Free Business Advertising Online
With the explosion of internet use in Australia and worldwide, free business advertising online is now more important than ever as this gives small business, consultants, freelancers, contractors and businesses generally the capability to optimise their marketing efforts. According to the ABS more than 72% of Australian households have internet access. When you consider that between 2008 and 2010 the number of homes with computers increased from 44% to 78%, this marketing arena is a key to your marketing strategy and not to be underestimated. Your potential clients can find you through online searches and decide whether to take it to the next step of contacting you and / or buying from you. But finding you has never been more easy, or more difficult, depending on how well you market yourself online.
Tracking the effectiveness of your online advertising is a critical step that most businesses forget to do. If you do this correctly you will be able to optimise your marketing efforts. Research is also showing that use of internet online advertising also builds your branding, so make sure all your uploads into free business advertising online websites include your logo, such things as your usual colours and font styles, and also details of your signature product(s), if any.
What is Free Business Advertising Online?
This is a form of promotion using the internet and World Wide Web to deliver marketing messages to attract customers. Another huge advantage of this service it is free, unrestricted in geographical location and that it is generally easy and convenient to use. This is an emerging market tool as it allows the user to customise their advertisements and in some instances will allow you to include your brand (logo), your team member skills / specialisations, your business services / products, and allows the potential customers that are looking for your services to search with a broad range of search criteria (by name, by type of service, by skills or by location). It also allows the advertiser to expand the off-page component of its SEO campaign. As all current-generation search engines use key words, chances are you will increase your ranking if you set up your free business advertising online correctly.
Research has shown that online advertising has provided results and is a growing source of business revenue. According to Wikipedia, recent Jupiter research predicted $34.5 billion in US online advertising spending.
The Effectiveness of Online Marketing
Marketing professionals are increasingly using online marketing as a key component to broader marketing strategies as there are certain advantages to be gained by using this technique. Today, the internet is at the core of communication and consumer behaviour, and clearly at the heart of the purchasing cycle. For example, most people will search on the internet before buying a product or service. Add to this practice the fact that social networks have become a place to build a brand’s reputation and image. With advertising formats becoming more advanced, free business advertising online is also becoming a more sophisticated tool.
Making Your Online Marketing Advertising More Successful
Firstly, create a clear set of deliverables for your advert; that is, set yourself a campaign objective and then test your advert(s) to see if they achieve your objectives. Generally there are five levels for measuring the effectiveness of your online advertising efforts.
- Display – what does it look and feel like?
- Exposure – the number of advertisements exposed – the more you advertise, the more brand recognition you will achieve.
- Interaction – what is the length of interaction with your advert – this may require you to set up analytics to measure this activity.
- Browsing – how many people visited your site, your advert, how many times did they come back, etc.
- Engagement – how many actual leads / sales and or requests for quote did you yield from your advertising campaign.
Secondly, set up systems that will enable you to answer the following questions:
- At first sight did your message get through? If not, what do you need to change?
- Was your message consistent and is your brand identifiable?
- What percentage of your customers found you through the internet, and which places on the internet did they find you?
- What type of information did your customers look for? Understand what works on your adverts and what does not.
- What triggered your market to actually contact you, buy from you or leave you?
- Did your customers find you in more than one place? If yes, look at the location that is delivering you the best result.
- Did you make more sales as a consequence of your adverts? If yes, which ones?
- Did you reach new customers or established ones?
- Has your consumer pattern changed? If yes, why?
- In hindsight, what would you do differently? Constantly re-look at and test your advertising mediums as they will need to stay fresh and up-to date.
Finally, evaluate your performance. Increase your effort and resources to maximise on your multi-channel communications strategy.