We are very lucky to be living in a world where online advertising is so vast. Even if we look back just a few years ago, online advertising offered quite slim pickings, relying on pay-per-click advertising and not much more! However, there are now loads of ways to reach out to existing and potential customers online.
Technology is constantly evolving, and so are ways to advertise your business online. Adverts are becoming more easily tracked, able to be customised, and provide a lot more value to customers and business owners. Now that a large proportion of the world has gone mobile, it’s opened up a whole new way to reach out to people.
Let’s take a look at 21 Ways to Advertise Your Business Online!
1. Google Search Network
When you perform a Google search you may have noticed the green writing display the word ‘Ad’. These adverts show at the top of a Google search result and will be the first thing most people see or take notice of.
Google themselves decide which adverts to place here based on a real time auction process. This is processed from the keywords used in performing a Google search. The results can change minute by minute as the value of each term and keyword changes.
Regardless of your budget, you can take part in the auction process. However, for certain keywords, those who are willing to put in the most money will likely win the bid.
In order to maximise ad spend via GoogleAds, determine which keywords are most relevant to your product or service. Which words are searched for more than others, and which are less likely to have too much competition.
Bing is Microsoft’s competition to Google. It uses a very similar model in terms of bidding, keywords, and a search/display network. Adverts are displayed on Bing, Yahoo!, and AOL. Although Bing may not have as far reach as Google, it’s still worth investing in.
AdEspresso states that Bing users can reach over 60 million users who aren’t accessible through Google. When someone buys a PC, the operating system is likely to be Microsoft Windows. Windows uses Internet Explorer or Edge as their default browser of which Bing is the default search engine. For those who can’t be bothered to change it, this works in your favour.
Facebook is a brilliant choice for targeted advertising. Facebook allows you to select demographics by age, location, and interests. You can narrow your interest search down to the finest details; cats, gardening, parenting etc. You can even target people who might display certain behaviours like whether they’re interested in buying a new house or thinking about going abroad.
Your Facebook adverts can appear in a variety of locations as shown in the image above. Ad success on Facebook is more about the relevance of your ad to the user viewing it. Facebook have a relevance score which is quantified by how much you want to spend.
Facebook now owns Instagram and has done since 2012. Instagram ads can be seen in news feeds or in stories. The most favourable ads on Instagram seem to revolve around branded or sponsored content. Sponsored content happens when a company pays ‘influencers’ to advertise their brand. They do this by speaking about the brand, showing images of the brand, and generally having a large following.
Costs are roughly the same as those of Facebook as they use the same Ad Manager. Although having a popular celebrity would be great to advertise your brand, that’s likely not to happen. Instead you can find smaller influencers on Instagram amongst its 1 billion users.
5. SMS advertising
Reputable brands often turn to SMS or MMS messages to advertise. I’m sure if you think about it you can recall a time you’ve received a text message from a company advertising special offers on their website or in store. Clicking on a link from a text messages takes little effort from the end user and can encourage them to browse items they may not have considered beforehand.
It’s estimated that 4.68 billion people will be using mobile phones in 2019. That’s an insane amount of potential reach or at least a great statistic to encourage you to use SMS advertising.
6. Geo-targeted advertising
This type of advertising focuses on a very specific area. We’re not talking users based in the same country, or even county/state, we’re talking a few miles away at most. Geo-targeted advertising is ideal for local businesses who aren’t necessarily interested in reaching worldwide status.
You can target people nearby to your location easily with geo-targeted advertising. Maybe your business has an offer on, a discount, or even an event. You can let potential nearby customers know and they may just decide to make a visit.
7. Retargeted Ads
Have you ever noticed that you’ve viewed an item on a website and it seems to appear in targeted adverts when you’re browsing the Internet? This is known as retargeted advertising.
The idea behind retargeted ads is that you have shown an interest in a product by viewing it. But for some reason you didn’t make a purchase. Maybe you were pushed for time, couldn’t decide, or were saving it for a later date. Retargeted ads remind customers of a product they showed interest in, in the hope they’ll revisit the website again and make a purchase.
8. Chatbot advertising
Companies are using chatbots to answer FAQs, provide simple information, and even advertise. When you view products online, you’re not just viewing them for yourself. You’re letting the company know what you’re interested in and therefore opening yourself up to marketing.
If you have customers browsing a particular product online, for example a necklace, you can use your chatbot to your advantage. The chatbot can pop up at any time whilst browsing and suggest something to keep your customers engaged. It could provide a link to a bracelet to match the necklace as well as offering discount for purchasing both.
