The Top 10 Online Advertising Questions to Ask Yourself | Business Hub |®

The Top 10 Online Advertising Questions to Ask Yourself

Online advertising has become essential for businesses that wish to gain new customers and improve sales. Yesterday's advertising campaigns—ones centered around radio, television, and print—now reach smaller and smaller numbers, while Internet use continues to rise. How do you navigate the sometimes tangled web that is online advertising?

1. What Is Your Market?

Who do you sell to? Does your product appeal to a particular gender or age group? What about location? Do you sell only in a certain area? If your marketing and advertising plan does not consider these factors, you'll waste money and effort by targeting people who are not interested in your product or service, while missing those who are.

2. Where Does Your Market Go Online?

Once you have identified your customer group for online advertising, find out where those people spend time online. Powerful (and free) analytical tools can help you determine where people go online to look for products and services like yours, so you can target ads in those locations.

3. What Social Media Outlets Are Best for You?

Social media is growing quickly, and it's not just about being social anymore. Social media also provides a platform where you can find and interact with customers. But with so many outlets to choose from, which should you use? Facebook can help you connect with fans of your company and find out what matters to them. Visual sites such as Pinterest and Instagram help you show your customers what you have to offer. The social media outlets you utilize should match the product or service you are promoting.

4. Can Customers Find You on the Internet?

When customers search for your product or business, can they find you? Is your website optimized for search engines? What keywords do customers use to find your business? If you don't know these answers, it's time to find out. An online presence is only effective if people know you're there.

5. What about Marketing to Mobile Customers?

Almost half of Americans already own smartphones. That means a huge segment of the population may be looking for you right at the moment they are ready to shop. Are you ready for them? Mobile advertising is not as important as having your content set up for mobile access. Customers rarely click on mobile ads, but they are looking for engaging and helpful content, so consider this in your online advertising.

6. What Makes You Memorable?

What makes your business stick in people's minds? Is it your logo? A recognizable tune? Whatever it is, make sure you apply it consistently across your online advertising campaign. Wherever customers find you, whether it's on social media sites, on your website, or in ads, they should see the same memorable image that connects to your company.

7. Are Your Employees Ready?

If your employees are going to be equipped to market effectively and respond to advertising questions quickly, they need the right equipment. Whether they are setting up advertising budgets using Google's Adwords or tweeting your latest company announcements, they need fast, reliable computers.

8. Who Can Help?

Depending on your business, you can use websites, bloggers, and social media specialists to help you craft your message and deliver it to your customers effectively. Maybe you don't have the time or expertise to focus on your online presence, but there are professionals who specialize in this process and are ready to help.

9. How Will This Affect My Advertising Budget?

If you have not looked at your advertising budget in a few years, it's likely due for a change anyway. You can launch inexpensive ad campaigns using social media, or you can spend thousands of dollars purchasing space for your ads at popular landing places on the Web. Remember that online advertising and sales can have a unique effect on your accounting and taxes, due to how state sales taxes are applied to online transactions.

10. How Will I Know if This Works?

The great thing about advertising and doing business online is the immense amount of data available to you. You can easily find out how many people are clicking on your ads, where they are coming from, and whether they buy anything on your site. Advertising should always be fluid and responsive, and the many analytical tools make it simpler than ever to gauge the effectiveness of your advertising.

There are plenty of things competing for your attention as a business owner. Online advertising is a massive arena for getting the word out and establishing a presence. Ask yourself these ten questions before you spend the time and money needed to begin a successful campaign.

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