Types of Online Advertising for Businesses to Increase Traffic

Various types of online advertising remain to be a tried and true ways for creating brand awareness. They’re also the best way to generate leads and bring in sales. In 2016, digital marketing spending beat TV ad spending for the first time ever. Ever since then the growth trajectory has been clear – online advertising is leading the way.

And yet, we see that ad blocking software continues to grow. We saw how Apple added an ad blocking feature to their mobile devices and computers, which made it more difficult for businesses to reach out to their target audiences.

So why does digital marketing continue to prevail in the realm of advertising?

The main reason is that it’s cost effective for what you get in return.

Benefits of Online Advertising For Small Businesses

  • Gets traffic coming in fast.
  • Better targeting, even if your budget is limited.
  • Easily collect data to analyze consumer behavior trends.
  • Allows new small businesses to compete and create brand awareness, even in competitive online spaces.

But in order to reap these benefits, your types of online advertising must connect with your target audience.

Each method has its own quirks and “must know” tips which we’ll discuss below.

Any of these 15 types of online advertising, when done correctly, will increase traffic to your website.

We’ll start with the most common online advertising method – display ads.

  1. Display Ads

So how can you create engaging online ads that don’t beg to be ad-blocked?

First of all, it’s a good idea to start with solid research to come up with some conclusions. According to research by Shutterstock and Lumen, all types of online advertising must include the following:

  1. simple
  2. bold
  3. relatable
  4. image or video
  5. mirror the target audience/demographic

In addition, if you’re using a photo ad, you should use a bright, crisp photo. The branding should also be clear. In less than 3 seconds, the user should be able to figure out who you are, what you do, and how you can help them.

An example of these principles in action: image led ads of elderly couples were viewed more by older generations. 1/2 of the viewers were 55+, 38% were 35-54, and just 1/3 were 18-34.

What these numbers show is that the image was simple and relatable to the target audience, because it mirrored them!

Visual content can also define your business’s identity. As an example, just look at your Facebook newsfeed. Over the years, Facebook newsfeeds have become dominated by visuals such as memes, animated gif images, and auto playing videos. Many big companies share out these visuals too.

What do all these things have in common?

They grab attention!

Tips For Attention Grabbing Visual Content

It’s important to catch people’s eyes quickly. Keep these tips in mind when designing your ad:

  • Faces are the first thing that people look at.
  • If your image is too “busy,” it will split people’s attention, which isn’t a good thing.
  • If there’s no key focal point in the image, then people’s attention will start in the middle and spread to the rest.
  1. Paid Search

With paid search CPM or CPC, the first thing you must understand is that you have to adjust your strategy based on your goals. Do you want more traffic? Or are you primarily trying to get more conversions? Think carefully about what your expectations are before you pay for your keyword.

On the other hand, if you want more traffic AND more sales, then you must target high commercial intent keywords. Yes, the competition might be fierce, and expensive, but the payoff can be worth it.

If you need ideas for such keywords, look at your competition. See what topics are resonating with their readers and which social media sites they’re trending on. You can emulate that kind of content to bring in traffic.

  1. Social Media Participation

Whenever you participate on social media, you’re actually advertising your business. In other words, using social media as it was originally intended is actually a good thing for your business to do!

So, be active and participate in relevant online communities. For example, if your audience is leaving comments on your posts, answer their questions and engage with them. It’s best to do this within 24 hours to show you’re actively listening as a brand.

Don’t just make posts and leave it at that; social media pages that just act as “broadcast channels” are actually a turnoff.

Now, let’s get into more types of online advertising: paid ads. Paid ads are one of the best ways to increase traffic. However, each paid channel has its own pros and cons.

Let’s first look at Pinterest as a model for how to create engaging ads online.

  1. Pinterest Ads

Pinterest facts:

  • Positioned to be one of the largest potential IPOs.
  • Grew a large scale monthly user base at a 70% faster rate than Facebook and twice as fast as Twitter.
  • Active user base 81% female (but new signups 40% male/60% female)

Pinterest is defined by its focus on images, which could be fulfilling a consumer need. After all, image based search stimulates the right side of the brain more than traditional text based search.

Pinterest Advantages:

  • Especially for B2C businesses, image heavy sites like Pinterest and Instagram usually work very well.
  • Pinterest also allows for unobtrusive link sponsored product pins that generate ad revenue (and doesn’t interrupt the discovery experience). Then Pinterest took it to the next level by adding click-to-online purchase.
  • Pinterest is creating a bridge between real world and the virtual world. The Pinterest lens is included in the mobile app, bringing a whole new meaning to “virtual window shopping.” All you have to do is snap a picture. It’s also an opportunity for advertisers to connect a brand to the discovery experience.
  1. Facebook Ads

Facebook has a mixed user base of billions of users, so it’s one of the types of online advertising that’s viable for all businesses!

First, you should determine who your target audience is and focus your ads specifically on them.

Facebook Advertising Tips

  • You can put ads that target demographics, and not just key phrases.
  • You can get the most out of your Facebook ads by modeling your Facebook page after your top landing page. You can send Facebook traffic there first.
  • Use images in promoted posts to get more links/encourage sharing.
  1. Twitter Ads

Twitter is the as-it-happens/real time social media network. It’s one of the main ways that people get updates about what they care about. Therefore it’s ideal for building up an audience of interested and engaged followers.

Twitter Advertising Tips

  • Twitter ads are ideal for short and sweet links.
  • You can join in to group discussions and post relevant hashtags.
  • Use promoted posts for tweets that share interesting content and put a link going back to your site. Use a promoted account to get followers and build your twitter base. Use promoted trends to get a relevant hashtag of your own. Get it trending and it will be seen by thousands.
  1. LinkedIn Ads

LinkedIn has carved out a dedicated online niche for professionals who are looking to network or get a job.

If you’re looking to become well known online in your niche, then LinkedIn is one of the best types of online advertising to get started with.

