6 Online Advertising Tips Every Entrepreneur Should Know

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A great online business starts with basic knowledge

When you created the most incredible product ever, you didn’t expect to be sitting here later, having sold three, all to your mother.  Why isn’t your Inbox over-flowing with orders from people dying to get their hands on this incredible item? How were you blinded to reality?  Nobody can buy what they do not know exists. Thousands of potential customers are out there, but without online advertising, there is no way they know you or your wonder product exist.  Unfortunately, knowing how or what to do when it comes to generating sales online often escapes the typical entrepreneur. A brain that can calculate nearly impossible formulas and design innovative products is often lost in the maze of online advertising, but that does not always have to be the case.

Read on to discover six of the most important things you need to keep in mind about online advertising when it comes to growing your business.

1. Who is your potential buyer

Take time to create a picture in your mind of what a person who would love your product is like. Is she a stay-at-home mother or corporate executive?  Is he the local school  janitor or CEO of a Fortune 500 company?  It is essential to know who will most likely buy your product before designing your plan because different people populate different places online.  Once you have this persona in mind, be sure to craft all of your messaging toward it so that your target audience will see how your product/solution is for them. For example, your messaging might look a little different for a 45 year-old mother versus a male college student.  Once you’ve identified your target, consider where they would most likely be found online. Search engines, forums, email, blogs?

2. Research your options
Take time to learn about the various advertising avenues available to you: PPC (pay-per-click) advertising, banner advertising, mobile, email, social, and the multitude of  other advertising avenues available to you.  Based on the results our advertisers have seen, successful online marketers will not settle for only one method.  In addition to the above, starting a newsletter and re-marketing add momentum to your advertising campaign. Blogging is a necessity, even if you do not see yourself as a writer.

2. Seven times

From what we have seen, the average consumer will most likely not buy a product unless they have seen it in one way or another at least seven times.  This means you need to get the image of your product out there where it can be seen.  Having it appear in different places will increase the chances of potential customers seeing the image.  This is where Remarketing can be your best friend.  By tracking what visitors have visited your site, your ads can be shown to them when they visit other sites.  This increases the amount of times a person may see your product in a shorter period of time while driving more visits.

3. Give an incentive
In your emails, marketing messages or social posts, give potential customers a reason to go to your website.  Remember this for return users as well, few will actually make a purchase on their first visit.  Give them information they can use, a small gift that is of value to them (offer code, free shipping, free upgrade, etc…) or promises of things to come.  Accordingly, make sure you follow through with those promises.  Customers are won by gaining trust.

4. Research your competition
Competition is a fact of any business.  There is always going to be someone, somewhere vying for the same customers you are.  It is vital that you keep an eye on what they are doing in order to stay a step ahead.  You will want to keep track where their name comes up in a search for the keywords you use and where their name and product appear. Creating a Google alert is a great way to keep tabs.

5. Free tools
There are a multitude of free tools to help with your online advertising.  Social network sites such as Facebook and Twitter help get you out there where potential customers can see who you are and what you stand for. People prefer doing business with someone they have a connection with.  There are numerous other social networks, but these are the two largest. Blogging (WordPress.com, Tumblr.com) regularly will help increase your online presence but, more importantly, it can establish you as an expert in your field. This world is visually oriented. Pinterest and Instagram are making a big impact online and may be worth checking into.  Posting videos on YouTube that give potential customers valuable information will also help establish you as an expert in your field. This can only translate into more website traffic, and more sales.

6. Bonus: Never stop learning
Find blogs, newsletters, groups, and forums that are relevant to your business promotion and always take the time to stay up-to date with the latest trends in your industry. You’ll quickly learn where others are finding success.

Starting out online can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.  The trick is to make a list of all the avenues you would like to explore with the most obvious ones at the top.  Then get to implementing and testing but be sure to give it time and patience.  You’ll see what works and what doesn’t soon enough. The first step is the longest stride.