The 21st Century Way Of Using Internet For Advertising
The challenge of internet advertising is how difficult it is to perform correctly. We are no longer at the turn of the millenium - users are more aware of the technology that surrounds them. They fight back, and they fight back hard against typical marketing practices. It's not at all unreasonable. For years they were bothered with irritating, overwhelming or half-witted attempts at gaining their attention. Fortunately, there are better ways to do it.
First of all, let's establish this: it's not that people hate all ads. According to a study done by MarketingSharpa, people don't actually mind the overall - only 8% declared that they would not want to receive any sort of promotional content.
What people do mind, however, is what form the ads are in and how often they are displayed. Google recently noted quarter-by-quarter drops in its CPC (cost-per-click). As a result, if websites are going to make up their ad revenue, they must put more of them on their sites. This encourages more and more people to opt into using adblocker's such as AdBlock or uBlock in order to get rid of them. This vicious cycle repeats time after time, lowering business revenue as well as users' quality of life.
Users don't want to just receive any information that you think might or might not be suited to them. Instead, they want some degree of control. They want to see promotional materials only when they are already searching for them, not whenever they visit a completely unrelated website.
Considering this trend, what is the best channel to advertise through?
One of the simplest and most obvious methods is email. Offering them a newsletter signup ensures that the the audience you send your campaigns to is interested in your content, increasing your open rate. Additionally, people have the option of opening and closing the emails whenever they want - even better if they are able to specify how often they want to receive emails from you directly while subscribing. From the company side, you get a personal address to which you can freely present any sort of personalized content. It hardly gets better than this.
Social media is also a great option. Your customers can follow and unfollow you at will, encouraging you to post engaging and meaningful content. It's also a great way to interact with them, boosting their loyalty and providing you with another chance to personalize their experience by directly messaging them and solving any concerns they might have.
Keeping your website updated with latest information is also a great way of advertising for your business. As many as 38% of responders said that they will visit the company website in order to find any promotions they want.
Advertising through social media or your website has an additional benefit: both of them impact your search engine ranking. That means people are more likely to find you while trying to find nearby restaurants on Facebook or attempting to determine what the best photo studio in their city is.
Physical promotional materials
Yes, yes, we realize that this method doesn't actually need to involve the internet. However, we couldn't pass on it, really - while physical coupons and ads appear to be slowly becoming obsolete, turns out they are still very much in customers' minds. 54% of them like having them delivered by mail (and yes, we mean snail mail here), while 28% still like to see offers handed to them while in store. Apart from providing value by itself, such coupon can contain promotional codes to enter on your website, a QR code, or provide access to an exclusive portion of our internet portal. Who said you can't tie physical and digital together?
The point we are trying to make is simple - personalization is important, but so are proper frequency and exposure. Simply bombarding your audience with ads won't do it. They need to want what you are selling and receive information about it in a format they enjoy most. Internet ads shouldn't be screaming about the product in our ears every two seconds. Instead, they should be a subtle, yet decisive call to action.