In today’s world, creating your own business be that a physical store or an online shop, simply isn’t enough to drive business.
Marketing: a history
The idea of Marketing began during the Industrial Revolution which was a time where purchasing goods started to become easier for the consumer rather than making them for themselves. Alongside the growth of mass production, there was a need to serve the demands of the growing consumer market.
And thus, Marketing was born. It became an integral part of selling in the business world in order to stay competitive. Channels included billboards, flyers and adverts in local newspapers but with the introduction of the internet in the ’80s this all changed.
The internet has produced some great things, especially for business. The first websites were designed as text-based sites to provide information about a company’s product or services but started to evolve into the websites we know today.
The introduction of Google had a big part in the development of the internet. Not only are they a multi-billion dollar company but they have developed some of the best online marketing tools to date, amongst others like Facebook and Instagram.
AdWords was launched in 2000 and became a dominant force in web advertising. Other acquisitions over the years have now placed Google as the number 1 advertiser online. So what does this have to do with marketing your products correctly?
Marketing your products
When looking to market your products, before you even sign up for an AdWords account, you’ll need to do some research. When you drafted your business plan you will have looked in your target audience and who they are and what they like. This is a great basis for creating targeted ads. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. First, you’ll want to look at each of the channels you can choose from and see which suits your business best.
When you search for something on Google, it will look at the AdWord advertisers that are bidding on that keyword. If there is more than one advertiser bidding on the keyword then an auction will be triggered. In simple terms, you as the advertiser will place a monetary bid on a keyword and if Google finds your ad relevant to the search query, it will display it on the results page. Bear in mind that Google isn’t the only search engine that does this.
So if you’re thinking of using this channel as a route to market, you’re going to need to do some keyword research based off what you think your visitors would search for to find your products. Ahrefs is a great tool you can use to explore keywords and take a look at how many people are searching for that term and how likely you are to rank highly for it.
If you’ve never set up an AdWords account before here are a few jargon busters:
- CPC (Cost Per Click)
- PPC (Pay Per Click)
- CTA (Call To Action)
- CTR (Click Through Rate)
- CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions)
Google Display Network
If you want to explore image-based ads rather than plain text-based ones then to Google Display Network is the place to visit. Display ads are the visual banner ads you may see dotted about the internet as you browse.
Advertisements like this can have multiple purposes from retargeting to brand awareness – both very powerful. Retargeting is where a small cookie follows your visitor around the web after they’ve visited your website, and retargets them with perhaps an ad for an item they were looking at. Using retargeting in this way can help to keep the product fresh in their mind and encourage them to come back to the site to complete their purchase.
Display ads can also be used for brand awareness purposes too. You’ll be able to target people based on their searches. Connor Walsh, PPC Advisor at EKM comments:
“It is beneficial to use Google’s Display Network as it allows for a broader reach than the search network as the search network is limited to a user on the Google search engine. Whereas the display network allows you to reach users across the millions of Google partners websites.
The potential reach is therefore much greater and Google’s display network partners are predicted to account for 80% of the internet. Another major benefit of the display network is it helps to gain analysis of effective keyword terms and your target audience in a very cheap way as some keyword terms are highly competitive and therefore expensive on the search network.
The display network is also more visual and it therefore highly engaging. When you have enough traffic I would definitely recommend using display remarketing as with an existing audience display remarketing is effectively a cheap way to bring back lost leads. Display remarketing creates an increased chance of conversions and low cost per conversion because of the high conversion rates and low CPC.”
Facebook Advertising and Retargeting
Most businesses have social media profiles on platforms like Facebook and Twitter but, their advertising tools can prove to be quite powerful. Facebook started off as a social networking site for American universities such as Yale, Columbia and Stanford only to become one of the largest social media platforms to date with around 2.41 billion active monthly users.
They introduced advertising to their platform in 2004 in the form of a ‘Facebook Flyer’ but the advertising we all know today was introduced in 2007. Over the years, Facebook Advertising has been optimised and improved upon and is now one of the most powerful marketing tools to date.
Tom Hopkinson, another member of EKM’s PPC team says:
“Facebook advertising is a great tool and it’s used by a lot of our own customers, with great success. Retargeting in particular which targets users that have visited your website previously but may not have made a purchase. It will then show them display ads of products they were browsing and encourage them to revisit your site to complete a purchase.”
While SEO isn’t the quickest win when it comes to marketing your product, it’s one of the best long-term strategies you can have. SEO is all about optimising the pages on your site to be ranked organically as high as possible.
Organic rankings can really help your site climb up to the best spots on Google search results. It’s all about relevance and how relevant your product or website is to a users search query. For example, if you search ‘Nike trainers’ you’d expect the first few results to be exactly that. But if you’re a retailer selling that item, your organic listings are going to be up against Nike themselves, and other larger retailers making it a bit more challenging to be ranked highly.
Digital Marketing Executive Rehan comments:
“SEO should be a core focus for any website, however, it is especially beneficial for small businesses or startups, this is due to the fact it is completely organic and therefore, free. Being able to market a product for free means you have a much better return on your investment, you will, of course, have to dedicate some time to optimise your pages but in the long term having a strategy in place for organic growth can only be a benefit.”
Selecting your marketing channels
So now you’ve explored a few different routes to market, how and what will you choose to market your products?
This depends heavily on your business as well as your customer base, which platform they are most active on and how your money is best spent on advertising. SEO, as Rehan mentioned, is a free method that’s a great place to start for new businesses but if you have a small budget, you might want to start with Facebook Advertising if you’ve managed to build up a good following.
There are multiple ways for you to market your products but the strategy you use depends on a number of different factors, it is up to you to decide the best channels for your business.