Begin with the internet advertising basics for small businesses:
You’ve got a website for your small business, right? According to Selling to Small Businesses -
49% of small businesses - currently have a Web site
13% of small businesses – do not have a Web site but plan to within the next 12 months
38% of small businesses – do not plan to have a Web site within the next 12 months
In 1997 – small business owners could almost justify not having a website because so few people were online. Now, PC mag reports that more than half of Americans have a Facebook account. No matter what demographic your business is targeting – it’s almost a given that they spend SOME time online.
It’s not enough to have a Facebook page or a free blog for your business web presence because
Your Website is the Foundation for Small Business Internet Advertising.
Even if you’re not planning to be selling online – you’ve GOT to have a website for your business. There’s no doubt about it – content is king when it comes to the internet – but if your website doesn’t LOOK good – no one will bother to read your content.
Once you’ve got your website looking good online, then it’s simply a matter of getting visitors to visit your great looking website.
Internet Advertising Basics:
Advertising on the internet is driven by the same “principles” which drive conventional advertising. The more “eyeballs” (or ears in the case of radio) you’re reaching – the higher the cost.
There are two conventional ways to advertise your small business online:
PPC or Pay Per Click Advertising
PPC is exactly what it says it is – you “pay” for every visitor who clicks on your ad. Google Adwords is just one of the many Pay Per Click advertising programs available to small business owners.
PPC advertising campaigns can be the best thing you’ve ever done to promote your business – or it can be a black hole sucking cash at an alarming rate. The key to making PPC profitable is tightly targeting your audience and discovering what words they use to search online for your products and services.
Online Display Advertising
Online display advertising is where you buy space on various websites to display your banner or advertisement. You create an attractive banner/button/ad and pay to have it displayed to web visitors on other websites.
When utilizing either of these two forms of internet advertising – the small business owner has to invest money without a guarantee of making a sale.
If you’re like most small business owners – you’d rather invest your advertising dollars in a “sure thing”. When it comes to advertising – there is a “sure thing” option – it’s called Affiliate Advertising.
Affiliate advertising is where you put other website owners to “work” promoting your products or services. This is a GREAT way to advertise your small business on the internet because you can set up your affiliate program so you only pay when a sale is made.
Creating an affiliate advertising program is quite possibly the most effective form of advertising your small business. Just remember, the 80/20 rule applies when it comes to the sales your affiliate generate.
As a general rule, 20% of your affiliates will be responsible for 80% of your sales. The best thing abut creating an affiliate marketing program with a program like Share A Sale you only pay your affiliates when you make a sale.
Advertising your small business on the internet is much easier than advertising in other forms of media – and no where else can you track and measure your efforts – and your results as easily as you can online.