Online Advertising: What a difference a quantum leap makes!
Believe me, I totally get it – online advertising is complex at best and doing calculus on a roller coaster at worst. It’s a constantly in motion world which you don’t even want to think about trying to understand because most of it requires the part of your brain that forces you to… um, what were we talking about?
.. Oh yeah, online advertising. It’s the wild west, but also believe this: It is a key to victory.
All joking aside, online advertising is not as bad as it seems and after a few bangs for your buck, you’ll find it to be not bad at all. What I’m sayin’ is getting a grip on it isn’t as hard or as time consuming as you might think. If you’re wondering whether you should advertise your brand, services or promotions online, the answer is yeah, baby. I mean, most likely, yes. After 25 years of Internet rocking the world, the facts are established, and the benefits of online advertising make it a worthwhile to learn and use.
Back in the day when I was young (I’m not a kid anymore), it used to be you figured out what you could spend on advertising, ya’ tried everything and after that – basically took an educated guess at why your sales, traffic, or brand awareness may or may not have gone up. Billboards, radio ads, newspapers, television – if you could afford it – or flyers, taping notes to telephones poles, sandwich boards (google it), or whatever you could afford to flush down the drain.
So, what worked, how much did it work and who exactly fell for it? How much of your increased action was due to word of mouth of your awesomeness by satisfied audience and customers?
… You got me right square on that one pal. Let me ‘splain:
I used to work in radio – in fact – I produced the largest morning show in the largest radio market in the world, so you’d think I’d know a little bit about where you should be putting your advertising dollars, right? As it turns out, I do know where to put the lion’s share of them – especially in the beginning of your quest – and it ain’t radio neither, friendo. For two simple reasons:
It’s not that radio, billboards, duct-taping yourself to the wall of a convenience store, periodicals, flyers, or even television ads don’t work – certainly they do, or else how would they stay in business? But traditional advertising is giving way to online advertising for two very critical differences: A: Online is cheaper in that it can be done on a micro level or Elonic Muskavoid scale, and B: Online campaigns no matter the size can be measured precisely as to their effectiveness with simple to understand metrics.
Most of the time it’s as simple as; ‘how many clicks?’ and ‘how many purchased?’ – and once you have that information, it’s pretty easy to tell if it’s working or not. On the other hand, I could never tell if radio or billboard ads were working because there were not these type of measurement tools available until the Internet came along and started putting everyone out of business who failed to bend the knee to it’s awesomeness. I must confess: I love the Internet for many reasons, but this reason especially.
The Internet is the Mother of Dragons when it comes to cutting out the middleman, the gatekeepers, the power brokers, the networks, retailers, agents, leeches, overlords and other people who do nothing but add misery and cost to your otherwise kick-ass life. You can advertise online for literally next to nothing on a tiny scale, using free platforms, sitting in your underwear (although I was asked to leave a Starbucks once for doing that) and see in an instant if people think you’re cool, have a clever idea, a good product, a skill they need, a talent or penchant to make folks laugh, cry, get motivated, etc.
Then – you just ramp it up, baby. Trial and error on the cheap!
This, as opposed to spending $78,000 on a cable TV ad buy that may or may not work. Not everyone can be the ShamWow guy right out of the gate. You do it online, then Silicon Valley or NetFlix comes a calling and you do it on TV. Here’s the point. If you want to build a brand, get your resume out their – whatever form that takes – make an announcement, sell something, test an idea, float a balloon, promote your talent, make it known that you are the shit – you’d be crazy not to start online. It’s where a tiny bit of money – or no money at all – can be all you need to market and advertise your thoughts and being.
I know, I know, there are exceptions to what I’ve just prattled on about, but who cares about exceptions? Not me. I go with what works in the big picture and when you can measure the return on your advertising investment dollar down to the penny with certainty and analyze your efforts with metrics a silicon valley cubicle dweller dreams about – the answer is obvious.
Think of all the devices you use daily and how often you access the internet! You could be increasing your brand’s awareness with someone on their morning commute or with someone doing some surfing from the comfort of their couch!
Nielson conducted a study which found that companies who advertised online experienced a return on investment of nearly three dollars in incremental sales for every dollar spent on advertising online. The flexibility you get when advertising online allows you to connect with your target market no matter where they are physically.
Online advertising is also wildly convenient, for both you and your audience or customer. As the advertiser, you can setup and manage your digital campaigns from the comfort of your own home or office. For the customer that likes to browse the net during off hours, your online campaigns will be there waiting for them because, well, the internet never sleeps.
If you can’t think of any reason why you should advertise online, consider this one very important fact: your competitors are doing it. Each day that passes when you’re not taking advantage of online advertising tools is another day that you’re losing market share to someone who is. There’s no denying that we are technology reliant and if you don’t meet your customers where they are you’ll be missing out on a tremendous opportunity to engage.
Start online and go from there. It works better, it’s easier, it’s more direct, efficient, flexible, creative and besides – who wants to be known as the old fart from 1993? Of course, there’s better than other ways to do it as anything in life and plenty of info regarding said better ways right here on this app.
Because remember: Uncle Rodney loves you, and folks: That ain’t bad.