LinkedIn Advertising Tips

  • It’s similar to Facebook ads in that campaigns (which can include banners and sponsored posts) can be targeted to be seen by specific LinkedIn groups with similar interests.
  • Maximize ROI and use an image for higher CTR. Bid at the high range of the “suggested range” for better placement and more impressions.
  • LinkedIn is also a valuable publishing platform, so post there on a regular basis. Doing so can boost traffic to your site and increase your profile within your industry.
  1. Retargeting Ads

Retargeting aka remarketing is one of the types of online advertising that will show your business to bounced traffic after they leave your site. This is a good advertising strategy since on average just 2% of visitors convert on their 1st visit.

How Does Retargeting Work?

You put a piece of small unobtrusive code into your site (aka a pixel). It’s unnoticeable to visitors and doesn’t affect your site performance.

Whenever a new person visits your site, it leaves a browser cookie. When the cookied person browses the internet later, your retargeting provider will serve ads only to the people who visited your website before. Pretty neat, right?

  1. Email Marketing

But don’t forget about the more traditional types of online advertising.

Email Marketing Tips

  • Even just a mediocre email blast can boost traffic to your website.
  • Just be careful not to annoy people about every single update in your business.
  • Sending out friendly email newsletters regarding new services or products can increase your traffic too.
  • Send out automated trigger emails to customers who have abandoned their cart to remind them to make their purchase.
  1. Blogging

After you create a well thought out content marketing plan for your business, following these tips can help your blogging efforts:

  • Keep things varied. Vary your content length and content type to make your content appeal to as many different types of readers as possible.
  • Use shorter, news centric write-ups, and use longer content types too. Also use data driven pieces (infographics work well here) and videos for best results.
  • Headlines are very important. If you don’t have a compelling headline, then even your best written blog post can go unread. Buzzfeed writers often write at least 20 different headlines before choosing the best one. So, take your time before you publishing.
  1. Webinars

People love to learn, and people eagerly wait to learn on webinars.

Combined with a good promotional campaign, doing a webinar is a great way to increase traffic to your website.

Webinar Advertising Tips

  • Promote your webinar through all your social media channels.
  • Send out an email a week or so ahead of time, and a “last chance to register” email reminder a day before the webinar.
  • Make sure to archive the presentation for later viewing.
  1. Contests

Contest Advantages

  • A great tool for building your fan base.
  • Good for getting lots of likes on your Facebook page.
  • A UGC (user-generated content) contest is a great way to deepen user connection. It taps into the human drive to compete and gives everyone a chance to experience their 15 minutes of fame. Also, when users upload their personal content (photo or story) to your page, they’re naturally investing themselves into your brand.

Contest Tips

  • A low barrier to entry sweepstakes is often a good way to build a fanbase when starting small.
  • A contest is a great opportunity to collect valuable consumer data. But with that said, don’t go overboard asking too many questions during the entry process. Make the entry requirements and the contest reward balanced.
  • Make sure the prize or reward is something your target audience will want to make sure you are getting true fans of your product. If you sell women’s clothing, it would be best to give away a free shopping spree rather than a free iphone.
  • Before you start the contest, make sure to familiarize yourself with local regulations. Every state has its own contest laws, and some can be tricky.
  1. Collaborations/Influencer Marketing

There are many different types of online advertising methods that fall into this category. We’ll cover some of the most effective ones here:

Guest Blogging

You guest blog on their site: doing a guest post on a well known website will increase your traffic and help build awareness of your business. Just keep in mind that guest posting standards have changed a lot over the past 2 years; spammy tactics will come with big SEO penalties.

They guest blog on your site: it’s a 2 way street after all. So invite others in your industry to post on your site. They will likely share the post with their own readers, further expanding your online reach. Just make sure that you’re only posting high quality content without too many links. Otherwise, Google might crack down.

Referral Traffic

This is one of the types of online advertising that everyone should strive for. Persuading other site owners to link back to you is less efficient. On the other hand, creating high quality content that gets linked back to is more effective.

Interviews

Interview industry thought leaders/influencers: you’d be surprised how many will say yes to an interview. Connect with them through email. After doing the interview, publish the interview on your blog. The name recognition of the interviewee will boost your credibility and increase traffic to your site. The interviewee will also probably share the content, bringing in even more traffic for you.

  1. Instagram Live Stories

Instagram is a photo and video sharing network owned by Facebook. You can reach a high number of people in this fast growing social network with the many different types of online advertising that they offer.

Facts About Instagram

  • Instagram Stories launched in August 2016. In 2017 it topped 300 million daily users.
  • People under 25 spend more than 32 minutes per day on Instagram; people over 25 spend more than 24 minutes a day.
  • Instagram reported that Instagram Stories made people stay on Instagram longer and visit the site more frequently.

So how can you incorporate advertising into Instagram Stories? Here are a couple of the best ways:

Polls In Stories

Instagram added a feature allowing people to add interactive polls to their stories.

Creating polls is a fun and easy way to get users engaged and to hear their thoughts about things. This feature will save your business time, money and energy.

Using Instagram insights, (which lets brands track engagement per post or entire feed activity per time period), brands have tracked an increase in engagement on Instagram Live and Stories after employing polls.

Links In Stories

Stories also take brand connection with visitors’ one step further. Capitalize on this fact by adding direct links to your site.

One way to do this is with the “tag and link”:

  • This is one of the types of online advertising that’s only available to business profiles with more than 10k followers.
  • Link out to your own hosted content assets or product pages if you’re an ecommerce business.
  • You can use a “add to cart instantly” call to action. Followers just have to swipe up on your stories to get redirected to your preferred URL. You can also link to lead generating forms to increase your email list.

Digital Storytelling

Instagram stories is still one of the relatively new types of online advertising. Its implementation also shows that raw, uncut content has value. Because, when you document every step of your business’s journey with stories, you’ll make your business more approachable to people.

Just imagine the power of digital storytelling for people in industries like: restaurants – showing how dishes are made, sports teams – sharing fitness tips with fans, and fashion icons – putting up makeup tutorials online.

These sorts of things can quickly go viral. So, make sure that you set up sms alerts (you can use Cyfe) for when you exceed your daily ad spend to avoid blowing up your ad budget.

