Advertising has come a long way over the last few decades, far beyond simple poster ads and TV commercials. With hundreds of different types of advertising, digital and other, it can be hard to know what forms of marketing actually work.
There’s going to be a lot of variation, depending on the industry you’re in and your target market. However, there are a handful of marketing techniques that have proved successful more or less across the board.
Many companies now opt for pay per click advertising because it can be a lot more cost-effective than standard side-ads or banners on a website. Though PPC advertising still displays your ad as a pop-up or banner, the key difference is that rather than just paying for your ad to be there, regardless of who sees or acknowledges it, you only pay for interaction.
The benefits being that you only pay for results from your ad, and can keep a better track of how effective marketing on a particular web page is. It also means the company providing your PPC services will work harder to get your ad to your target audience.
Search engine optimization is the epitome of internet-era marketing. A major part of having potential clients find your company website in a web search is being near the top of the search results. Most people don’t look past the first few pages, or even the first few results of a web search, so the first few is where you need to be.
SEO increases your ‘natural’ or ‘earned’ results in a search engine, so that when people search keywords and phrases relevant to your site, or content on your site, you’ll show up near the top. It’s a rapidly growing industry, and a great alternative to pricey paid Google advertising.
Social Media Marketing
People spend a lot of time on social media – so should you, but skip the cat videos and focus on marketing. There are two sides to social media marketing, and one of them is free.
First, paid social media advertising – social networks already have a lot of information about your potential clients, including their age, location, gender, and interests. They won’t divulge this, but they will let you advertise to a specific audience based on certain criteria. This means that you can be specific about who sees your ad – specifically those likely to be interested in your product or service.
Running your own Facebook page is the ‘free’ side of social media marketing. Many companies run competitions, making following and/or sharing their page part of the entry. The exponential spread of the campaign is what makes it so effective. Once you have a reasonable following, you can also use your page to share promos and deals.
Something else to remember about digital marketing: your website plays a big role. It’s where people are going to find out more about your company, and its look and content will be a big part of how they judge your business.