“Whether B2B or B2C, I believe passionately that good marketing essentials are the same. We all are emotional beings looking for relevance, context and connection.”
— Beth Comstock, vice-chairwoman at GE
Many small business owners feel like their marketing budgets are wasted; sunk into various advertising modalities that return little to no results. As traditional marketing avenues like print ads, radio spots and television commercials continue to become less effective and succumb to the digital age, marketers and businesses owners turn to online advertising to gain traction.
Even in the electronic world, however, it can be quite challenging to drive awareness for a business as ad blockers have become widely used and consumer attention spans continue to drop. The key to acquiring these eyeballs with your advertising messages is to optimize your outreach efforts by promoting through the most effective modalities, where consumers are most likely to convert.
While a supple SEO strategy and content marketing are still vital aspects to driving awareness, sales and other crucial company goals, these are much slower and more methodical than the advertising methods listed here. If you need to produce some big results sooner than later, here are three of the most fruitful ways you can spend your ad dollars online.
1. E-mail Marketing
It’s easy to get caught up in all the hot new marketing trends like live streaming video and influencer marketing, but sometimes employing a tried and true tactic is the best route to go.
Despite its age, e-mail marketing is still one of the most effective ways to reach consumers and produces one of the highest ROIs in the game. On Black Friday 2015, e-mail was the main driver of sales, resulting in 25.1 percent of orders. Additionally, 89 percent of marketers proclaim that email is still their main source of lead generation.
As it stands, there are currently more than 251 e-mail marketing solutions available online; and that’s because it works. For small businesses, your email database is a goldmine. These folks have already opted in to your messaging and want to hear what you have to offer them.
And with free options from services like MailChimp available, email marketing can be an extraordinary driver for your business. Just be sure to continually test and optimize your email messages for the best results possible.
2. Social Media Ads
E-mail marketing is all well and good, but if you don’t have an e-mail database to communicate with, it’s useless. This is where social media becomes your greatest ally.
Granted that you have already done your due diligence and understand your audience and where they hang out, you can select one our two social platforms to crank up your marketing efforts.
One of the best things you can do to drive awareness and site visits is to create sponsored posts from your best content. If you are in dire need of sales, platforms like Facebook provide a kaleidoscope of compelling ad experiences for promoters to leverage. Each comes equipped with its own CTA to drive virtually any goal you aim to reach. Plus, advertising on Facebook is relatively inexpensive, making it the perfect place for small businesses to advertise. Not to mention that advertising on social media effectively circumvents those pesky ad blockers that nullify your messages.
Advertising on social platforms like Facebook is so effective, not only because of the versatility in ad types, but because of the robust analytics it provides to promoters. The fact that audiences can be targeted, and retargeted, according to their defining traits like interests, age, location, and more make it all the more powerful. This helps to ensure that your ad dollars are not wasted on audiences who would have zero interest in what you are promoting. Additionally, since Facebook owns Instagram, marketers and business owners gain these same compelling and hearty features on both platforms.
But these two social behemoths are not the only way to leverage social media ads.
3. Video Content Creation
Video content has all but taken over the Internet, and by many reports, it soon will. This is already becoming evident as live streaming platforms like Periscope pop up all over the Web, major social platforms like Facebook adopt live broadcasts, Instagram produced its own video feature despite its reputation as an image-based website, and YouTube has risen to become the second largest search engine in the world.
The reason why video is evolving into such an utterly dominant force is because it is what consumers want. They enjoy this visual format over text, images, or anything else. And it is understandable as to why; most people are visual learners.
When it comes to its effectiveness, video produces 1,200 percent more shares than text and video combined. In fact, 52 percent of marketers claim that video produces the highest ROI of all content.
This is why setting up a YouTube channel to generate content is massively beneficial for brands. Even if creating videos doesn’t seem like something that interests you, exposing people to TruView ads makes individuals 23 times more likely to visit, subscribe, or share a channel’s content.
Ultimately, the strategies you decide to leverage depend on your target audience and where they are most likely to engage. Figuring that out is the most important step to an effective ad campaign. If you don’t know where your audience lives, you are almost guaranteed to not reach them. Once this information has been established, leverage these types of marketing ploys to get those folks to see your ads, engage with them, and convert from a consumer to a loyal customer.
Which of these three ad avenues do you think is most effective?