The following tips on Internet advertising in a tough economy come from AdCommunal Inc., an online ad agency network.
- Understand your audience. Choose an ad approach that suits your goals.
- Pay for leads, not impressions or clicks. The best way to do this is through a performance-based program where you pay a set amount per lead generated regardless of how many times the ad is shown or clicked on.
- Maximize your investment. Not only does a lead-based performance approach generate leads, it provides free brand visibility through banner placements and free site visibility through clicks, while generating leads that you can contact repeatedly.
- Avoid set-up fees. There is no reason for those in an online campaign.
- Look for exclusivity. Most advertising agencies will tell you that they do not handle competing accounts. Check if the agency has a smaller division or a separate department that's serving your competitor.
- Make sure that the agency representative you deal with is also responsible for the distribution of your campaign, thus giving a direct handle on both sides of the transaction.
- Target niche sites and bloggers, as they can be valuable sources of traffic.
- Avoid extra costs of hiring a dedicated affiliate/program manager.
- Monitor your success. Make sure the agency you choose provides advertiser and publisher reporting interfaces so that you can log in and see real-time ad tracking data like the number of leads generated, ads run and sites reached.
- Make improvements as you go. Avoid wasting ad time and money on the wrong sites.
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