There are many different Advertising strategies. Although you’ve probably heard of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Google AdWords, and Social Media Marketing (SEM), do you really understand what they are and what they can do for your business? This article will give you a quick overview of these three mediums while helping to ensure that you get the biggest bang for your buck.
It’s important to understand how to properly put together a plan for these tactics. It is almost more work than it is to buy a traditional campaign with radio, television and outdoor print, but the results will return 10 fold if done correctly. I wouldn’t be doing this for 15 years if it didn’t work for our clients! Traditional media is letting staff go daily, which means you need to begin thinking of other methods of advertising. You have to take in your own hands how you’re going to best communicate and sell to your customers in the future. The good news is, there are a lot of great options available for you to use. Let me give you a quick starter as to how you would best put this together.
First things first, you need to create a website. Whether you’re using a, “build it yourself” site like Wix or Squarespace, or you’ve contracted a web developer to build it in WordPress or another CMS system, it’s vital to have an online place for your customers to go. After your website is ready, the next step is to let everybody know how to get to it, and more importantly how to get to you.
How many of you, when searching for something in Google, click through multiple pages of the search results? The higher your website ranks in the results of a search, the more visitors your website will get. Search engine optimization, SEO for short, is a methodology of tactics using keywords and keyword phrases to organically place you higher on the search engines results pages. It’s important to understand that this process takes time, usually 3-6 months. Remember, there are Desktop and Mobile searches with different results and you are competing with EVERYONE out there in your industry. However, with a bit of patience and regular maintenance it IS possible to get on page one.
When doing your SEO there are two processes you need to include, Core Optimization and Ongoing. When you CORE optimize, you go through all aspects of your website. The means, putting ALT tags on images and making sure your url title tags are accurate to the copy on the page itself. The cost is usually more for the first month. Ongoing SEO is then tweaking the copy on the website every month as you monitor the search results in order to optimize the keywords within to match how you want to be found.
Another option is Google AdWords. This is the quickest way for your keywords and keyword phrases to be found by triggering your ad to be shown in the search engine results pages. You only pay when people click your ads, which enables you to track your costs, the amount of visitors your site receives and the amount of people that follow up with an email or phone call. These reports are critical for understanding your return on investment. Make sure when you put a Google adword together that you include analytics on your campaign and set up heat maps with a free service called hotjar. It’s worth the money to use a program called “Call Rail” to record your conversations directly through your Google AdWords campaign. It will let you know who called from Google AdWords, who answered the phone and what the result of the discussion was. In addition, if you wish to hire someone to manage your Adword campaign, I recommend choosing a Google Adword partner. They will have the experience and understanding to help your business get the best results. Ask the vendor your considering if they are a partner and if they can give referrals to who has seen positive results.
Social media marketing, also known as SEM, includes all social media that you can advertise on, such as Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram. You really have to appreciate who it is you’re speaking to as this could quickly burn a hole in your pocket. Remember, Facebook is an information source where people go to be mindlessly entertained and are not necessarily looking to make a purchase. Facebook’s environment gives you the ability to buy a targeted audiences, determine if they’re males or females, their ages, and their social status, so you can easily adjust your message to appeal them.
I’ve had successes and failures with social media marketing. For example, I did a campaign for a limousine company, and the intent was to push for weddings. We set up 3 campaigns targeting the Brides, Grooms and Parents of Grooms and Brides. I built the campaigns in a way that everyone had to pre-register from the facebook ads and had to call the office to get the deal on a specific date and time, which gave the campaign some credibility. On a tuesday evening at 6pm, everyone that had pre-registered through the Facebook campaign received an email newsletter advising them that the phones were open and they could now book their wedding at 40% off the normal rates. It was a grand success! An entire summer was booked in less than 4 hours, with 3 people consistently answering the phones. The Facebook campaign advertising cost less than $3,000 in under 2 weeks. The results quadrupled in sales for one evening. The moral of this article is to always make sure that you have a plan. No matter what you do with your SEO, Google AdWords, or Social Media Marketing campaigns, know your targeted audience and understand how you’re going to measure your return on investment in order to determine that it was worth the cost.
If you have any questions, I highly recommend speaking to a specialist who can give you insight on how to strategically set up your campaign, determine a budget and help you execute your plan. I highly discourage setting up a campaign that just spends money to put people on your homepage, unless you have a specific reason for doing so. People are seeking online with a purpose. Give them a reason to give you their money.