Why, Where and How to Advertise Your Business Online
The whole point of advertising is to get noticed. With all the noise these days both online and off,
it is difficult at best to get seen… Heidi Richards Mooney
That’s why I recommend publicity over advertising. Doing things like creating an event or a stunt will likely do more to get you noticed in your niche than all the advertising you can buy (unless you have REALLY deep pockets). Get busy on social networking sites where your customers and clients hang out, including the top 3 Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Having said that, there are reasons and places to advertise online that will pay off without spending a fortune.
Here are some tips to “advertise”:
List your online business in free directories offered by the search engines Google, Yahoo and Bing; other directories such as DMOZ, The Open Directory Project and ZoomInfo. Tip: when you do list your site in these directories be sure and only list once because you could get banned for multiple listings of the same company. You can also show videos and photos which can be added to your listings.
When you list your business above, use keywords to describe what you do using benefit words (eg. “24 hour turnaround” or “loose weight or you don’t pay”) rather than vanity words (like BEST, AWARD WINNING) – people don’t believe that anymore and they don’t search for businesses that way.
This will take you less than an hour to set up and about 10-15 minutes a month to maintain.
Find sites who sell to your audience that compliment what you do and see if they will either sell you space on their site, list you in their links or offer advertising space in their email marketing such as a newsletter (this would go out to your target audience and you both benefit). Quite often these ads are innexpensive and you can test for very little money. Keep in mind that advertising one time (one insert) is not a test. You need to create a campaign and keep your ad in for a minimum of 4-5 issues to build credibility with your new audience, the best way to see any results. Remember that it takes at least that many impressions before people begin to recongize your company.
Remember to add social networking to your marketing plan. I know so many people who just hang out on SN Sites but don’t really know how to effectively use the sites to get attention for their businesses. Before you waste a lot time, check out what those you admire are doing and model them. Don’t copy them, learn from them. See what they are doing and what is working for them. See how you can adapt to your own situation.
There are many ways to advertise without breaking the bank and many of them are FREE. The real price you pay is TIME although NOT FREE can be worth the investment and pay off BIG TIME in valuable backlinks, better positioning on the search engines and more. Use your time wisely to find out the best online places to advertise your business!
Heidi Richards Mooney is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of WE Magazine for Women, a WordPress Web Designer, the author of a dozen books and a social media consultant and trainer. Heidi has interviewed hundreds of experts on Social Media Around the World. In 2003 Heidi was named one of 50 women shaping the Internet by the International Virtual Women’s Chamber of Commerce. In 2009 she was named a Twitter Woman to Follow by Only2Clicks.com. She works with solopreneurs, professionals and small businesses in ecommerce, direct sales and retail. Follow Heidi on Google Plus