Online advertising for small Businesses

The Single Most Effective Form of Online Advertising for Small Business Owners

onlineadvertisingThe component I love most about owning a digital marketing agency is that I get to meet with every kind of small business owner. From entrepreneurs who started car dealerships to ecommerce websites to dry cleaners, plumbing companies and law firms. You name the industry, and I have likely met with the marketing manager or founder of a business within that sector.

It provides me with a great perspective on the differences and similarities of how business in this country runs and operates. It also gives me a great appreciation for the important role that small businesses play in the economy. According to the Small Business Chronicle, since 1995, small businesses have generated 64 percent of new jobs, and paid 44 percent of the total United States private payroll.

If you own a small business, give yourself a pat on the back! (I just did.)

One common theme between all small business owners is that they want to find the most effective form of online advertising. In each meeting, I’m constantly asked, “Jason, how can I can generate the most leads at the lowest price point?”

I’m going to share the secret sauce to the single most effective form of online advertising to all readers. Whether you own a ski resort in Maine or a surf shop in California, this form of marketing can apply to all businesses and generate one of the lowest costs per acquisition for your company.

What is remarketing?

Remarketing (a.k.a. retargeting) is a very popular way of advertising among PPC professionals. It’s an online marketing technique that enables advertisers to reach out to visitors who have already visited a website.

Okay, let’s translate the definition from Google into English so all business owners can understand this amazing form of advertising. I’m going to provide you with a real-life example of how remarketing would play out.

Let’s Go Surfing

Let’s say you own “Sam’s Surf Shop” in Malibu. You have tourists from all over the country searching online for a place to rent surfboards and gear for when they make the trek out to the Golden State. They have no allegiance between your surf shop and the one down the street. They are just in the shopping phase.

Tom from Michigan can’t wait to escape the cold weather up north and catch some waves in sunny California. He visits the website for Sam’s Surf Shop. He likes the price and Sam’s has all of the necessary gear he is seeking along with glowing reviews. Tom is ready to call Sam’s and reserve his board but he hears his wife holler from downstairs… “Honey, the kids need to be picked up from hockey practice.”

Tom ends up leaving Sam’s Surf Shop’s website and decides he’ll look into it later.

What Happens Now?

The next time Tom starts surfing the web a week later, he doesn’t remember the name of Sam’s Surf Shop. Instead, he just does a Google search for “Surf Shop in Malibu.” He ends up going to a competitor’s site and makes the purchase with the enemy.

Sam’s Surf Shop just lost a customer. It didn’t have to end up like this though!

If Sam had placed a pixel on the backend of his site and created a simple graphic (like the one below), his advertisement would have followed Tom from Michigan around the web for the next 14-30 days.

Sam’s Surf Shop would have gotten a new customer and they would only be charged for this remarketing advertisement when someone clicked on the advertisement. The cost associated with this campaign is cheap! It likely would have cost Sam’s Surf Shop around $0.35 when Tom clicked the “Visit Website Now” button. The quality of traffic can’t be topped when it comes to remarketing since users have already visited your website and expressed interest!

How to Set Up Remarketing

If you are a business owner and new to remarketing, you can easily set up remarketing through Google AdWords, Facebook or Twitter. You will need to take the following steps:

  1. Create different graphics with a strong call-to-action to visit your site
  2. Place the pixel generated by AdWords, Facebook or Twitter onto the backend of your website

The remarketing life cycle image below maps out the process simply. If you need help setting this up, a developer or designer should be able to take care of the entire process in less than 3 hours, and this includes creating the graphics!

Get Onboard!

I can’t tell you how many prospective clients see my remarketing advertisements on ESPN.COM, Yahoo, CNN and CNBC. They think I’m paying big bucks because my custom advertisements are served on these powerful sites. I’m often told that this is the differentiating factor of why a client chooses The Media Captain versus a competitor.

Little do they know, it’s only costing me about a quarter each time I get a high quality click to my site.

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