  1. SEO: Bring It All Together

Despite what some people say, SEO isn’t dead. Optimizing content for search engines is still valuable. In short, it aids in helping your other types of online advertising work collectively together.

Making SEO improvements doesn’t have to take ages, and it could also boost your organic content.

After adding the obvious things like image alt text and meta descriptions, you’ll want to look into the following things:

Long Tail Keywords

Have you already figured out those high commercial intent keywords? Then next it’s time to focus on long tail keywords.

Long tail keywords account for the majority of searches. So if you aren’t using them in your paid search strategy or seo efforts, you’ll be missing out.

Schema Microdata

This won’t necessarily increase traffic to your site on its own. But it will make it easier for search engine bots to find and index your pages.

It will also result in better rich snippets, which can improve CTR.

Link Internally

Your link profile strength isn’t just determined by how many sites link back to you; your internal linking structure also factors into it.

Always keep an eye out for internal linking opportunities with your content.

Good internal linking is not only good for SEO, but also for the user experience.

The Best Ways to Promote Products Online and Make Sales

51% of people now prefer to shop when businesses promote products online. 80% of people have purchased something this month.

The people are there. They want online products. You see the opportunities.

But the challenge appears when you try to promote products online. The competition is intense and often global. You have huge names like Amazon to contend with. As the competition heats up, ad costs rise.

Finding the method that’s right for you and your business is the difference between paying unsustainable acquisition costs and making a profit in the ecomm marketplace. The more aligned your digital marketing methods are the better ROI you’ll achieve. That’s regardless of the competition.

Let’s explore the best ways to promote products online and look at which ones will benefit your business.

Social Media Advertising

Social media advertising and ecommerce go hand in hand. 52% of product sales can be attributed back to Facebook. Around 75% of a buyer’s touch points with a brand they buy from take place on social media.

A Nuestar case study showed that Pinterest ads are 30% more effective than other display ads with 5x the sales. It delivered a stunning 28:1 ROI.

But is Facebook, Pinterest or another platform right for your brand, audience and products? Let’s take a look at each.

Facebook Ads

Are you considering Facebook ads? Here’s what you need to know.

Cost

A Facebook average cost-per-click (CPC) is about $0.40. With a cost that low, you can promote products online for as little as $10 a day if you have a decent conversion rate.

Your costs can increase depending on certain factors. It’s important to consider them to get the most out of Facebook advertising.

First, the CPC may be higher if you sell in certain countries. This Adespresso chart shows that the average CPC in Japan is $0.73. If you market in Greece, it could be as low as $0.17. This is 2016 data so this has gone up a little bit in the past couple years.

Second, consider the time of year. Just think about how many more ads you see for certain types of products before Valentine’s Day, Halloween or Christmas. If you’re trying to tap into a seasonal market, you can expect costs to be higher.

As a whole, you’ll spend the most money on any social media ads from October to December.

Third, costs are also impacted by the age you’re targeting. Targeting users ages 45-65 actually costs more. That’s not surprising since this age group often has more money to spend.

Fourth, the time your ad appears impacts the price. Costs tend to go up in the early morning when people are checking Facebook before work and then evenings after standard work hours.

But this varies depending on what you’re selling. Some products have a typical time slot. For example, most people are thinking about dinner in the late afternoon.

This is when a time-sensitive ad is most likely to be clicked. It’s the best time to show your ad in terms of conversions. But it’s also the most expensive.

In the example below, the meal service Blue Apron is running their ad at 4:30pm, just before dinner time. This ad is costing them more than it would at 10pm or 6am, but they obviously find the cost to be worth the benefit for that prime-time slot.

Placement of the ad can also drive your cost up. If you want an ad to appear in the news feed or Instagram expect to pay more. That’s because you’re going to get more attention in these locations.

And finally, you typically pay more if your product is primarily purchased by females. As a very broad demographic, it’s simply more competitive to reach women. More businesses are marketing to them.

It’s important to understand what’s driving your CPC up. You’ll find that these and similar factors increase your ad spend on every social media platform. Pay attention to what your analytics tools are telling you to keep costs low while making more sales.

Your expected click-through-rate (CTR) is about .90% but some industries do better than others.

Best Products to Sell on Facebook

Facebook is really good for any kind of legal or uncontroversial product or service. Almost 1.5 billion people log in every day. Their interests and purchase behaviors are broad.

Not surprisingly, tech, retail, apparel, beauty and fitness get the most clicks on Facebook.

Special Rules to Know About

You can sell almost anything on Facebook. But they do draw some limits. They won’t let you sell the following through their ad system:

  • Illegal, Rx, Recreational drugs, tobacco and related paraphernalia
  • Supplements that are considered unsafe
  • Firearms
  • Animals
  • Products/Services that support Piracy
  • Downloadable content
  • Among others

When crafting creatives, keep text under 20% of the ad space. This isn’t just a rule on Facebook. Ads actually perform better on social media with less text.

Facebook wants your ads to perform well. That’s how they get paid.

Your Facebook ads appear in news feeds. Therefore, the more “not like an ad” the ad looks, the better it performs. Less text helps accomplish this.

Instagram Ads

Instagram ads work off the Facebook ad system. So refer to the Facebook section above for most details. And here’s what you need to know specifically about Instagram.

Cost

Instagram ads cost more. You might average $1.41 for a click. But in the US, paying close to $4 in some industries isn’t unheard of.

If you opt to pay for cost per 1,000 impressions, that averages around $8. Paying for these views may be beneficial when you’re launching a new brand and need to increase awareness fast, focusing on sales later.

The average click-through-rate on Instagram is 0.52%. That’s much better than most display ads. But less than Facebook. Conversion rates, however, tend to be higher than Facebook. People like to engage and buy on Instagram.

Interestingly, if the person who clicks is on an Apple product, your costs go up. Remember, it’s all about the competition and the potential return.

62% of ecomm purchases are mobile. Apple holds the monster share of this buying behavior with iPhone. On top of that, a Business Insider report released just this week stated that owning Apple products is the #1 indicator of personal wealth.

