Okay, so you’ve created an awesome website with an excellent user interface and lots of attractive graphics. You have an excellent product or service that is in demand in the marketplace, and you’ve set a reasonable price that should lead to lots of sales. That’s all fine and dandy, but the truth is that your business isn’t going anywhere unless you can generate consistently high volumes of traffic to your websites over time.
Even though there are many free methods that you can use to drive traffic, it’s hard to beat the speed and ease of using a paid advertising campaign. As long as you have a reasonable budget and are willing to go through a learning curve, you’re ready to check out these four major options for paid online advertising.
Google AdWords (Pay-per-click Advertising)
Pay per click advertising is an excellent alternative for companies who have the financial resources and can make an investment in order to bring targeted traffic to their websites. Like SEO traffic, AdWords is considered targeted because people are actually typing in keyword phrases that are relevant to your products and services before clicking on your advertisement. This can bring a flood of traffic to your online business very quickly, and this is an excellent choice as long as you’re able to turn a profit.
That’s where the problem usually lies for small companies who are inexperienced with this form of advertising. There is a lot of competition in pay per click campaigns these days, and it is very easy to waste a great deal of money if you don’t have the experience. Many e-commerce stores get wrapped up in bidding wars that cost product margins to drop substantially. Therefore, if you’re going to give this form of advertising a try, just make sure that you take an excellent training course and be ready to invest some money in the beginning while you figure out the entire process.
This form of online advertising is even older than the search engines themselves, and the concept is pretty simple. You simply put some sort of banner (usually with a catchy image and headline) on a relevant website. Users who choose to click the banners will end up on your website and hopefully will make a purchase. The problem is that these days, web users have developed “banner blindness” so only a small percentage will actually click on your ad. With this in mind, you need to make sure that you’re not paying very much for your advertising, especially if you are paying a certain amount per impressions (impressions means that your ad would show up a certain number of times and you will get charged regardless of whether anyone actually clicks on your advertisement).
You can contact webmasters and email programs to ask them if they are willing to sell ad space in their newsletter or e-zine. This way you will have access to their subscribers and be able to reach them with a simple low cost advertisement. The ad can be something as simple as a text link that states your website is a sponsor of that publication. Generous newsletter publishers may allow you to have an entire page space on their sent publications to give you maximize exposure. This makes it much simpler to reach an audience that wants to read the email with your website content information included.
Whether you specialize in physical products or in digital information products like e-books and other courses, affiliate marketing is a great form of online advertising. The major advantage is that you don’t actually have to pay your affiliates a commission until the sale is made. If you do a good job of promoting your affiliate program in the appropriate marketplaces, then these affiliates can do most of the legwork for you like writing articles, using pay per click advertising themselves, and ultimately driving traffic to your product in any number of ways.
Unfortunately, there are still many website owners outside of traditional Internet marketing who are not familiar with the concept of affiliate commissions and may think there is something shady going on. So you simply have to be a salesperson and convince people that your affiliate program is legitimate and profitable. You also have to make sure to choose an excellent network such as Clickbank or Paydotcom.
Have you heard of Facebook? Of course you have. What you may not realize is that social media can be used as a form of online advertising, and Facebook ads are excellent examples. At the same time, however, you have to realize that most people are simply using these social networks to hang out with their friends and engaging in entertainment and conversations. Major companies are already expressing doubts about the efficacy of social media marketing campaigns. There are now entire books being written about social media ROI (return on investment), so this tells you that you need to be careful not to waste a lot of time in busy work without evaluating the results.
However Facebook does have its advantages as it uses an advertising system that is very simple to implement and offers a wide scope of coverage in the Facebook website. Only Facebook users that are within the specific demographic you choose will be able to see the advertising. This helps to narrow down who sees advertising so you are not wasting your money on people who are not going to be interested in what your website has to offer.