Marketing your product, service or business on the internet can have several advantages. However before you sit down and start planning out your online marketing campaign, ask yourself these 3 questions.
Are your customers online?
To put this simply, it really would not make sense to put money on an advertising medium that does not generate revenue because your audience is not on that same medium.
This fundamental principle in advertising applies to all media. If you want to sell a product then you need to advertise on radio and TV stations that the audience you are after listens to and watches; focus your below the line efforts on events that your market has an interest in and will likely be in attendance, and so on.
So if you want to push your product over the internet, ask yourself if your target audience is online.
Finding out if your target demographic is on the internet can be done through surveys or traditional market research, or through online research.
Will your audience perform a conversion online?
A conversion is a specific and predetermined action that you want the recipient of your ad to take. As an advertiser, your goals are probably to make a sale or get a customer.
If you are a pizza place advertising on radio with a radio ad telling the listener to call a number to get a fresh pizza at a discounted price delivered to their doorstep in 30 minutes, then it is obvious the conversion goal here is the call-in and sale.
However your business may not be the type that does transactions over the internet, conversely your product customers may not be the type who buy online.
So you have to then clearly know what your goals for marketing online are.
Each marketing campaign comes with specific goals and online marketing is no different. You should know first what it is you want to achieve through your online advertisements. Do you want to make purchasing or transactions possible over the internet, or are you simply using the internet to gather leads or get inquiries about your product.
Advertising over the internet offers several advantages over media. Aside from the fact that it can potentially be a lot cheaper and more efficient, online advertising is accountable, with data readily available and with the ability to track audience behavior and reaction to advertising, that helps in fine tuning aspects of your campaign.
In the end, all you need to do is determine if your effort online can get you a customer, regardless if instant with a sale done right on your website, or protracted and through a process that starts with getting a lead, to relationship building and then the sale.
Is it worth the expense?
Again, online marketing can cost you much less than traditional media placements, but marketing costs can vary depending on the online marketing strategy or strategies that your consultant lays out for you… and there are several methods; PPC, SEO, email marketing, banner advertising, etc.
It boils down to basic figures; knowing how much you spend, knowing how much profit you make, and knowing the cost per acquisition of every customer and finding ways to get more customers for the same cost of acquisition or lower.
This in turn also goes back to the first question, about your audience being on the internet, and how huge that market could be. As it may turn out, it may not be viable for you if the online audience for your product is too small, and that small volume may not be enough to justify your online spending.
Online advertising is a great way to promote a business, whether you have a product to sell or a service you provide; the internet erases all geographical limits and gives you a worldwide audience, and for those that sell online you can have a store that sells and earns you money while you sleep. That being said, the internet is just another medium to evaluate and use if necessary to reach out to what is actually most relevant to your business, your customers.