More wealth = more money to spend on your products. That is if they didn’t break the bank buying that $1,000 iPhone.

There’s a secret to getting lower rates on Instagram. January-March the CPC average tanks to under a $1. This is a great time to do a push to increase brand awareness that you can then take into maintenance mode once the costs go back up.

Pinterest Ads

35% of Pinterest users are women making over $75k a year. Nearly 70% are making at least $50K. 10% make over $100K.

This puts most Pinterest users in a solid middle to upper-middle income bracket. This makes Pinterest the place to market higher priced and designer products to this demographic.

62% of users are millennials and younger gen Xers (25-40).

Add to this the fact that 76% of users pin items because they want to purchase it later. And 55% use Pinterest primarily to shop. Pinterest has the potential to drive a lot of traffic to your site.

If you need to promote products online that cost over $80, your brand needs to be on Pinterest.

But unlike Facebook and Instagram, where you target by selecting traits, Pinterest is built around keywords (similar to Google). You’ll need to do some keyword research to advertise on Pinterest.

Know what people are searching for. What phrases do they use?

Cost

Pinterest works on a cost-per-click system similar to Facebook and Instagram. You can bid as low as $0.10 and the CPC can vary a lot. Watch your campaign closely and adapt to keep costs low.

When you promote products online using Pinterest, the average traffic increase is 30% with revenue increases of 200% – 300%. If the above-mentioned demographic is your potential customer, Pinterest is the place to promote products online and make sales.

Getting the Most Out of a Social Media Ad Budget

Regardless of which of these social media platforms you decide to use, you need to get the most out of your ad budget. If you don’t they’re not the “best” for you.

So here are some quick tips to help you keep costs low while making more sales through these platforms.

Set a Budget

The cost per click or per impression isn’t the only cost involved. Someone needs to build the creatives, write copy and manage the campaigns, among other tasks.

Social media ads need ongoing maintenance. Get the costs written down so you don’t overspend.

Be Relevant

Instagram and Facebook give your ads a relevance score. It’s like the Quality Score in Google Ads.

If your ads don’t seem relevant to the users who see it, they will start charging you more and showing ads less often.

On average, you’ll pay $0.15 more per click and get 75% fewer clicks when the ad is deemed irrelevant.

To understand relevance, consider this graphic from the automation software company HootSuite. It goes from least to most relevant left to right. Do you see why?

Use Facebook’s ad set up tools to narrowly target the right audience when you promote products online on both of these platforms.

This not only helps you reach the right people. It also cuts down on the cost of mis-clicks. You’ll make more online sales for less when you use targeted ads.

Pinterest also has a relevance score type system that’s driven by “Pinnability”. It’s less defined and continually being refined. To be relevant on Pinterest, design a creative people want to pin. Watch how people respond to it.

Make changes to optimize and gain more visibility.

Use Stunning Visuals

Products that make an awe-inspiring visual are more likely to get shared. You’ll get more clicks. If you’ve taken steps to increase your conversion rate, this translates to more sales. Now, your ad looks like a personal recommendation from a friend.

Whatever you’re selling, use imagery to evoke emotion. Earn those shares.

Create Seamless Landing Pages

A landing page isn’t your home page and it’s not a product category page. In ecommerce, your landing page is most often the page where the person can buy the item you advertised by clicking an “add to cart” or “buy now” button.

Facebook and Google actually look at your landing pages and factors this into your relevance score.

Create that seamless journey. You’ll have a higher conversion rate. You’ll see your costs go down.

Social media advertising on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are 3 of the best ways to promote products online. Next, let’s look at Google ad network to see the best ways to promote products online and make sales with their platform.

Google Advertising

There are many options when advertising through Google. Here are some of the best for ecommerce.

Google Shopping Ads

These ads give you a visual presence in Google search results among what is normally a page of text. If you have a product that can make a strong visual impression, the ad space is worth the cost.

These ads also appear on Google’s affiliate websites (Google Display Network) giving you maximum exposure.

To use Google Shopping Ads, take some extra steps. Signup for a Google merchant account. Share some product information with Google on a spreadsheet. And set your ads up in Google Ads.

Cost

You only pay for the ad when someone clicks. The costs for that click average just $0.76. That’s compared to nearly $3 for a text ad on search ad.

The click-through-rates (CTR) average 1.34%. Businesses using Google Shopping Ads are seeing revenue increases of 25% or more.

This can be attributed to the power of the visual. The CTR and conversion rates tend to be lower on these ads. That’s reflected in the cost.

But visual ads have a more residual effect. You’re increasing brand awareness and generating revenues well down the line even if the person did not click.

Special Rules for Google Shopping Ads

Google has a long list of interesting items they won’t promote. Here are a few.

  • Fireworks
  • Healthcare products/medicine
  • Endangered Animals for sale
  • Traffic devices ( that help you elude the police)
  • Fake document creation
  • Weapons of any kind

Google Remarketing Ads

A remarketing ad is a type of Google Shopping Ad Google shows on their Google Display Network after a person has visited your website.

Google puts a cookie on the visitor’s computer using Google Analytics. It can then trigger the ad. You’ve probably seen these over the past couple years. They’ve become frequent because they’re very effective when you’re trying to promote products online.

When people recognize a website they’ve recently left, they’re more likely to go back. That’s 400% more likely according to Adobe research.

This is huge if you consider that the cart abandonment rates average over 75%. Additionally, 96% of people visit a website at least twice before they buy. This leads to lost sales unless you intentionally bring people back around to finish what they started.

Remarketing gives you that second chance you need to make that sale.

43% of businesses are using remarketing to increase brand awareness. Repetition is important in marketing, as you know. After visiting your site, they’ll see the ad for a couple days on multiple websites that have agreed to show Google’s ads.

11% are using it to steal a competitor’s customers. Yes, you can remarket based on whether they visited your competitor’s website as well.

You can also use it for upselling. Maybe they completed the sale. Now show them other items they may like through remarketing.

On top of all of this, most people like remarketing ads.

They just got distracted. You made it easy for them to come back.

Marketing fatigue is when people get tired of a certain advertiser’s ad. Studies show that it takes twice as long for people to experience fatigue with remarketing.

