Internet advertising for small businesses can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. You have many options, both paid and free, that can give you enough targeted traffic to make sales.
A big problem for new business owners is the cost of advertising. They often start with a small budget that barely covers the costs of their website. From this, they feel that buying advertising is the best way or maybe they think it’s the only way to get the word out.
They often overlook the fact that there are other ways to get the same results that are very profitable. This is where internet marketing and advertising intersect.
First, let’s take a look at your paid options.
You can spend your money online with pay-per-click ads, banner ads, classified ads, and solo ads. Some of the major PPC services include Google, MSN, Yahoo! Miva and, more recently, Bing. These allow you to place ads in search results on search engines, as well as on websites within your target market.
The downside is that you have to know what you’re doing when creating your ads and landing pages or you could spend a lot of money with these options. Also, when people see ads, they know you want to sell them something, which can limit the number of people who will actually click on your ads.
You can buy advertising offline in phone books, magazines, newspapers, newsletters, billboards, and other places. You can print flyers and business cards that you can then distribute to your target market. The Post also offers advertising packages that can be targeted to your specific audience.
These are longstanding traditional methods that still work today because you can reach people who are online and people who are not.
Which method you choose largely depends on your budget and which option will work best for your business and niche. Some will work better than others. The only way to know which ones are most appropriate is to simply try them out, one at a time if necessary. Or encrypt all of your ads and marketing materials so you know immediately which ones brought you traffic and sales.
Next, let’s look at the free options.
Advertising on websites in your niche can be accomplished without PPC. You can do it with your articles. This process takes some work because you’ll need to find the sites in your niche and then approach each webmaster to get your article on that site. Since the public does not see the articles as advertisements, they tend to get more attention and can generate more clicks.
Another way to market articles is to submit them to major article directories and allow people to use those articles on their own sites. This does the same thing we just discussed, except that article directories automate the system for you.
The trick is to produce articles that people “want” to post on their sites. If your articles do not offer unique information, they will be ignored. There are a few things you can do to make sure this happens.
1. Target each article to a keyword.
2. Put that keyword in the title and content.
3. Make the article readable, with short sentences and lots of white space.
4. Provide quality information
5. Make sure the articles are original (not PLR or copied from other sites)
6. Write an effective title that attracts attention and invites to read
Social media is another popular form of free promotion for your business. This is a bit hard for some people to understand, especially when it comes to sites like Twitter. Can you really succeed by posting there? The same question applies to blogs.
The secret is to hit all the hot spots. In other words, give people what they want. To do this, you must know your target market. Find out what they’re looking for and how your offerings can meet that need. Then announce it in a way that they can understand quickly. Twitter and blogs are the ideal mediums for short and precise promotions.
If you can do that, you will get their attention. Word will get around. People will start looking for your next Tweet, blog post, or comment. Show them you have the answer, and then send them to a suitable landing page. That page should be just as precise and targeted, detailing what your offer can do, how fast you can do it, and how easy it can get your visitors.
Blogs are popular for this because search engines, Google for example, like them very much. The content is usually updated periodically. This means that your blog can appear at the top of the results every day, right when your customers are looking for it and where they will find it.
Commenting on related blogs provides similar exposure. If the blog is frequently visited and has a large number of comments and posts, you can be sure that it will be popular in the search results. Those are the ones you want to target.
Lastly, you can advertise through your own website. This can be a blog or a static web page that is monetized. Monetize your site with AdSense ads, banner ads, and affiliate ads. If your site receives a large number of visitors, you can sell advertising to other vendors for a steady monthly income.
Having your own website is almost a necessity nowadays. Article directories don’t always allow affiliate links in their resource box. If you are an affiliate marketer, you must first send your readers elsewhere. That would be your website. There, you can give them more valuable information, perhaps through a small downloadable guide, before directing them to the affiliate sales page.
These are just some of the options available to you. Internet advertising for small businesses doesn’t have to cost you a pretty penny and still bring you the profit you want.