When it comes to growing an online business, one of the most common and most effective strategies is to grow your customer base. This is often accomplished by a variety of means including, social networking, word of mouth, search engine optimization tactics and advertising.
Advertising, when done correctly, can actually be the most effective means of growing your business and your customer base.
What is Advertising?
Advertising is defined as the process of attracting attention to you business, by paid announcements in the print, broadcast, or electronic media (online). Online advertisements usually take the form of banner advertisements, pay per click advertisements or search engine advertisements, text ads, pop-up advertisements and video or audio.
In order to increase your customer base, it’s important to choose not only the right type of advertisement but also the right location and to follow up with accurate testing and tracking.
Here are five steps to take to make sure your advertising strategy will produce the results you desire – will increase your customer base.
Step One: Who is your Target Audience? It’s important to make sure your advertisement is focused on an individual group of consumers. Writing an ad that appeals to everyone is difficult and will most likely not generate the results you’re looking for. Remember you can write 10 ads, each one directed at a specific market segment within your total audience.
Step Two: Create a compelling ad. Writing online ads is much different than writing an advertisement for offline print. The goal for offline advertising is typically to capture someone’s attention and generate memory. The goal for your online advertisement is to motivate a click to your website.
Step Three: What is your goal for the ad? Do you want to collect subscribers for your ezine? Send visitors to your website? Generate interest for an upcoming product launch? Make sure the copy, ad type, and location all fit your goals and then make sure you’re sending click throughs to a relevant page.
Step Four: How will you test your advertisement’s effectiveness? The goal is to know how many people are responding to your ads. It can be as simple as sending them to a unique sales page. You won’t know if your ad is working unless you have put measures into place to track it. Additionally, test your ad copy, size, graphics etc for results. Use two ads each with different headlines, calls to action or even size and send them to identical sales pages. Which ad performs better?
Step Five: Make sure each new advertisement integrates into your current marketing strategy. That means including your promotions, press and publicity and even your email marketing into your advertisement strategy and vice versa.
The goal of advertising, beyond motivating a click through, is to increase and expand awareness of your company. The larger your customer base the larger your sales and profits!