Internet Advertising Bureau Online Advertising ChartOnline advertising spend grew an impressive 18% in 2012 and looks set to overtake print advertising very soon.

So why is this? Well, apart from the fact that Internet usage is still growing, online advertising has a number of advantages over traditional print, radio and television. Apart from anything else, it has a much lower cost of entry – you can set up a campaign for free on search engine networks such as Google and Bing, or on social media sites such as Facebook. Online Advertising can be much more tightly targeted, with the audience often already looking for a product or service like yours. And online advertising is testable and measurable in a way marketers can only dream of in other mediums.

Unfortunately many smaller businesses (and some large ones) fall into one of two traps when they try to get started with online advertising:

  1. They try to learn how to run online ad campaigns themselves. This rarely works unless you have a lot of time and excess money. The majority of smaller businesses  who try this end up disappointed with the results and stop trying.
  2. They sign up with one of the larger, “automated” Pay Per Click management companies. These companies may do a great job, normally for a fee of 15% to 20% of the ad spend, or a fixed monthly fee. But there can be a couple of problems….they may not know your business or your geography, and often their consultants will only be allocated about an hour to talk with you and gather as much information as they can. This isn’t a lot of time, and if, as often happens, the arrangement doesn’t work out, they get to keep all the historical data about the performance of your accounts. So you really aren’t any the wiser.

When we are approached about a possible new campaign, we work a little differently. To begin with, we’ll learn about your business and your goals and only recommend online advertising if we think it will truly benefit your business. We’ll look at what your competitors are doing, and try to find ways to get your business out of the noise – while Google, Facebook and Bing are the biggest players, there are lots of other networks and websites out there that might be a better fit. Then when we set up any accounts for you, we’ll do it with a unique Gmail email address so that if you want to leave (we hope not!), you can keep the data about the accounts you paid for.

If you’re interested in jumping into the digital river, or already have but are floating adrift, contact us and we’ll be there with a compass and a rudder…