Big Online Advertising Tips for Small Businesses

As the owner or operator of a small business, it can often be difficult to tell whether you manage the business or whether the business manages you!

At Covercy, we’re always delighted to see our clients evolve from small businesses to medium-sized concerns, and, in many cases, to large organisations. As a business grows over time, employees inevitably become more professional, focusing on specific responsibilities. Smaller businesses require more versatility from their employees, and that often means that “upper management” needs to do the lion’s share of the “dirty work.”
Whatever the scale of your enterprise, departments such as Sales, Finance, IT, HR, Product Management, Business Development, Customer Service, and Marketing must be expertly handled to ensure efficiency and to increase turnover. When it comes to extending your reach, online marketing is usually the best investment, and it’s well worth putting in the effort to learn how to build effective campaigns, even if you’re something of a technophobe.

Why Online Adds Up
Just by looking at Alphabet (Google) or Facebook stock trends, it’s easy to see that the big bucks are still pouring into the online space. Research company eMarketer even predicts that digital ad spending will finally surpass TV expenditure in 2017. The reasons are clear…ABC
Targeting Abilities – unlike Television, Newspapers or Radio, Search Advertising (through Google, Yahoo-Bing, Yandex and others) targets the viewer according to his state of mind and what he searches for. This is often described as “pull marketing” – the viewer is the initiator of the ads which will be displayed to him among the search results. In order to provide better value to their clients – the online audience – search engines attach great importance to whether the product or service promoted is directly relevant to the viewer’s search query.

Social Media – platforms such as Facebook possess a key advantage over other channels in terms of knowing exactly who each user is, according to the information he shares upon registration, and also to his circle of online friends, the groups he belongs to and his post engagement history.

Based on this treasure trove of information, it is relatively simple to target individuals by geolocation, language, age, gender, occupation, interests, device type and other segments.

Data-driven – with free and easy-to-use analytics software within the reach of every company, it’s now possible to trace the source (Google Search for example) of all website traffic and to analyze the visitor’s behavior during his time on a site. By cross-referencing this data with the budget you allocate to each source of traffic, it is easy to calculate the precise return on investment, which is clearly not the case for traditional media such as TV, Print or Radio. Based on a survey by coupon aggregator RetailMeNot, eMarketer concludes that: “digital marketing brings bigger returns than offline efforts. More than three-quarters of retailers said their digital ROI was greater than for offline marketing channels.”

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Real-time Flexibility – online advertising can be executed anywhere, anytime. You can kick off a campaign with a budget of zero on social media or spend millions of dollars per month on various online channels. However much you have to spend, the basic process of creating and editing an ad is both easy and intuitive.  

What to Watch Out for
Since mobile traffic is now taking an ever-growing piece of the online pie, you need to make sure that your online promotion links to a page which is mobile-friendly or ‘responsive’. If you don’t, you’ll be wasting money on clicks which will never convert!
Be available – remember that the goal is for people to contact you or order your product, so always display your contact details prominently or include a user-friendly contact form on your site.
Learn before launch – while going through the process of launching a campaign, make sure you understand exactly what you are doing at every stage. Each button and checkbox is there for a reason, so watch all of those video tutorials, make notes and refer to them constantly as you build your campaign.
Capping – don’t get carried away! Always be sure to set yourself a daily budget for online advertising… and stick to it..
Divide and conquer – be ruthlessly organized, keeping detailed records of the costs of all your separate campaigns. If you stay right on top of everything, you’ll always be able to see what’s working and what needs more attention. .

Best of luck!