9. Branded Apps
Although it may seem like a tall task, creating your own branded app is great for business as well as marketing. Companies often use branded apps as a place to advertise information, latest news, and even a wallet to store reward cards.
Mobile apps aren’t that hard to create, especially with today’s technology. If a customer enables push notifications and has your app installed, you can send them reminders to keep engaging with your brand.
10. QR Codes
QR codes are a great link between online and offline behaviour. A QR code can be scanned anywhere that a person has their mobile device.
QR codes are easy to generate and there’s plenty of apps available that can be downloaded to read them. If you put a QR code in your store or on a leaflet, a customer could scan the code for upcoming offers or to be added to a mailing list.
11. Email Data
Email is used everyday all around the word. Having a method available that can capture email data is really important. You can integrate something like this very easily to your website.
Having an email signup option means you can collect your customer’s email data and therefore build up a mailing list. Mailing lists are great to inform customers about upcoming news, events, and offers.
12. Email Marketing
Building on from point 11, now that you have your email data, you need to create emails to send to your customers. You’ll need an email marketing service like Mailchimp to get started. Mailchimp often comes as part of your web hosting package so check this out beforehand!
It’s important your email marketing isn’t considered spam to your customers. Make your emails worthwhile and offer your customers something they want. It’s easy for them to subscribe as well as unsubscribe!
13. Video Marketing
Videos account for a large portion of how online time is spent. Video marketing can come in several forms; via your own YouTube channel, on your website, or through social media.
Remember you don’t need to create stunning videos with tonnes of effects. A simple video blog or small advertisement showing exciting news and products will be plenty to keep customers engaged.
I’ve mentioned other social media channels on this list, and Twitter doesn’t get the chance to escape I’m afraid! Twitter may not have as large a reach as Facebook or even Instagram but it shouldn’t be dismissed.
Twitter is a great way to retweet interesting content, create hashtags for your products, and encourage reviews from customers. The important thing to remember about Twitter is to continually engage with your customers and followers.
User-generated content (UGC) is when users write about or share information about your business. This act often happens organically (on its own without intervention or payment) but can be encouraged.
You could offer something in return for users posting content about your brand. Perhaps create a featured section on your blog or website and offer a reward to the winner each month.
16. Social Media Giveaways
As advertising usually does, this comes at a cost, but a small one. Giving away merchandise from your business to existing or potential customers is a great way for them to advertise your brand for you, as well as promoting it on social media.
All you have to do is create a competition or such on social media and let your customers battle it out! The winner will receive something free from you; an item, discount, etc. and will hopefully continue to engage on social media whilst advertising your brand.
17. Customer Testimonials
Although this isn’t direct advertising, if customers or potential customers read other peoples (hopefully positive) experience of your business, they’ll likely make a visit or return.
Testimonials aren’t often on the forefront of your customer’s minds but a gentle prompt or reminder could be enough. If you’re not getting enough testimonials, you could offer a discount in return for your customers writing one for you.
People like it when they feel like a brand is representing a good cause and is engaging with people on a regular basis. It’s important that you contribute to meaningful discussions, forums and blogs as well as advertising your brand at the same time.
It’s not too difficult to set a small amount of time aside each week to find relevant information that you can contribute to. A few words can actually go a long way and will also provide back links to your website if done online.
19. Write a Blog
Creating content is a great way to engage with customers, let them know about upcoming news and events, as well as advertising your business. Creating a blog is really easy to do, there’s absolutely no excuse not to create a blog in 2019.
One of the key things about blogging is making your content relevant and useful. Don’t write just for the sake of it, write about content people want to know about and want to engage with. They’ll in turn share your content, creating back links to your website as well as advertising your business online.
20. Guest Posts
Having guest posts on your blog is another sure fire way to gaining authoritative back links and high quality content. You should only really aim for high quality sites when using guest blogging as a marketing tool. You’ll need a site with high domain authority and a zero spam score.
Guest posts can give your business exposure it might not have otherwise received as well as back links which will increase your SEO. And with a higher SEO score comes more visitors to your online business.
21. List your Business
It might seem a bit old fashioned now, but including your business in directories is actually more important than you might think. If your business isn’t listed in an online directory, people may struggle to find you.
Online directories like Google My Business, Yelp, and Thomson Local are great starting points. Make sure you only list your business where it’s relevant though. You wouldn’t want to advertise your clothing business in a tradesman directory!