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Online Advertising: An Interesting Opportunity for Local Businesses

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29 January 2014 | Be the first to comment!

It's not exactly a secret to anyone, but Internet is an integral part of everyday life. As such, it's no surprise that more and more businesses promote their products and services where their consumers are, on the internet. In addition, the great advantages of online advertising is that they can precisely target your customers where they are found and can be concretely analyzed with performance statistics. You will be able to calculate the return on your investment of your advertising campaigns on top of engaging with your audience. 


Where to begin? And mostly, what types of advertising are offered to businesses?
First off, identify your clientele and ask yourself what are the best network to join. It's not much use to advertise on Facebook if your clientele type is a healthcare professional or to post announcements on Linkedln if you're trying to reach young moms with newborn children. More importantly, do not forget in which contexts your target audiences find themselves on these networks. Are they networking for work, for pleasure, to find a certain product, to have fun, etc. Once you have defined your target audiences and the contexts in which they are found, you will be able to determine which advertising platforms are the most appropriate to promote your products or services.


Social Advertising
The three most popular social networks for their advertising opportunities online are: Facebook, Linkedln, and Twitter (currently only available to certain Canadian accounts and only if you Tweet in English). Naturally, you need to have an account on each of these platforms and a credit card will need to be linked to your account in order for you to begin advertising.

Facebook and Linkedln offer simple and interesting possibilities depending on the results you're seeking; either promoting your website, a publication, or an event, amongst many other things. Their advertising manager will guide you throughout the creation of your campaigns. You will be able to set up your campaign based on the geographical zone, age, sex, interests, educational and training background of your target audience. With Linkedln, you can also target other businesses (B2B) and your audience based on group, business and specific competences criteria.

For example, you could create an advertisement that targets only women aged 25 to 40, living in Edmundston and its surrounding areas and who have studied at the University of Moncton. Your ad would then be shown only to users who have added these specific criteria to their profiles. 


Search Advertising with Google Adwords
Over 4.8 billion searches are done in Canada on the Google search engine alone. This means there are potential clients out there looking for your products and services. Furthermore, 85% of smartphone users perform searches on local businesses on their mobiles and 44% of these users have physically gone to the local businesses that they've looked up. The Google Adwords advertising program thus allows you to gain these users' attention at the exact moment where they are searching for your business, products or services. These targeted advertisements will then be posted to users who are already interested in your type of activities, products or services and who are more susceptible to take action (i.e. visit your place of business). You will also be able to choose where your advertisement will be displayed and in which geographical zones (regions, cities, or neighbourhoods even). You can also choose and specify your own budget for these advertisements.

For example, let's say that you own a bike repair shop near Moncton. You would be able to setup your ad so that it is made available to people living in the Moncton area. If someone living in the area or passing through searches for "bike repairs near Moncton" on Google, they would then be very likely to see your ad and click on it in order to contact your business. An important point: Make sure that the landing page (the page that the user will be redirected to once he's clicked on your ad) is expressly tailored for him. This will help your conversion rates. You also want to ensure that the page describes your offer in further details and that your contact information and how to obtain your products or services are clearly listed.


Reach consumers wherever they are
Online advertising is expanding and businesses have everything to gain in getting better acquainted with these constantly evolving platforms. These tools allow you to not only better reach your consumers but also to adjust your offers according on their habits, their location, and the context in which they are when they see your ad. Today's consumer has tremendously changed with the arrival of the internet....so has marketing!





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