Small business owners are constantly looking for ways to improve their marketing efforts. One way to save money on your marketing campaigns and improve results is by targeting your efforts.
As the name suggests, targeting your ads means sending them only to people who are interested in your product or service. These people are far more likely to make a purchase, meaning you get a better return on your ad dollar. But how do you reach these people?
Start looking at sites that cater to people who are already interested in your offerings. You can purchase display ads (banner or button advertisements) on these sites, or you may be able to purchase cost-per-click (CPC) advertising.
Bear in mind that targeted CPC advertising will cost much more than just general CPC ads. Essentially, you are paying more to reach a “qualified” audience. But even though targeted CPC ads cost incrementally more, you can still come out ahead, as targeted ads almost always result in more sales than untargeted ads.
E-newsletters are another great way to reach your target audience, cheaply and effectively. There are thousands of e-newsletters around on just about every topic you can think of. And newsletter advertising can be cheap — sometimes less than $50.
But before you write a check, make sure you know how many subscribers the newsletter has, what the open and click-through rates are, and how your results will be tracked. Learn more about Internet Advertising Strategies.
Keyword advertising is the most widely used form for targeted advertising. Services such as Google AdWords have made it possible for very small companies to run successful campaigns with no minimum purchase requirements.
When a user types in a keyword that matches a list of words you have selected, your ad appears. In this case, the targeting is done dynamically: ads are targeted to the user’s search terms, and you are charged only when users click on your ad.
No matter which form of targeted advertising you select, there are some important things to keep in mind:
1. Choose your keywords and your venue carefully. Make sure that you are using the best possible keywords to describe your business. With cost-per-click ads, this is essential to accurately target your viewing audience and get a solid return on your investment.
2. Polish your copy. Before sending out any advertising copy, make sure that it is the best possible description of your product and service. It is much easier to sell items to a targeted audience, but you will need to make sure that you showcase your products correctly.
3. Get your site ready. Having a great ad is one key to targeted advertising success, but your site will need to support your ad. Make sure that all of your content and promotional information is current and easy to find.
4. Learn from your mistakes. If something is not working for your campaign, retool it and try it again. You may need to change keywords around or find different venues for your ad.
Above all, keep trying. Just because one ad did not work well does not mean you should give up advertising entirely. Take some time to regroup, analyze where you may have gone wrong, and try it again. Before long, you will be on your way to targeted advertising success.