What if I told you… that a banner advert on a website isn’t the only way you can market your business online? A recent article on marketingtechnews.net suggests that the way consumers are finding products and services online is changing at a rapid rate. More often than not, the consumer can browse any social media platform, video streaming site, or online article, and could find a form of advertising in each one. A shopper browsing online for new and exciting products or services can do so effortlessly, as they can read their favorite articles, watch their favorite videos, and view images from their favorite bloggers, all the while stumbling upon relevant marketing. In a way, everyone wins.
For small business owners with a creative flair and a knack for harnessing the latest technology, this is a big deal. YouTube advertising might feel like a dark horse, what with many consumers either using Adblock programs or waiting five agonizing seconds until they can skip the video ad, but it is possible to hit that sweet spot. It was found that advertisements for beauty products, smartphones, and automotive vehicles on YouTube all defeated TV ads in terms of influence for recent purchases.
- Pro: Millions upon millions of viewers. Your audience potential is massive.
- Con: Some viewers may use Adblock.
- Pro: YouTube doesn’t actually charge for the first five seconds, only if the ad is clicked.
- Con: Some may not care. Attention spans can be limited, people just want their video and will ignore anything that gets in the way.
Affiliate marketing is rapidly becoming a go-to option for brands to advertise (and ideally sell). This is because it works on a results-based commission, meaning you only have to pay if someone actually buys a product or service via the website or blog you have advertised on. This is achieved via banners or through links placed in editorial content. Furthermore, like someone at a party introducing two friends, there are companies that bring together the affiliate (blog or website owner) with the merchant to create campaigns that will benefit everyone. Either one could look through affiliate marketing categories at Affili.net, for example, and only partner with those who will be mutually advantageous.
- Pro: Results-based, so only pay the affiliate if a consumer actually signs up for service or buys product.
- Con: Uncertain if the website will place a banner appropriately or create interesting content with a good affiliate link.
- Pro: Very affordable and an easy way to increase reach of the brand.
Marketing on Instagram
Social media marketing is a phrase more commonly linked to the likes of Facebook or Twitter, but you’d be unwise to ignore the strength of image-sharing site Instagram. Aside from the obvious advice of taking decent photos of whatever you’re trying to advertise, making use of trending hashtags, and entering relevant URLs to your posts, there are many more marketing tips for Instagram.
- Pro: Images simply look visually appealing. Users interact with the posts and can share with friends.
- Con: Perhaps not a con if they are your target market, but Instagram is primarily used by teens and millennials.
- Pro: 400 million monthly users. Instagram is growing in popularity all the time.
- Con: Algorithm for how posts appear is known to change often, meaning you’re unsure of when and where your images will appear.
Although, one thing to keep in mind with all this discussion of online marketing, is that all the most amazing methods in the world won’t save you if what your offering (either product or service) is of subpar quality. Similarly, our previous discussion with Gary Vaynerchuk confirms the fact that a great website is vital to the success of online marketing. Imagine going through all the effort of unique and interesting campaigns, only to direct people to a site that is either not mobile-friendly, confusing to navigate, or doesn’t provide the relevant information that the potential customer is looking to find.