Are You Using The Right Marketing Tools?

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Google Adsense, Facebook Ads, and Website Banners

Online advertisers have several different ways to reach their target customers. The most common marketing tools used to direct traffic to an advertisers website or product page include:

  • Enrolling in Search Engine pay-per-click programs (Google Adsense)
  • Enrolling in Social Media pay-per-click programs (Facebook Ads)
  • Purchasing banner ads on specific sites with targeted traffic

While each of these methods can generate traffic, and ultimately sales, each possesses a unique set of pros and cons that should be considered.

Pay Per Click

The advantages of using pay-per-click (PPC) advertising are based mostly on volume. PPC ads run by search engine giants like Google have an extremely high number of impressions, and can potentially be seen by Internet users all over the world.

As the name indicates, an advertiser only pays when an advertisement is clicked, and a user is directed to their site or product page. This is beneficial to advertisers, because it means they are not spending money unless they are getting actual traffic.

The drawbacks of Google Adwords include: Low “click through rates” (CTR), high bounce rates, and high competition. For an ad to make an appearance at the top of a particular Google search, the advertiser has to be among the top bidders for ads related to those particular search terms. This ultimately squeezes out advertisers with lower budgets in favor of large-scale advertising firms.

Without the visibility associated with top-bidding advertisers, traffic generated from PPC ads is often greatly reduced.

Social Network Advertising

Advertisers on social networks, namely Facebook, target audiences based on information users voluntarily provide, as opposed to keywords in a search engine. Potential audiences list their age, ethnicity, interests, musical preferences etc. The advertiser need only tailor their ads to target fitting demographics.

Another advantage is cost-per-click (CPC). Where a Google Adsense CPC can be several dollars per click, Facebook CPC is generally under a dollar. This may partly be due to Facebook’s relatively new arrival to the Internet advertising world, but at present, the prices speak for themselves.

There are, of course, disadvantages to advertising on social networks. Without specific keyword targeting, many of the impressions made with a Facebook ad may never result in an actual sale of a product or service.

A user searching Google for a specific kind of product, football helmets for example, is likely to click an advertisement for football equipment. Conversely, a Facebook user with “football” listed among his or her interests is not necessarily in the market for equipment (or may not even be a football player), and will have no desire to click the advertisement, even if their information indicates the target demographic.

Social network advertising can also be viewed as a distraction by users of that particular social network. Much like the example above, keyword targeting can indicate users interested in making a purchase, while most Facebook users are visiting the site for the express purpose of social networking, with no intention of using the advertisements to find and purchase new products or services.

Site-Specific Ads

Site-specific ads, also known as “banner ads,” are considered a strong asset to the online advertising world despite their newer counterparts. They are often referred to as a ‘traditional’ form of online advertising. A well-placed banner ad can have a more effective CTR than other forms of online advertising.

A banner ad relies on the targeted traffic of its publishing site, essentially targeting the same audience as the publisher. This method often produces users who have a greater interest in the advertised product.

In addition to their benefits, banner ads generally allow advertisers a greater degree of creative freedom, which can help successfully brand a product or promote a service. Creative advertisements have great potential to generate clicks from interested customers.

Banner Ads also have their drawbacks. Large-scale banner campaigns can be expensive, which can be difficult for small business owners with small budgets. The traffic volume of the publishing site limits the number of views a banner ad will receive. Banner ads can be very cost effective, but require the advertiser to invest time researching the best websites for their advertisements.

Summary

Successful online marketing campaigns are often achieved by carefully exploring different methods, and choosing strategies based on trends within a specific market. Banner Ads, PPC, and social network advertising can all be effective marketing tools, generating results that can change your business significantly! Unfortunately, the common “one size fits all” approach does not apply to every website. It is up to the advertiser to explore and discover which method, or combination of methods, is best to reach optimal success and profit.

References

http://computer.howstuffworks.com/banner-ad.htm
http://www.statisticalforecasting.com/statistics/banner-ad-statistics.php
http://www.ayoswebdesign.com/blogs/stats/2008/05/what-is-click-through-r...
http://www.webdevelopersjournal.com/articles/banner_ads/banner_advertisi...
http://www.searchenginejournal.com/facebook-advertising-vs-google-adword...
http://www.engineready.com/sem-resources/industry-studies/ppc-ad-positio...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_banner

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