ARE YOU SURE IT REACHES YOUR AUDIENCE?
Traditional advertising has lost a lot of it’d audience. News papers have lost their audiences. Billboards are practically overlooked! Nobody watches local tv anymore. On top of all that all these are expensive mediums in which to advertise and there is a good chance you won’t hit your target market even if you do advertise in the local paper.
So if all these mediums are expensive and they don’t hit your target market as effectively as you would like, what medium brings the best, cheapest, most targeted traffic? Paid Search.
What is Paid Search?
Paid Search is anywhere where you pay a sight such as a search engine to place a little ad and a link that will drive internet traffic to your site.
Who offers paid search?
Google, Bing, Yahoo, Facebook, blogs, you name it the site probably provides a form of paid search and there a many forms of paid search.
What are the forms of paid search?
There are a number of forms of online advertising such as cpc (Cost per click) you only pay when someone clicks on your add, CPM(cost per thousand)- cost per thousand impressions, CPL (Cost per lead) – you pay for leads in a more traditional form of lead generation and you don’t own the customer right out but the service can be very effective ie. Service Magic, there is also affiliate advertising but I consider that a completely different animal and not necessarily useful to the small business guy.
What should I use and How Do I use it?
Assuming you have a web site and it does a good job of converting browsers to customers, then CPC – cost per click is by far the cheapest form of advertising available other than word of mouth. We’ll explore CPC later this week in another post. The other advantage of CPC advertising is that usually you can target it to only show to people in a specific postal code who search for a specific term at a specific time of day. This is great if you have a limited budget to spend on advertising and you want to drive extremely targeted traffic. Traffic of this type is often looking to buy. Can you get any better than that?
Using CPM also assumes that you have a web site and it does a good job converting browsers to customers. The problem with CPM is that you will pay for the number of impressions (Number of times users of a web site see the ad) no matter how many clicks you get. The one traditional advantage over cpc is that you can control your costs. However in recent years you can now control you cpc costs much more effectively and generally target your audience much more effectively. However if you find a blog that speaks about your industry and seems to target your local market then CPM might be effective but generally I’d recommend against it.
CPL – cost per lead advertising is generally much more expensive and while you may find some platforms that don’t require you to have a web site most web-based CPL programs will expect that you do have a web site and it should generally be good about converting browsers to customers. The best CPL programs work by consolidating a group of businesses such as home improvement assuring that you meet a set of standards and then offer a number of programs to provide you leads to gain their customer’s business. These sites gamble that they can use other forms of advertising to drive traffic to their site cheaply and then turn over the lead to you to follow-up on. The real value to you is the lead is truly pre-qualified. There are companies out there that don’t do a good job of pre-qualification and you’ll end up wasting money so be careful when using this type of service and check it out thoroughly.