Internet advertising is growing but it remains a mystery to many dealers.
The following tips from AdCommunal Inc., an online ad-agency network, are intended to help figure out the world of online advertising, especially in a down economy.
- Understand your audience. Choose an advertising approach that best 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 to pay them for 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.
- Target niche sites and bloggers. Make sure the ad agency you select has access to a network of various traffic sources including social media, search engines, niche sites and bloggers. They can be valuable sources of traffic.
- Monitor your success. Make sure the agency you choose provides advertiser and publisher reporting interfaces so that you can login and see real time ad tracking data like the number of leads generated, ads run and sites reached.
- Make improvements as you go. Optimize campaigns, fuel profitable sources and avoid wasting ad time and money on the wrong sites.
Research shows companies that consistently advertise, even during recessions, perform better in the long run.
A McGraw-Hill study looking at 600 companies from 1980 to 1985 found that those businesses which chose to maintain or raise their level of advertising expenditures during the 1981 and 1982 recession had significantly higher sales after the economy recovered.
Companies that advertised aggressively during the recession had sales 256% higher than those that did not continue to advertise.
“During tight economic times it's more important than ever that companies make smart advertising decisions,” says Neil Raj, who is director of AdCommunal Inc.