Internet Advertising is so hip, man!
But is it the right thing for you?
I’m going to mouth off a little bit about Internet advertising. Good for some. Not so good for most – in my opinion.
I’m afraid Internet Advertising is going to be ineffective for a lot of small to medium-sized businesses – the local ones who are selling to local customers.
A business owner’s obsession with metrics and data is a good thing usually. But not with all advertising. That obsession makes a business owner LOVE Internet advertising. They drool over analytics. They say, “YES! Finally, I’ll know if it’s working or not!”
Attempting to turn advertising into a mathematical formula is like the dog chasing his tail.
I feel if they see ANY number (impressions, clicks, etc.) they’re pretty happy about it. They’re finally getting to SEE some ROI. Or what they think is ROI. “Internet Advertising is hip and cool and shiny and trackable! We’ve finally found our marketing secret weapon! We knew there was a perfect formula out there somewhere!”
How many Internet ads have you ever clicked on? Seriously.
I’m on the web a lot. ALL I get…is ANNOYED by most ads. The others are ignorable. Don’t get me wrong…there are TV, Radio, Billboard, Print and other forms of advertising that perform just as bad and are just as annoying. But I feel that businesses are thinking that Internet Advertising is the next best thing since the invention of the Keurig.
But it’s not. It’s just an advertising platform. It’s pretty close to Print advertising. You’re trying to get people’s attention visually and then say something in that ad that will make them take that next step towards buying a product or doing business with you. The only difference with Internet ads is that the person can go directly to a website or a special landing page of some kind.
The techies get it. The global online business people get it. It works when you do it right. BUT…it doesn’t work for the majority of the brick and mortar businesses. It CAN. But they’re not doing it right. They’re either trying to use it for Branding…which won’t work… OR they’re using it for direct response. But they never figured out how to make direct response work in their print ads – so why do they think it will all of a sudden work online?
I was searching for a specific West Coast business one day. And a local business ad popped up on the side of the website I was on. And it had no relation to what I was searching for. It’s part of their “media mix” and “branding” plan. It was annoying. That’s just really bad Internet advertising. That’s a waste of money in my opinion.
Are there good Internet advertising tactics? Sure. But the majority are doing it horribly wrong. A lot of money is being thrown in the toilet because of obsessions with analytics and numbers. That obsession is not good in every aspect of business.
For local businesses who are searching for customers locally…I’ll take an entertaining, sincere, and informational radio ad campaign any day. The power of the spoken word is incredible. 30 or 60 seconds of the right words can start moving mountains. The right words can start causing people to understand why you’re a great local company. You can tell your story. You can tell your customers’ stories. You can paint a picture of trust and competence with Radio.
TV is great for things that really need to be shown visibly. I’m not talking about visual products like diamonds and furniture…but products that need to be demonstrated. Or visual products that people can’t see in their mind very easily. Maybe you build awesome custom glass shower surrounds. You’ll probably have some luck with TV. But I might opt to side-step TV and replace that idea with good YouTube videos. A ton of them. Then, when people are searching for your product…BOOM…there are all your videos showing up in the online search. It depends on whether people know about what you offer. Maybe nobody is even searching online for what you offer because it’s so new or unique.
The power of sound is too big and bulky to ignore. If you’re not using it in your advertising, you’re missing out. It’s so powerful for branding and stirring emotions within your prospects. And that’s important when you’re trying to attract a new customer.
And “Media Mix” is getting even more watered down with the popularity of Internet Advertising.
“Let’s take some budget from our other 37 advertising investments and put that pot towards some internet ads!” Now, your advertising is spread even thinner. For a small local business, stay away from “Media Mix”. Put your budget into one advertising medium with sound…and start there. Grow from there. Own ONE audience first. Win that audience over – don’t sprinkle your ads to them – douse them. And I’d start with Radio. Not Pandora. Real radio. The listeners are there. And they are there consistently every single day. Why aren’t you talking to them?
All you have to do is find the right things to say in your advertising messages. Need help with that? Let me know. I can either help you out or get you pointed in the right direction.
And before you unleash your budget on Internet Advertising, do some research. Is it right for you? Your situation is unique – advertising isn’t a one size fits all endeavor. If you have questions about it, just let me know. I’d be happy to discuss with you over email or phone.
Have a great day!