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WSIW: Why Should I Advertise Online?

May 13, 2015Will Leffert,

It's Wednesday, which means it's time for another Why Should I Wednesday. Today's question is simple: Why should I advertise online?

The ad world has shifted substantially over the years; We've gone from catchy jingles and Burma-Shave, to flashing click-baiting and clever calls to action. Newspapers, TV, and even radio are still relevant, but where does online advertising fit in?

Many businesses, especially smaller ones, fail to see the value in online advertising. Hell, even having a Facebook page, to them, is a waste of time.

Well, I'm here to tell you there is one big, clear reason to not dismiss online advertising; Customers who react to it love the immediacy it can provide.

When you've got the right product or service, an online ad can serve you better than any other medium. All you have to do is spark the interest; a clear, simple tag line, some artwork that draws the eye, and a call to action with a sense of urgency will get you more business than you realize.

The important thing to take into consideration is that online advertising is very different compared to other ad mediums; You need to keep things simple. Don't pile on the text. There's no reason to put your address or phone number in the ad (the goal is to get clicks; your landing page should have all the contact info). Your branding is important, but not near as important as the offer and the art (which are what draw users in). Most of all.. Give them a clear and obvious reason to click.

What happens after a user clicks is equally important. If your landing page doesn't match up with what the user is clicking to immediately, you're going to lose the customer really fast. Ensure that whatever offer you have is right there in plain site within a second of hitting the page.. Especially for mobile. If your goal is to get users to fill out a form, don't get too crazy with it. Keep it simple. Don't make your user do all the work.

Finally, one amazing bit of awesome with advertising online is the technological features; Targeted advertising alone is worth it.. Being able to target numerous different locations and demographics means your ad impressions go to people who might have a genuine interest in your product or service. Video pre-roll ads can pull double-duty with your TV advertising campaign. Sharing features create the opportunity for a clever marketing campaign to go viral, spreading your reach even further without costing a dime.

Ultimately, the message is this.. Don't let your advertising dollars sit in just traditional media. While still effective, you should certainly budget for online advertising, too!