriously.
The best thing about advertising your business on the web is that you can target your audience with pinpoint precision. Tightly targeting your audience and your marketing message means your costs will be lower while your ROI (return on investment) will be higher. Sound great – right?
It makes you wonder why so many small business owners choose the opposite or “worst” case scenario when it comes to planning their web advertising campaign. The “worst” case scenario is to target your marketing message and your audience very broadly. By casting your advertising “net” so widely – you’ll pay more to air your marketing message AND your ROI will be significantly lower. What’s to love about that scenario? Well, the only possible thing to love about the “spray and pray” form of web advertising is it takes very little planning and thought before launching your campaign.
Because many web sites make advertising your small business incredibly easy – it’s tempting to skip the part about tightly targeting your audience. For example, one popular social media site offers the ability to tightly target your marketing message. When you’re setting up your initial campaign, it may be strangely gratifying to see big numbers – in the tens of millions – appear as you select your target audience’s characteristics. However, while those big numbers may provide initial peach of mind – they’ll quickly burn through any but the most robust advertising budgets.
In my book Beyond the Niche: Essential Tools You Need to Create Marketing Messages that Deliver Results I illustrate how the ROI drops significantly on any advertising campaign – online or off – when you broadly target your message and your media. Media is sold based upon the number of “eyeballs” exposed to your message. If those eyeballs don’t belong to a wallet of someone who might need or want your products/services – then putting your marketing message in front of those eyeballs is a waste of advertising dollars.
While it may not be as emotionally satisfying to see the numbers drop as you select the characteristics of your ideal target audience – you’ll experience the “delayed” gratification of computing your advertising ROI (return on investment)