Costs

You might expect these ads to cost more given how effective they can be. But they’re not that much more than regular shopping ads.

They average $1 per click. That’s less expensive than most text ads that appear in search results.

This is definitely one to consider regardless of what products you sell. It supports all of your other promotion efforts.

Google Search Ads

The thing about all of the visual ads we’ve been discussing is that they each allow very little (if any) text. Sometimes that’s a problem.

In various cases, visuals are less impactful. A picture is supposed to be worth a thousand words. But sometimes 15-20 words is worth more.

Do you need to describe the value proposition of something? Are people unsure why they need it? In these cases, regular search text ads are the best way to promote products online.

Text ads appear when someone searches for a keyword phrase like “DIY Hydroponics Kit”. If you’re selling one, you may want your ad to appear when someone is searching for one.

Costs

Text ads are more expensive. When done effectively, they have a higher conversion rate than the average shopping ads or social media. The ROI is definitely there. But you may experience sticker shock as you’re paying for clicks that don’t convert, especially in the beginning.

You can expect to pay $3 per click (or more) for a text ad when selling products.

Similar to social media, Google’s ads are only the way to promote products online when you apply effective strategies to maximize your ROI. Let’s take a look at that next.

Getting the Most Out of Your Google Ad Budget

Here’s how to keep costs low on Google’s ad network.

Focus on the Quality Score

Pay attention to the Quality Score. You’ll pay more if you let it slip. Facebook will slowly stop showing your ad if it’s not relevant. But Google will keep showing it while you pay exorbitant prices for the clicks.

Achieve a score of 10, Google gives you a 30% discount on your ads. Let it fall to a 1 and Google will charge you 600% more than they charge your competitors.

That could mean you’re paying $18 for a click. The competition is paying $3 and their ad is ranking above yours. You can’t make a profit like that.

Do Keyword Research

To run a Google ads campaign effectively you have to take some time to research what keywords to use.

Look at what the competition is targeting. Try to target words that are less competitive but still relevant. If it’s the perfect keyword it may be worth paying $4-5 for a click. But don’t let that ad spend get out of control.

Use Google Keyword Planner to get suggestions.

Don’t forget to research negative keywords. These are words people could use with your keyword that suggest they want something very different.

If you sell “designer baby clothes” you don’t want someone who types in “free baby clothes” to pull up your ad.

“Free”, “Charity” and “Discount” are all examples of negative keywords you may not want associated with your brand. The words “Sewing Pattern” might also be negative. It suggests a very different intent.

Align Everything into One Seamless Journey

The keywords you target should align with the ad copy. Targeting keywords that poorly align will lower your quality score. For example… You’re targeting the keyword “Men’s Tank Tops”. Your ad copy shouldn’t talk about women’s and kid’s tank tops.

It looks like the ad is out of place. Put yourself in the searcher’s shoes. Would you click that ad?

The landing page should align seamlessly with your copy. The copy offered 20% off. They should clearly see how to redeem it on the landing page. Otherwise, they’ll back out.

That also will lower the quality score.

But when you create an alignment, that score goes up. You save money.

Analyze and Adapt

Ad campaigns require constant vigilance. Pay attention to what the data is telling you. Test your ads to maximize results.

Get better over time. See costs plummet while conversions skyrocket.

Use Long-term Comprehensive Strategies

Want to know how to make real profits and grow your business? Think long-term.

Ads are a great way to get quick sales. But they’re also one of the most costly ways if you haven’t put more long-term marketing methods in place to:

  • Retain customers by giving them a reason to come back and staying top of mind.
  • Increase customer lifetime value through email marketing strategies. If you can get a customer’s email, you have the potential to achieve a 48:1 ROI by sending the new customer relevant content, ads and remarketing emails.
  • Increase referrals, reviews and other promoter activity through social media marketing and email marketing.
  • Improve visibility in places you don’t have to pay for a click. That includes organic search results through SEO and social media platforms with social media marketing.

Together, these are the best ways to promote products online and keep those sales coming in.

Ways to Get Free Business Advertising Online That Actually Brings Results

Small to medium-sized businesses are working with limited marketing budgets that don’t have room for large ad spend. Many SMB marketers may become frustrated with their advertising options as the budget can often limit the number of people you can reach with paid ads. So are there free business advertising options?

Yes!

There are many different free business advertising options online that allow businesses to get more out of their budgets. These free channels supplement paid advertising to improve visibility, boost lead generation, and increase conversions. By including some of these tactics in your digital marketing strategy, you can cut down on costs and use more of your budget for the paid ads that will optimize your return on investment.

Below, we’ll talk about a few different digital marketing tactics you have at your disposal that are free (or close to free). Then, we’ll get into a few more specific ways that you can take advantage of free business advertising online.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is one of the best ways to take advantage of free business advertising online. It’s free to set up a social media account for your business, post content, engage with users and share other content, events, etc.

When you post content to your company’s social media page, you are taking advantage of the opportunity to reach and start a conversation with your leads. Posting relevant content that your brand has created allows you to drive more traffic back to your site. While posting relevant content from third-party sources enables you to provide valuable information to your fans and followers.

Engaging with users on social media gives you a powerful opportunity to build relationships with leads and customers. By asking a question or giving your followers something to think about, you can work on starting a conversation with your audience. Responding to comments and answering questions is another great way to show your audience that your brand cares about them and wants to help.

If you do have some funds to commit to social media marketing, you will get better results with an advertising budget. The best part is that you are 100% in control of this budget over time. There are no contracts or fees for advertising other than the amount you are paying per click on your ads.

Social media advertising is also 100% trackable, which means that you can see exactly how your ad dollars are working for you. Then, you can use the insight you gain from analytics to make improvements to your ads to boost results. In the end, social media ads provide a significant return on investment for small to medium-sized businesses.

Though social media marketing is free for the most part, it does require a significant time investment. There are ways to make the process more efficient like scheduling posts ahead of time. However, businesses who are serious about social media will still need to spend time crafting quality content, curating relevant articles and information, and engaging with their audience.

