It’s hard to believe that online advertising contributed $530 billion to the United States economy in 2011. According to a recent Internet Advertising Board (IAB) study, paid channel marketing accounted for 3.7 percent of GDP in the United States in 2011. The field is growing leaps and bounds with an economic contribution that has doubled since 2007.
Despite these strong numbers, many startups are reluctant to jump into the game because ads have a bad rap of being – well, horribly spammy. To some extent the reputation is justified. If you need convincing, just check your spam filter on a daily basis. A good chunk of that mess is advertising gone wrong.
Don’t let a few stereotypes ruin your marketing strategy, however. Advertising can have substantial ROI for your business. The trick is to focus on user experience and to choose a strategy that aligns with your audience of choice.
“At the end of the day, it’s not about how much you spend or how many eyeballs you reach,” Rosalind Resnick wrote in an Entrepreneur article. “It’s about how many customers you can bring in the door while still making enough money to float your boat.”
Don’t let the following myths hold you back from jumping in and testing.
Myth #1: Perfectionism
If you are hoping for a marketing strategy that just ‘works,’ you’re going to end up hitting a wall. Paid channel advertising takes substantial experimentation, trial, and error. Success comes from hard work and plenty of earnest mistakes. Don’t jump in and waste a lot of money, however.
“While no advertising strategy is foolproof, you’ll get better results and waste less money if you do your homework ahead of time,” Resnick wrote.
While your paid channel marketing strategy will need some elbow grease, there are some strategies to help the gears turn smoothly. Know your conversion goals and data points of interest before launching your campaigns, for instance.
Myth #2: Display Doesn’t Work
“This may have been true years ago, but is no longer true today,” Search Engine Land writer Mona Elesseily wrote. “Over the past few years, Google and the engines have made tremendous improvements in content (display) advertising.”
Don’t automatically confine yourself to networks with CPC advertising models. Display inventory is relatively inexpensive, and while you’re not paying for clicks, you may see strong returns from the visits that do ultimately come through.
Myth 3: Once it’s running, you’re done
“A lot of small businesses think they can load in their keywords and ads, set a budget and walk away,” according to the PPC Hero Blog.
In actuality, PPC campaigns need constant assessment and evaluation. Marketing campaigns are highly dependent on seasonal trends, buying habits, and major events. You can’t control these facets of consumer behavior, but you can work around them to operate more efficiently.
“It takes constant monitoring, testing, bid lowering & increasing, turning off, and turning on in order to get the biggest bang for your buck,” wrote the PPC Hero blog.
Facebook ads, for example, require daily nurturing. Once ads have had at most a frequency of three, you need to rotate the art and/or copy. If you are targeting a large audience, you can quickly hit that target [Even within an hour]. Here is a great post on Facebook advertising written by our friend Fred Perotta.
There are plenty of cool networks that are cost effective ways to complement your conversion goals. Instead of worrying about stereotypes, keep an eye out for solutions that alleviate your most common marketing pain points.