Part 1 of a 2 part series.
They say location is everything when it comes to making your business publicly aware. Traditional methods that businesses used in the past to survive seem fairly limited when compared to the tools we have available today. From mobile phones to clothing to automobiles, nearly every business industry has an online presence to promote and sell their products and services.
The brick and mortar business model is not going away anytime soon, but with the rise of online businesses over the past few years, it has proven more difficult for some traditional businesses to stay afloat. Borders book store, a once prominent brick and mortar business is one example of this scenario. The reality is that the more recent business structure of online sales is here to stay, and it’s only going to evolve into a commonplace preference for consumers. Zappos is one online business that has proven convenient for the consumer. Fortunately there are many tools that traditional businesses have applied to their business model to help them survive. Below are perspectives on a few of these.
A twist on good, old fashioned-research
It’s most likely that successful businesses do their homework on the competition, studying their products, services and hopefully, their networks too. Knowing your competition’s social network tells you a lot about their audience. If your competitors are like you, they’ll most likely have a LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter profile page, and are potentially connected to other social networks. Their profile pages and the audience that connects to them can be considered an ally. Your competitor’s audience will most likely consist of individuals and groups with common marketing experiences and positive/negative sentiments toward businesses in their category. This is an opportunity to mine critical insights to help sell your “soon to be” new customer.
An ocean of online ads
It’s rare to visit any public website that doesn’t display some kind of advertisement. On average, we are bombarded by five thousanddigital ads every day. These are usually sitting on the side or resting up top, patiently waiting for you to click on them to take you to an irresistible deal. At least that’s the hope of the businesses that place their ads on these Web pages.
In the past you may have come across websites displaying ads that didn’t quite match the theme of that site, for instance putting an ad for hunting supplies on a company website that sells skateboards. Users visiting that site would probably prefer to see ads for skateboard helmets or knee and elbow pads, and might wonder why that business chose to display such ads. It’s rare to run across ads like these anymore, but on occasion you will.
When looking at the types of online ads you can apply to your website, the list seems fairly extensive. Here are a few examples: banners, rotators, animated gif, content, auto-expanding, text links, dancing and page-overrides. Although some of these ad types are used more often than others, some should be avoided, such as the auto-expanding, dancing or page-overriding ads. If you choose to use a dynamic ad type like those mentioned above, it’s good practice to use only one. Any more may be too distracting, and may deter them from visiting the website in the future.
Either way, online ads have the potential to entice new customers and bring back old ones, so proceed with theme-based ads if at all possible.
Overwhelming data opportunities
Brick and mortar and internet-based businesses alike use popular social media tools to promote their products and services. These social platforms are powerful to a point, but are their ads alluring enough to capture the interest of prospective customers? The hopes are that the ads being displayed are enticing enough for users to click on. As a rule of thumb, the better visual stimulus your ads provide, the more potential customers you will have clicking on them. It’s no secret that these services can be used to collect huge amounts of data from its users. The data collected can be extremely valuable, but can also be overwhelming if not categorized in a useful way. Fortunately there are tools and services that you can incorporate to help filter your data and help better market your business. Google Analytics is one tool that meets this criterion.
Don't miss part 2 of the online perspectives series: view here.
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