Get Your Feet Wet
Here are some basic recommendations for small businesses who want to get involved in online advertising, and we think these options work especially well for the screen printing market.
Search Ads (Pay-Per-Click): Search Ads are mainly text ads that display on the tops and sides of search engine results pages (SERPs) i.e. Google. The advertiser selects the particular keywords e.g. “custom t-shirts” that they would like their ads to show up for, as well as the exact location i.e. only in Maryland, or only in Austin, Texas.
They do not contain cheesy promotional images, but rather simple text and links to match organic listings. This makes them appear more trustworthy and increases their effectiveness.
Search Ads can be extremely powerful advertising tools for small businesses due to their keyword and location focus, and budget adaptability.
Display Ads: Display ads are the billboards of the internet. They rely heavily on graphics and images (which is great for screen printers), and are often sold per-impression i.e. number of times they are seen, rather than pay-per-click.
Though Display Ads do not offer as much adaptability (it’s a little harder to change a display ad vs. search ad) they are extremely useful for driving traffic to your site, and they should not be ignored. You can also find some really great deals especially in local markets.
And here are two advertising options that don’t cost money, because who doesn’t like free stuff?
Content Management: Content marketing is, as the name implies, based on content. You, the business owner, develop and publish content that will interest your potential customer e.g Top 10 reasons to buy t-shirts!
In this way, you become an authority and your articles drive tons of traffic to your site. But remember, content marketing is an indirect approach.
Publish content on multiple different topics, not just ones pertaining to your business, because you never know how many new customers found you because of your weekly playlist.
Local Listings: Local listings are listings of your business that appear on sites such as Yelp, Google Places, and Yahoo! Local. The odds are good that you already have a listing on these sites, but it needs to be claimed.
Claiming your listings on these sites, and then keeping them relevant and up to date, can help drive more customers to you. As always, don’t forget to employ relevant keywords in your business description.
This article is meant to give small businesses an idea of what makes online advertising beneficial, and to show a few of the basic options. There are many more tips and tricks to learn in regards to online advertising, but many of these will be best discovered by jumping in.
With easily adjustable budgets and the unrivaled ability to track results, the real question that remains, is which type of advertising will you try first?
Enjoy, Blue Ridge Graphics