Does advertising on the internet really work? We don’t need more hypey, bandwagon talk here. We need the truth.
In talking to different business owners, there are some out there who doubt that it really works.
There are some who are old school (“we’ve always advertised in the yellow pages” or “we rely on word of mouth… we don’t need to advertise on the internet!”) who feel that traditional ways of getting the word out about their company have worked just fine, thank you very much.
Necessity… The Father Of Opening Up Options?
Unfortunately for them, between the lousy economy (where word of mouth is no longer enough) and the non-use of yellow pages by most people these days, these folks are being forced to consider other avenues.
I have also spoken to those who have tried advertising on the internet and have concluded “it doesn’t work!”
If you ask me, “does online advertising really work?” you may be surprised by my answer.
My answer is… it depends. From what I’ve seen, it depends on where you do it… and how you do it.
Let me explain.
Ways Internet Advertising Sometimes Does NOT Work
One of the times where I have NOT seen internet advertising work is… advertising in the wrong place. That is the focus on this blog post. In my next blog post, I’ll focus on another reason you have little success when you advertise online (how you advertise).
There are many different places you can advertise online—the search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing), on websites, on Facebook, Linked In, and many other places.
Two Basic Places To Advertise
For this discussion, let’s focus on two basic places most businesses advertise online. I will even limit the discussion to one main platform – Google.
Google has two basic places you can advertise—
A. On the search network (where people are looking for your products and services by entering keywords and “Googling” something), and
B. On the display network (those little ads and banners that show up on some websites).
A Huge Difference Between Places
The difference between these two areas is that the first category is full of people actively searching for solutions to their problems… which means your products and services. Got a roof leak? You go online and figure out who to call.
The second area is called “interruption marketing” because you are advertising to people on websites who are not looking for you at all. They are doing something else—reading content on a web page. You try to get their attention so they might consider your product or service.
This type of advertising works reasonably well if you are trying to reach a particular group of people. For example, if you sell things to dentists, they don’t always search for dental things. But, if you know where they hang out online (certain websites they visit), you can advertise directly to them there.
Don’t Make This Mistake… And Burn Through Your Cash!
Where internet advertising does NOT work (or at least is cost effective) as a general rule (yes Virginia, there are exceptions), is when a company advertises on general websites (for example, CNN), without trying to target certain websites that cater to certain group of people (dentists, automotive executives, small business owners, moms with young kids, etc.).
However, if you have a product that has impulse appeal (EX: Lose weight), you can do alright. But, if you are a plumber, people won’t give your ad a second thought.
Unless you have deep pockets and are intent on “branding” your business (getting general exposure so as to become memorable when they do need you), you must match who you are trying to reach with sites that cater to those folks.
My next blog post will evaluate another common way that online advertising will not work for you. This one I see a lot. I hope you are not in this group. If you want to talk to a real, live person about a possible online advertising campaign, feel free to give me a call at 888-433-5030. I would be happy to provide you some free advice.