Thinking of putting yourself out there by advertising online? First, we must say that it is a good idea. If there’s something we’ve learned from this COVID-19 crisis is that businesses cannot rely on frontal sales alone when times get tough. Neither, sadly, can the rely on governments to really come through when they need it the most.
In the past ten months, business owners and even freelancers of all types have learned the hard way that the internet is where commerce is really happening today – and that it started way, way before COVID-19 came into our lives. On the other hand, it isn’t too late to join this digital revolution.
There are a few types of advertising methods online, but the only real viable solution for small businesses and freelancers is campaigning. This basically means that you create an advertising plan that is suitable to your budget. You then choose when your ads will be shown, to what type of potential clients, how much your budget is, how you will be charged for the ads, etc.
There are a few platforms who offer campaign plans to fit your needs. It is important to be familiar with them in order to choose the right one for you. This guide can help you make your choice.
The big social media names, with Facebook above everyone else, enable anyone to publish ads that will be seen on people’s feeds. There are different types of ads, of course, and it depends on the platform. Twitter, for example, makes ads look like regular tweets. On Snapchat, on the other hand, you can be redirected to an ad before seeing the snap you clicked on. In a sense, advertising on social media is kind of like an ice cream store – so many different options that it may be hard for you to choose the one that’s most suitable for you.
Usually these social media platforms are a one-stop-shop for campaigning: You enroll, you choose the characteristics of your campaign, you upload it, you analyze it and you pay for it – all via your selected social media platform. This can be relevant for people who are looking to target a very specific crowd, since social media tycoons have gathered a lot of information about their users and offer it to advertisers. On the other hand, it is not an easy process and following the numbers can be a bit mind-boggling sometime. A lot of A-B testing is needed so if you don’t have the time, patience and strength for it – opt for anther choice.
Every time you search for something online, your results trigger advertisements on the search screen. Sometimes its obvious, other times it’s a bit more subtle, but they’re always there. Search engine advertisement has become a popular tool and, believe it or not, we’re not just talking about Google – there’s Bing, YouTube, Quora, Reddit and many more.
Advertising on search engines may seem simple, but it’s more complicated than you think. You need to have the experience it takes to choose the right keywords – meaning the words and phrases that, when searched, will trigger your ad among results. It is also a matter of bidding, meaning that once you pay more, your ad is more likely to be seen and placed in more dominant spots. Once again, this takes mastering. If you have the time to acquire the skills and expertise, go ahead. If you don’t, there are better options for you.
There’s also a solution for people who are not whizzes in digital campaigning. Today, agencies offer to create, publish, monitor, and analyze campaigns for you according to your demands, goals, and budget. While this naturally costs more than the other options usually, it saves you the time (and money) of trying and erring by yourself on social media or search engines. This is definitely recommended for anyone who’s just learning the magic of online advertising and for people who do not have the patience to do it themselves.
There are all kinds of agencies and plans out there. One of our personal favorites is Crystalead, an online platform which offers various types of services for people with different budgets. Another advantage that Crystalead offers is the option to be more (or less) involved with the process. You can choose whether you want to have an impact on ad placements, timings and so on. They also offer useful guides and tutorials for starters.