Paid online advertising is something of a minefield. They are so many options to choose from and they all work in different ways so it can be overwhelming to say the least. That’s not even the worst of it. As we said, they all work in different ways therefore they all have a set of requirements and rules for those who want to use them. Learning all of these rules and requirements, particularly as a time-poor SME can be a massive learning curve. However, if you only focus on one or two paid channels and nail down a solid strategy for your paid online advertising, you can actually achieve some impressive results.
This is the first and most obvious way in which SMEs can use paid online advertising. However, Google AdWords isn’t for everyone. Out of all of the options on this list, Google Adwords has the steepest learning curve,the most rules and requirements and usually costs the most in the long run. Due to these facts, we’d say steer clear of these sorts of online paid advertisements unless you’re going to put the hours in to learn the craft. Once mastered, you can actually achieve a very admirable conversion rate and receive many valuable, relevant leads. Additionally Google Adwords is one of the easiest to measure forms of online advertising. You can link it to Google Analytics, therefore see exactly how your paid advertisements are contributing to your website traffic and conversion rates.
If you have a more visual SME like a photography studio, hair salon, or physical product based business, banner ads are a great option. You can showcase your business and its personality through colours, images and fonts and allow them to appear on relevant websites. However, before you even start to design your banners you should look for somewhere to host them. The best sort of websites to host your banner on are businesses that are complementary to yours. For instance if you’re a hair stylist, you may want your banner ads to appear on a make-up artists webpage. Remember though, not every complementary business may want to have banner ads on their website, so make sure you do your research first.
Influencer marketing is on the rise and a great option for SMEs who want their online advertisements to appear more subtle. Before you approach an influencer to aid you with some ads, think about what sort of advertisements you’d like to do with them. Many influencers offer an array of paid advertisements, from sponsored posts, banner ads, social media shout outs and more. Think about the nature of your business and what sort of advertisements you think would appeal to your target audience more. Once you know what sort of ad you want to run with an influencer, it’s time to find an influencer. Make sure you do your research carefully and find an influencer that promotes content within the industry your SME is in, also make sure they hold the same values as your business does too. By aligning your brand with an influencer’s brand, you stand a better chance of your advertising offer being accepting.
Social Media Campaigns
This is one of the easier paid online ad formats on this list to master. Thanks to social media networks being pretty user friendly, they make their advertising dashboards extremely easy to navigate and understand as well as pairing them with training videos, help forums and online support. The best part about advertising on social media is that you can really drill down to a target audience – you can even get as specific as interests and hobbies. Therefore your ads are probably going to be more successful as they’re aimed at a very specific group of people. Another plus side to advertising on social media is that it is pretty cost effective, you can start your budget from as little as £3 per day.