If you don’t have the time to properly manage your social content and engage you’re your audience, you may want to work with a digital marketing agency that can help you get more out of your social media presence. LYFE Marketing offers effective social media management that enables you to build a loyal following online.

Blogging

Posting content on a business blog is another digital marketing tactic that can be 100% free to use. Sites like WordPress and Blogger.com allow you to get started with a blog for free. You can set up your blog and start posting content in just one hour. However, your blog domain will include the URL of the site that you have used to set up the blog.

For a small fee, you can set up a blog with your own domain. We recommend doing this as it helps you build your brand and gives you a place to drive traffic back to when sharing your blog online. If you already have a website, you can add a blog section to your current site where you will publish new blog posts for your leads and customers to read.

Once you have set up your blog site, it’s time to start creating content. For best results, you’ll want to publish content on a consistent basis. The frequency will depend on the resources you have in-house to create this blog content. The more often you can publish new content, the better results you will get from both an engagement and an SEO standpoint.

We recommend creating an editorial calendar where you can organize and manage your blog content. This calendar should include necessary information like blog title, author, SEO keywords, due date, publish date, and other valuable information. An editorial calendar is especially important if more than one team member is working on blogs.

When it comes to choosing topics for your blogs, you’ll want to consider what will be most valuable to your target audience. Here are just a few strategies you can use to develop blog topics:

  • SEO Keywords – Consider which search terms users are typing in to find your brand and create topics around these keywords.
  • Common Questions – What questions do your leads and customers ask before purchasing? Use these as a starting point for blog topics.
  • Industry News – Important news in your industry can also give you great opportunities for new blog topics.

Don’t have time to create quality blog content on a consistent basis? You can still affordably make use of this effective marketing tactic by outsourcing your blogging to a digital agency. At LYFE, we provide affordable blog writing services that help brands produce valuable, quality content on a regular basis to engage their leads and customers.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Optimizing your website for the search engines is entirely free if you know what you’re doing. Though it takes time and expertise to improve your SEO effectively, the process is free, and you are working to drive free traffic back to your site.

You can perform keyword research for free using Google Keyword Planner. If you want to save time and find even more relevant SEO keywords, there are some SEO tools that you can use for a small fee. These will help you find even more opportunities to improve your reach online. (Not to mention they often require less work than using Google Keyword Planner.)

After you have performed keyword research, you’ll need to produce relevant content that emphasizes the keywords and phrases that your leads are searching for online. Your team should review your site pages to ensure that they are highlighting the right keywords and are correctly formatted. To improve SEO over time, work on creating valuable, quality blog content that also emphasizes relevant keywords. As you can see,content marketing and SEO go hand-in-hand.

Building quality backlinks is another crucial part of SEO. Quality backlinks improve your domain authority and thus boost your visibility on search engines. You need to build more relevant backlinks to your site if you want to improve SEO.

If you do not have the time or in-house expertise to manage search engine optimization effectively, then you may want to work with an experienced agency. Though this does require some upfront investment, it may end up saving you more money in the long-run as you will be able to maximize your organic site traffic. Learn more about our SEO services to find out if this option is right for you.

Email Marketing

Email marketing remains one of the best (and cheapest) ways to reach your customers online. Most consumers have an email address and prefer to get business communications through this channel. Email marketing can be 100% free, although there are some useful tools that can help you improve the process.

If you only have a few email contacts to start with, then you can send emails for free with whatever email provider your business uses. Some email marketing companies even offer free packages for companies with a limited number of contacts. With these free packages, you can use their templates and other tools to create professional, branded emails for free.

However, the more contacts you collect and the more frequently you send emails, the more likely you will need to use an email marketing service like Constant Contact or MailChimp. These companies have free trial options that allow you to try their services for free for a limited time. After that, pricing changes with the number of contacts you have on your list. The more contacts you have, the more expensive the pricing will be. But the cost is minimal when you consider how many emails you will be sending on average.

Again, you may not have the time to create relevant and consistent email marketing content. But that’s why many SMBs partner with a digital marketing agency for helping launching their email marketing campaigns. Services like our email newsletter service is a great way to affordably supplement your email marketing efforts and improve lead generation and conversion. As you grow, you can consider more intricate email services like automation.

5 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Free Business Advertising Online

In addition to the digital marketing tactics mentioned above, there are also some other online outlets that can help your business gain free exposure. Below, we’ve put together a quick list of our top tips for making the most of free business advertising online.

  1. Claim your Google My Business listing for local SEO.

One of the best ways to get free business advertising online is by claiming and optimizing your Google My Business (GMB) Page. Your GMB listing is a free business listing that helps you improve visibility on Google Search and Google Maps within your community. Claiming your Google My Business Listing is a must for any brick-and-mortar business that operates locally.

Though there are many pieces involved with local SEO, Google My Business is an essential first step to improving your reach online within the local target market. By claiming your GMB listing and ensuring that all of your information is complete and accurate, you can help improve your rankings for local search results. Ranking high in local search enables you to improve visibility in your community and beat the competition.

Here’s an example of what a Google My Business listing looks like on the search engine:

Claiming your Google My Business page is a great way to expand your reach on the search engine.

Google My Business makes searching for local stores and businesses convenient, which is why so many consumers depend on these results to find information. Your Google My Business listing will provide everything a consumer needs to decide on their purchase, including address, hours, and phone number.

Your GMB listing also allows you to add photos, which can help you catch the attention of your on-the-go audience and stand out from your competitors. Below these images, consumers can read reviews of your business from your patrons. Asking your best customers to leave reviews on Google is a great way to improve your GMB listing and get buyers to notice you online.

  1. Make sure your business listings on Yelp and other review sites are correct.

Google My Business isn’t the only online business listing that you can use to get free business advertising. You want to be in as many places as possible to improve your online visibility and increase your reach. For this reason, you should look for other opportunities to include your business information in online listings.

Yelp is a popular spot for businesses that want to increase their online reach for free. Yelp is an online review site that consumers use to get recommendations on everything from bars to beauty shops. Your customers can go on Yelp to leave your business a star-rating and written review that other customers can see when they look up your business on Yelp.

