The interaction with people in one’s own target markets is one of the primary challenges of online and social media marketing. Succeeding in this regard requires developing one’s own capacity for dialogue in response to requests and exchange via the internet, providing one’s own information services, finding the own target groups online, as well as providing them with information and entering into dialogue with them.
This is the only way to tap into the full potential of online marketing, regardless of whether one wants to achieve increased brand awareness and confidence in their own company, offer improved services or attract new customers.
Marketing strategies for success
Even making contact with one’s own target groups requires significant investments, good content that is relevant to the target audiences, and marketing of this content. It is not enough to simply rely on the size of one’s own fan / follower community and hope for viral effects. At the latest since Facebook has reduced the reach within its social network by gradually adapting its algorithms, usually only a small portion of fans on Facebook actually see all of a company’s posts.
In addition to this, many details are simply lost in the sheer mass of posts. Especially for smaller companies, it is therefore becoming harder and harder to gain attention amidst the noise of the social network. Of course the same applies to visibility in Google search results. Those who don’t appear on the first pages of the search results are no longer visible and thus irrelevant to the internet world. Of course good content and sophisticated search engine optimization can help in this regard, but large advertisers usually also set the standards in this arena and thus ensure their top ranks in the search results.
A way out – targeted advertising in search engines and social networks
Almost all businesses that are successful on the internet now use online advertising. While banner advertising, which has been continuously developed since the 90s, is becoming less attractive because it is sometimes more expensive or simply no longer seen due to ad-blockers, search engine and social network advertising particularly on Google and Facebook are celebrating new sales records year for year. Placing ads for events, promotional offerings, product launches or for the company and its services is the daily bread of many marketing departments in large companies or SMEs that specifically use regional advertising options.
The secrets of success behind this are quite simple. Google ads specifically target people who use specific keywords in their search. This can be a special topic, a product category, a product name, a profession or a service offering. Therefore, ads are only displayed to those people who have a need for information or even a specific intent to purchase. This advertising is billed on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis. The CPC depends on the demand of possible advertisers and ranges from a few cents to two-digit euro amounts depending on the topic. Customers can define their maximum CPC and the range of their advertising in advance.
A particularly interesting aspect consists of the fact that it is possible to run Google AdWords campaigns even on a very small budgets and control them with regard to both time and geographic reach. This makes this form of advertising especially interesting for small and medium-sized enterprises. Wikipedia, for example, provides further information about Google’s diverse advertising options.
Advertising on Facebook
Facebook advertising works according to a different principle. The social network can be used to specifically address people who have a particular interest, belong to a certain age group or live in a defined region. The options range from promoting a Facebook post and to creating one’s own ads. The service can be billed by reach, newfound fans or cost-per-click like with Google. Here, too, the entry barrier is very low at a minimum of five euros per day and campaigns can be interrupted, modified or stopped at any time. Further details on Facebook advertising can also be found here.
More or less all social networks like Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or LinkedIn and XING now provide comparable offers. The same applies to sharing platforms like YouTube and SlideShare.
Especially the CPC model quickly indicates whether an ad is working, the right people are visiting the selected landing pages or even signing up, ordering something or browsing through a company’s offering. It is also easy to estimate whether the costs are remaining reasonable. However, Google and Facebook campaigns require continual improvement. On the one hand, this serves to optimize costs and, on the other hand, it ensures the impact of the advertising remains high. No one benefits from an ad that nobody clicks on or for which cost-per-click is astronomical. Consulting services are therefore highly recommended in this regard. After all, as simple as these relatively new forms of advertising may seem, the wide range of options and continual improvements and additional options are actually only manageable by experts.
For more information about social media also read the articles is social media still on the rise? and 10 Tips for the successful use of social media for trade fairs and events.