How To Successfully Advertise your Business Online.
It has been said that a business that does not advertise is a closed business.
Or why else would you open a store and not put in the work required to attract the set of people who will make the business profitable - customers?
Technological advancement in recent times has led to a serious shift in consumer behavior, making it very important to integrate a well thought out digital strategy as you seek to thrive in today's marketplace.
In this article, we will quickly seek to answer the question "where do you advertise your business online?"
1. WhatsApp Status.
This is one of the most underutilized places when it comes to advertising your business online. A lot of people use their smartphones to communicate on WhatsApp and as a result, it becomes easy to reach them on the platform.
How does it work?
Simply take pictures of the product you have for sale, post a compelling but short write up on your status and attach the images on there. People from your contacts will see this and anyone who is interested will reach out to you.
There is also a whatsApp business app. This you can use as a means to engage your customers...be in contact with them directly. You should know that this would not work for every business...
And there is a major downside to using this platform to promote your business; You have limited reach since only those with your mobile number and those you have their mobile number will see the update.
Although, it has been said that very soon, it would be possible to run ads on WhatsApp as a platform, since it is owned by Facebook. The conversion on that would be pretty good, but until then, this is quite limited.
Not to worry, the next option gives you a wider reach.
2. Classified Sites.
This is one of the easiest options when it comes to advertising your business online. Classified sites are platforms created to allow business owners to list their products for people to come and see them. The platforms give you room to display your contact details and interested individuals can reach out to you.
Consider these platforms as an exhibition - many of the people who come here are basically window shopping, they would stop by your stand and see what you have and if the offer is good enough, they'll reach out you.
Examples of classified sites include; jiji.ng & olx.com.ng
And the process is really simple, signup and upload details (picture, description etc) of your products.
But there's a major downside to using this system, you have no control.
Other businesses have their products posted here as well so you will basically be fighting for attention with hundred similar businesses who will probably be selling the same product cheaper than you.
So while this is a good place to start especially since it is free, you should consider the next option as it will serve you better both in exposure and control.
And if you are in the business of services...this would be a difficult approach to take.
Google is a very good option you can use. The very good thing about using this platform is that the customers you get are people actively seeking out the kind of solution you're offering.
You must have searched for something on google, almost anybody with a smartphone has searched out a question on Google.
The advertising here involves you positioning yourself as the business to answer the questions the searcher asked by paying Google to list you on top of the search for what the searcher searches. (This are called keywords).
There are some downside to this platform though:
- You have to be in a kind of business with a decent level of keywords searched by people, else you'll get very low results.
- If your kind of business has a high number of searches on Google, you'll have a lot of competitors. Meaning that you'll have to bid and find a way to beat them to the top of the Google page.
4. Social Media
(Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter etc) - As at June 2018, over 25,000,000 Nigerians above the age of 18 use the most popular Social media website of all - Facebook.
What does this suggest to you?
This strategy works for any kind of business, whether you sell product or services, Or if your customers are other businesses or not.
LinkedIn Ads however works very well for B2B business, although Facebook Ads are pretty solid in that area.
If you are not advertising on social media you are leaving too much money on the table!
And I don't mean posting your products on your timeline until all your friends get tired of you...
or spamming all the groups you belong to until they remove you or nobody just cares about you... No.
Using social media as a marketing channel (I'll focus on Facebook now) allows you to target your prospects by
- Demographics(Age range, marital status, e..t.c ).
- Geography(their location)
Among many other things thereby showing your advertising campaigns to only those who are interested in seeing them.
Think about that, if you want to sell a book on building a business, you can easily set up your Ads to target only those who are interested in entrepreneurship...
Who are within a certain age range, and or live in one particular city where you know they are more likely to respond to your Ad positively, say Lagos.
You could also with certain tools made available to you target people who have visited your website. (This could also be a particular page or a combination of pages on your website).
This is what makes advertising on social media very powerful. The ability to keep being in the face of people interested in what you're offering.
Have a good offer that they are willing to buy, and you'll get good results.
Have you ever searched for something on Jumia, and then you you see their ads targeting you all around?
This is what we call re-targeting, and is a possibility for any business that wants to try it out.
Here are specific reasons why you need to be start using Facebook Ads to advertise your business.
- It is, by far, the quickest and most reliable way to advertise your business around your internet from scratch. Everything is MUCH quicker.
- You have control over who sees your adverts. This means that you can target people likely to be interested in what you're selling, be it a service or a product.
- There are unique ways to target your audience, this helps save you time and money you'll have spent looking for new sets of audiences for new ads.
- You are in charge of the traffic coming to our site, rather than wait and hope that someone stumbles on your site.
- You'll pay far less marketing on Facebook in comparison to the results you'll get from using them as a traffic source, or when you choose to use traditional marketing techniques.
- Everything is measurable. You can analyse as much as anything to help you find out what is working and what isn't. You can go as far as know who checked your site, your service page or whatever, where they stopped. This helps you re-strategize for better results.
So how do you get started with that?
Step 1. Go to business.facebook.com and create a business account.
Step 2. Connect your Facebook page to your ad account or create a new Facebook page (if you don't already have one)
Step 3. Create an Ad account to use for your promotions.
Step 4. Connect a payment method to your ad account.
Step 5. Create your ads.
While the technical parts of setting up your social media advertising campaign are simple...
It is important for you to understand the science behind running successful Ad campaigns, otherwise, you will be giving Facebook of other social media platforms money without seeing any returns on investment.
If you are serious about promoting your business online, then you should be investing in Social Media Marketing especially by running Ads on Facebook...
I'll love to share with you a case study of the last campaign we ran for a client, what we learnt and the results we got.
You can use any of the platforms above for your own business, or get someone to help you with it.
You can also use this model I wrote about for your own business, it is found on the case study.
Interested in the case study, then click the button below.
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