Digital Marketing

Marketing Best Practices for the Practitioner: 4 Reasons to Invest in Online Advertising

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The internet is used for every aspect of life – not only for communication, entertainment and education, but for creating opportunities, brand visibility, and providing targeted messages to prospects. The internet is a resource for information – for anything, and everything.

Advertisers knew this trend was coming as more and more people started moving towards the online world. A recent report released by eMarketer earlier this year states that 2012 would be the year that spending for online advertising would surpass spending for print advertising. In 2011, online ad spending grew 23% in the US, just passing the $32 billion mark, and in 2012 the online ads will grow another 23% to nearly $40 billion. As the spending for online ads continues to grow, B2B marketing professionals need to watch for this development and catch on quickly because we live in an increasingly interactive world, and opportunities to market to your future customers may be lost if this is ignored.

I work with a lot of paid programs – online ads being one of them. I have been doing online ads for a few years now, and yet I still to guess which online ads will perform the best.  It is sometimes a gamble. I have seen certain online ads that have performed really well in the past, and then have completely bombed the second or third time around. However, as with any paid program, a good amount of research needs to be done before investing.

Reasons To Invest in Online Advertising

All that said, I can definitely say from my own experience that online advertising has more advantages than disadvantages. Here are the four advantages that I have picked up on while doing my own online ads:

1) Coverage Worldwide – online advertising gives your ads a wider coverage. This helps you reach a wider audience that you might not be able to on your own. As a marketer, you know that branding is everything and the more visibility your company has – the likely a future prospect will contact you when it’s the right time for them to buy.

2) Targeted Audience – you can choose who sees your ad (i.e.: marketing managers, sales managers, etc.) so you get more relevant leads. In the case of a paid email, knowing your target audience will help in customizing your subject lines. Remember, if you don’t bring them value, they will search it elsewhere (possibly from your competition).

3) Affordable – online advertising is cheaper than print. Can you imagine how much it would cost you if you had to send out a postcard to everyone (not to say this traditional marketing doesn’t work, it’s just more expensive). Some online advertisers are pricey, but that is also because they can guarantee a larger amount of quality leads, but from my experience I have seen that the ones that are a little bit pricier have a better and larger database so you are able to get more leads.

4) Easy Measurement – have you tried measuring the success of a billboard or a print ad? Quite difficult right? But not with online advertising! Advertisers can track, measure, and test nearly all aspects of the online ad. Information on subject lines, click-through-rates, open rates are easily accessible. You can know how well your ad did within 24 hours and continue to monitor it as the weeks goes by, plus you can make quick modifications if something is not working.

There are so many online ads that may work for one company but not for another. It’s important to measure the marketing ROI on a regular basis to see which programs work best for your company, and your goals.

Has this been helpful? Do you have other advantages of online advertising? Share them with me. Drop me a line: rravulapati@marketo.com.