 

There are a variety of other business listing sites that allow you to create a profile or listing for your company for free. Some national listing sites include Better Business Bureau, YP.com, and FourSquare. You should also consider industry-specific sites like Angie’s List, Kudzu, Thumbtack, or TripAdvisor. In addition to these national sites, you should also consider local sites such as your chamber of commerce or other local business listings.

It’s important to note that your business listing or review profile won’t just be accessible from the business listing site. Consumers may come to this listing from the search engine or another person who has referred them. For this reason, it’s vital that you keep these listings updated and encourage your customers to leave positive reviews to increase your chances of standing out on the business listing page.

Also be sure to keep all your information the same across all platforms. Your business’s NAP (name, address, and phone number) should be identical on all pages on the web so search engines can give you more credibility for having a larger presence online. These little differences can hurt your reputation with the search engines.

  1. Write guest blog content for popular industry blogs.

Previously, we talked a little bit about how your own blog can be a great resource for free business advertising. But what if your blog is not well-established yet? And what about reaching new audiences who may not read your blog yet?

Writing guest posts for other popular blogs can be a great way to reach new audiences online for free. No matter what industry your business is in or what types of products or services you offer, there are plenty of opportunities for your business to post guest blog content on relevant, well-established blogs.

One of the most significant benefits of guest blogging is that you can reach new audiences. If you post content on a well-known blog that has an established, loyal following, you can tap into a new group of consumers who can benefit from your products or services.

In addition to accessing a new audience, guest posting also helps you establish your business as an industry thought leader. By writing about topics that are important to your industry and audience, you have the opportunity to share relevant expertise and insight. Guest blog content allows you to demonstrate industry knowledge and become an authority on essential topics, which can set you apart from competitors.

Another significant benefit of guest posting on well-established and relevant blogs is that it can help improve your search engine optimization efforts. Posting to blogs with a high domain authority can help improve your visibility online. Not to mention, you have the opportunity to link back to your own site in the guest blog post. This backlink gives you another inbound link that can help increase your own domain authority and improve your ranking in the search engines.

  1. Answer questions on Quora.

Another way to increase exposure online for free is by answering questions on Quora. Quora is a question and answer platform, allowing users to ask questions and get answers from other users. Many experts will use Quora to offer their insights and provide valuable answers to others who are looking for more information on various topics.

This platform is an excellent place for businesses to demonstrate their expertise and expand their reach online. For example, let’s say you have an online accounting business. You might go on Quora to answer questions like “What is the best online accounting software?” or “How do I choose the right accountant for my business?”

Answering relevant questions on Quora gives you yet another opportunity to provide value for your target audience. When you provide a quality answer to a Quora user’s question, you are not only taking the opportunity to educate a prospective customer, but you’re also getting your name and your business name highlighted in areas that your target customers might look for answers to their questions.

Notice that the person answering the question has their name and title displayed before their answer. This information helps lend some credibility to the answer but also allows you to familiarize Quora users (and potential customers) with your name and business.

Below the answer, there are social share buttons that allow users to share their favorite answers instantly to social media. These social share buttons are another great way to get free business advertising online. When you write quality answers that provide value for readers, they are more likely to share these answers with others. When they do, your business gains even more free exposure.

  1. Promote your brand in your email signature.

Previously, we talked a little bit about how email marketing can be a great way to get free business advertising online. But what about the emails you send every day? Even the non-marketing emails that you send to vendors, colleagues, and prospects can be a great place to advertise your website, social profiles, and even content – for free.

All you need to do is include links to your site, social profiles, or other pages within your email signature. Creating a clean, branded email signature is a great way to stand out in a prospect’s inbox, but it also serves as a way to get free business advertising as you can drive traffic back to your site without any cost.

Here are some examples of what they could look like:

Notice that this email signature has the typical contact information that most email signatures include like email, phone number, and address. However, underneath this information is a direct link to the company website. There are also small social media icons, each with a link to the company’s social media profiles.

By including this information in your email signature, you can advertise your business for free and encourage those you communicate with through email to check out your brand. You never know who might need your products or services or know someone who does. Putting these hyperlinks in your email signature gives you every opportunity to get your brand’s information out there.

Get Started with Free Business Advertising

Now that you know all the ways that you can take advantage of free business advertising online, it’s time to get started. As you work to include these tactics in your digital marketing strategy, just remember:

  • Social media is a free way to reach and engage with more buyers online.
  • Blogging is a great way to make connections with leads, and all it costs you is your time!
  • SEO helps you improve organic reach on the search engines, which is a great way to complement paid search efforts.
  • Email marketing allows you to reach and nurture leads at a minimal cost.
  • There are many other channels like Google My Business and guest blogging opportunities that you can take advantage of to expand your reach online for free.

How To Use Your Facebook Page For Business

Facebook can be a great tool not just for your personal life, by helping you reconnect with old friends and keep in touch with family, but Facebook is also an ideal way for businesses to reach their customers.

No I’m not talking about buying ads on Facebook. That’s too easy and costs too much money.

What we’re looking for is to reach your customers by engaging them and generating quality leads. This could be helpful in generating more traffic to your blog or attracting more attention to your side hustle.

Facebook for business is about building and maintaining relationships with your fans in order to turn them into customers at a later time.

Without engaging with your customers there will be no time to build up trust. Getting a sale sometimes can take time, but it is worth it.

It’s worth getting a valuable customer because that one customer can recommend you to others and be your most valuable asset.

An engaged satisfied paying customer is more valuable than any advertising you can ever buy on Facebook.

This customer can share their experience by leaving a review, which will be public for all to see. The more positive reviews you get the more “social proof” your Facebook page earns.

But just how do we turn a Facebook user into the most lethal weapon for your business? You must engage them and the best way to do that is by having a kickass Facebook page.

Here is a quick guide on how to create more engaging content on your Facebook business page.

Take Advantage Of  Facebook Videos

Instagram is so big because of its focus on images and video content. But don’t think Facebook is just all about text.

Having visually rich content can do wonders for your Facebook page.

