Should you consider online advertising?

imagesYou got a brand new product or business ready, and now you want to make sure as many as possible know about it. You know that your customers won’t find it by themselves, that you somehow have to communicate the message out to them. You may have tried an ad in the local newspaper, but nobody noticed it, you might have considered a radio or tv spot, but found it way to expensive. Now you are considering using online advertising to reach out to your customers, but it’s such a big area where you can easily spend all your advertising money without getting anything for it. This is exactly what happened to a friend of mine who have just started a new company called Tyrolerudkl├Ždning, a webshop selling tyroler kostumer and after several failed attempts at getting customer he reached out to me asking for advise. I gave him some tips and a month later, his sales for tyroler kostumer had increased by 150% without him having to spend more money than he already did on advertising. I have been involved in many such project like Karnevalsshoppen, kostumeoutlet and city IT over the last 15 years. So I figured that I might as well share a few tips with some of the readers here, who might be in the same situation. Let’s start out by look at the many options you got.

PPC – Pay Per Click
One of the most used types of online advertising is pay per click, here you gets your ad displayed somewhere, but you only pay for those who actually clicks on your adverting. A few well known examples of this type of advertising is Google Adwords, Bing Ads, Facebook Advertising and Pricerunner. It can be a really good source of traffic, but you have to know what you do. If you place to many bids at the wrong keywords, or to a high bid compared to your convertation ratio, then you are likely to be wasting money. Most of the the you are best of by hiring a professionel company, who charges a one time fee to setup everything for you. It might cost you a little extra to begin with, but you will often be saving money in the long run.

SEO
Most websites owners just love SEO. The quality of the traffic are often quite good,and best of all, it’s free clicks. The problem here is that if you are in a competitive business, it can be very expensive to get a good natural position for a keyword with a lot of traffic. It’s also a long term strategy where it sometimes can take several months before you see the result. There are also the risk of hiring a company who don’t exactly know what they are doing, and may actually end up harming your traffic instead of boosting it. If you want some good natural traffic, the best you can do in the beginning is write some good quality unique content on your site and for your products.

Banner Advertising
A lot of online business owners gets phonecalls or emails from people wanting to sell them a banner spot on their website. 99% of the times this is a waste of money. The click rate on banners are often not worth the cost, unless you know exactly what you are doing. So this isn’t something I would recommend for a new company.

Affiliate webmasters
For some this is a great way of boosting sales. Basically you are paying other people to sell your product. It can be a certain % of the sale, or a fixed amount. They place banner or link on their own site, and when someone clicks on it, they are redirected to your site. It’s can be a little tricky to set up, but depending on which product you are selling it may be a good way of boosting sales. We did that for Tyrolerudklaedning.dk and it also helped improve sales of tyroler kostumer quite a bit. In order for this to work, you need a large profit margin for each sale.

Now these are just some of the most common examples of how you can advertise for your service or product online. But the best thing you can do, is to make sure that your website is optimized for conversions. I have seen companies pay 10.000$ a month one some of the things above for years. Then they paid a guy 5000$ to optimize their site for sales and after that their sales almost doubled. That means that he then got twice a much sales for the same 10.000$. So always make sure that your customer can easily find and buy your product once he or she have reached your site.