There are many benefits to using online advertising for your local business, but one of its key features is the ability to target specific audiences more effectively so that you know your budget is being spent wisely. If you get your message out there to the people most relevant to your business, those adverts are more likely to translate into sales.
Here are four ways that online advertising can help your business reach its target audience and engage potential customers.
1) Use pay-per-click advertising (PPC) to reach people about to buy
PPC involves bidding on words that users enter to search for products and services relevant to your business, to help your ads get found in the search results. The best known pay-per-click advertising service is Google Ads. To find out more about Google Ads and how it can work for your local business, check out this article.
It’s important to really get into the minds of your potential customers and think of the different ways they might search for your type of business in order to use this platform well. For example, people looking for a plumber might search for ‘local plumber in Sheffield’ or ‘plumbing specialist’. PPC is an extremely effective way of targeting, as people searching online on platforms like Google have an immediate motivation that can quickly turn them into paying customers (as long as you get there before the competition).
2) Target people based on their location, interests, profiles and more
The beauty of online advertising is its ability to target your ideal customers in much more detail. You might want to target people based on their age, location, gender and more. All of these are achievable with a variety of platforms out there such as your local news site, Facebook, LinkedIn and more.
Furthermore, many of these platforms can also help you target people based on their interests and the things they buy; so using more specific criteria that looks at people's behaviour can help you reach those who are more likely to need your products or services now or in the future. With this in mind, it’s important you really drill down who your ideal customer is and understand who it is you’re trying to target in order to make the most of online advertising.
3) Remarket to people who didn’t take action the first time round
Did a website visitor convert to a customer the first time they visited your site? It's doubtful, but that doesn't mean you should stop marketing to them; quite the opposite. The fact that they have visited your website in the first place is a good indication that they have taken some interest in what your business has to offer, so it’s essential you continue marketing to them with adverts on other websites that they visit.
The customer journey is a complex one and you should tailor your ads to this journey where possible. For example, if someone has previously visited a product page on your website but then leaves, it suggests they may be unsure about buying. So you could then retarget them with case studies to show how your products have worked for other people. Remarketing helps keep your business at the forefront of the user’s mind, and may prompt them to return to your website later and take action.
4) Appear next to content relevant to your type of business
You can also use online advertising to appear on certain pages of websites or next to content that is relevant to what your business has to offer. By appearing on these pages, you are more likely to engage people who are already interested in your type of business due to the nature of their visit. For example, if you offer financial services you may want your adverts to appear on the business section of a website. Or if you’re a leisure centre, you may want to appear on the entertainment pages of a news site.
It’s also important to know the area that the website caters for; if your business only serves your immediate city then there's no point advertising on a national site - why spend your budget on people who will never buy from you? This is where platforms like your local news site can help.
As the amount of time spent online grows and grows, it’s essential you target specific audiences to ensure your adverts get seen by the right people and that your budget isn’t being wasted on people that have little interest in your type of business. Keep these four tips in mind when looking at your online advertising to ensure you’re engaging the right people at the right time to help convert interest into sales.
If you’re not sure where to start with targeting options though, there are plenty of service providers out there that can help you on your way, including our own online advertising service.
To find out more about the benefits of online advertising and why it’s an essential part of your marketing plan, check out the following articles:
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