Looking to promote an online business, or to give a brick-and-mortar store a digital advertising boost? Below are ten effective and proven methods to bring more traffic to your website or drive foot traffic to your physical store. Email campaigns, social campaigns and content marketing are all effective ways to advertise online. Pick one and master it, or better yet, choose a few that work well together. Understand how to optimize each technique or hire an expert to help you.
Ten effective and proven digital advertising techniques
- Social media: Social media is used to connect with potential customers, vendors, investors, or other stakeholders. Social media is free in the sense that it only costs your time, but a serious social media strategy will require time, creative graphics, a writer, and possibly a dedicated manager to be effective.
- Video: Video is my new favorite for promoting businesses, products and brands. Video does not have to be commercial quality to be effective. Audiences are receptive to homemade do-it-yourself videos, shot from a webcam or smartphone as long as the video provides value or entertains.
- Blogging: Blogging is a cheap and easy way to promote yourself, products, story, or brand. For under $30 you can get a website setup and begin writing. Everyone has a story to tell, or is an expert in something. This is a way to get started today! Blogs can be added to existing ecommerce websites to add value and give customers information, tips and tutorials. Blogs turn an ecommerce into a resource.
- Guest blogging: Guest bloggers write content for someone else’s website. The advantage is that writers potentially get more readers than they would on their own, as long as they can secure a spot on a better known blog. The only downside to guest blogging is that the content does not live on the writer’s website, but the increase in credibility from a carefully chosen website is worth it.
- Content marketing: Content marketing is creating and distributing informative and valuable content in the form of whitepapers, studies, videos, and other downloads in order to attract a targeted audience. It encompasses many of the ideas mentioned above, but the content is written to share knowledge, not as an advertisement. Readers usually give their contact information to get the content.
- Public speaking: Public speaking is a great way to establish yourself as an expert in your field, to network, and to subtly advertise. Public speaking does take time and practice. You will have to speak for free for a time unless you are amazingly famous. If you can keep your travel expenses down, this is a great way to promote yourself.
- SEO: Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of adjusting a website’s content and programming to fine tune it so it is favored by search engines such as Google and Yahoo!. SEO is a skill that has a big learning curve and many businesses outsource this to an agency.
- PPC: Pay-per-click (PPC) or paid online advertising can bring new viewers to a website. When done well, PPC is cost effective, but it takes skill, understanding, and monitoring to fine tune a campaign.
- Social advertising: Social advertising is paying for promoted spots on popular social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. These ads have different names and a few platforms offer more than one option. For example, on Facebook, users can “boost a post” or pay for a targeted ad in the news feed or right-hand sidebar. Pinterest has two options as well. Social advertising is also useful when you don’t have a lot of followers.
- Email marketing: email marketing remains one the most effective forms of online advertising. A legitimate list, cultivated from actual customers and leads, yields the best results. As the list is used, additional information is recorded, like purchase history, preferences, and spending habits.