It’s best to create your own videos and trust me you don’t need an expensive camera or any sort of studio set up.

Use your smartphone and start publishing video content on Facebook. This same content can also be shared on your other social media pages.

If your side hustle is pool repair, go ahead and record every job you do. Talk as you work and give quick how-to’s.

You never know which video will be a dud and which will be a stud, so the more content you create the better.

Some video content will end up being saved for later, shared and may end up being so valuable that this one video will turn someone into a paying customer.

As an added tip, live video is even better. However, use it smartly as a live video might not be relevant for some business types.

Keep Your Updates Short

People who browse Facebook typically do it from their smartphone and are always scrolling quickly. You do not want your updates to be a large paragraph.

Don’t be boring.

If your page is basic and boring, people will visit once and quickly move to a competitor with a more exciting page. Add posts that are both interesting and informative so your fans will keep coming back.

Say what you need to say in as few words as possible. Be specific and succinct. If you have a sale, say this “25% off pet grooming Thursday only!” and include a sharable image of a cute dog. This update is more likely to get shared than a text update.

Want even more engagement? Ask a question! How about “Is this dog cuter than yours?” or “Should I dye this dogs’ fur red white and blue?”. Remember it’s not it’s about them!

Asking questions about your visually rich content will get you comments, replies, reactions and shares.

Post Frequently

Be sure to make posts on a regular basis. A static page won’t hold anyone’s attention for long.

You never truly know which of your page updates will be a hit. That’s why you don’t need to spend hours thinking of the right thing to say. Just come up with ideas to promote yourself and see if they work.

The more you post the better.

Don’t worry about flooding your fans feed, they will likely not see most of your posts. That’s because of the Facebook algorithm. It is designed to show the most relevant content in someones’ feed.

Therefore, the more you post, the more likely it is that one of your posts receives enough engagement that Facebook gives it a boost.

Figure Out What Works And What Doesn’t

You should know who your target audience is. Whether they are male, female, their age and interests. Your content should be geared directly toward your target audience.

If you’re not sure what works and what doesn’t, just go to the Facebook Analytics section and see what your audience responds to. There, you can see your post engagement statistics. You can see the total number of comments, shares and reactions to your posts.

Never underestimate the power of data.

See which types of content get shared the most and only create those types of updates in the future.

Here’s a quick video on how Kimberly Ann Jimenez increases her level of engagement on Facebook.

Hopefully these Facebook tips help you in acquiring more customers from Facebook. Remember these tips work no matter what type of business you have, whether it be a real estate agent, dog walker or hair stylist.

Let me know in the comments if you have any questions on using Facebook for your business.

 

3 tips to improve your revenue from Twitter advertising

How do I get people to click on my ads and buy my product?

This is one mind-boggling question for entrepreneurs these days, and definitely a very important one. And why wouldn’t it be? With 310 million monthly active users, Twitter serves as a great platform for reaching a huge number of people. Alongside this, Twitter’s advertising revenue growth rate continues to climb each year, with 86 percent of its revenue accounted for by mobile. Little wonder, then, that it is one of the most sought after social media marketing platforms by businesses across the world!

Image : shutterstock

However, the most challenging aspect of being in world of digital marketingis that there are no certain guidelines. The marketing trends change at lightning speed, which means that the ones relevant today might be redundant tomorrow. So how do you ensure better returns on your Twitter ads? If you are looking for relevant, cost-effective options, these practices can help you out:

Improve your quality score

First things first. Just like Facebook’s Ad Relevance Score, which measures the effect of ads, Twitter also has its own quality measuring score, sometimes referred to as ‘Quality Adjusted Bids’. Research by Larry Kim has shown that improving your quality scores on Twitter ads earns you a huge discount. In a recent webinar, Twitter revealed tweets with links receive 86 percent higher engagement rates than the ones that only contain text. It was also revealed that Tweets with images showed higher engagement rate compared to the ones without.

How to improve your quality score?

Use Twitter Cards: Obviously, users are automatically attracted to tweets that stand out more than others, and merely posting a tweet won’t help you attract the anticipated results. Using any one of the different types of Twitter cards will help you configure your ads to suit the interests and preferences of your target audience. Make sure to select the right campaign objective and use right meta tags on the pages they link to.

Prioritise your winners: Prioritise your tweets that are already doing well and promote those tweets which have organically gained more exposure rather than paying for promoting low engagement material.

Target right: In the world of digital marketing, you need to show your ads to the right audience in order to attain results. It is imperative to target those users who are genuinely interested in your products and services. It is also advised to target under 10,000 people for an ad. Other criteria to pick when targeting include location, gender, languages, devices, platforms and carriers, keywords, followers and their interests, tailored audiences, audience behaviours, TV targeting, and event targeting.

You need not use all of these, however. Keep it simple and focus on just the main elements. This will not only help you receive higher engagement but will also ensure that you are aware of what works and what doesn’t work well for your business.

Adjust your bid

If you are just starting out, bidding high will not give you much advantage. Spending more would be a waste of money, especially if you are still not sure of what works and what doesn’t work for your business. Setting up your daily budget of both minimum and maximum at 0.50 is a good option to start with. Avoid automatic bidding as it will make sure your budget is spent very quickly. Starting with anything less than $1 is a great way to test ads, analyse results, and then finally, scale the campaign. On the other hand, depending on the strength of your post, you may or may not get the expected cost per click. The key to high or even CPC is to keep the content fresh and engaging and practise specific targeting.

Use analytics

Twitter gives you the ability to check the performance of certain key words with the help of keyword-level analytics tools, which in turn helps you select the best relevant keywords for your campaign. As the Twitter blog states, “Try creating a campaign with a set of tightly themed keywords and starting a weekly optimization rhythm. After the first week, once you have enough data, view the engagement rate of each keyword.” Now, identified keywords with low engagement can be removed and new words can be added.

Applying these tips effectively can lead to a significant increase in your revenue. Advertising on Twitter can be profitable as the platform boasts a huge demographic, but the key lies in the effective application of strategies and the allocation of time to test with the platform.

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