Advertising, whether it takes place online or via traditional methods, has two main purposes. The first is of course to increase your sales; the second is to get your name and product (brand) out to the public. There are certainly other reasons for advertising such as promoting a sale, a community event, introducing new products and more but ultimately, the goals remain the same; your bottom line and exposure.
In the past, the popular choices for reaching your target audience have been venues such as, the yellow pages, newspapers, T.V. and radio ads, etc. But technology has changed how both consumers and vendors behave. In regards to consumers, their choices have grown so dramatically that it is now second nature to research just about anything they are in the market for. Whether they search from their home computer, their laptop while traveling, or any number of wireless devices, consumers today have all the information they need at their fingertips 24/7. While many people still rely on word-of-mouth for recommendations, that word-of-mouth is usually via social media or texting on their mobile device. The average consumer today is also a lot smarter and more discerning about the kind of information he/she is getting. If you have a website, it better display valuable information right away, be easy to navigate and have the ability to respond to questions in a timely fashion.
One of the key factors in any kind of advertising is being able to measure your ROI (Return on Investment). The main drawback in conventional advertising, (T.V., radio, print, etc.) was the difficulty in linking any increase in sales directly to any one specific type of ad a company ran. Online marketing has thankfully changed all that. Whether you are relying on purchases through your website, Pay-Per-Click, other online advertising, or a combination of more than one online marketing strategy, campaign results are quick and easy to understand. It also makes shifting one type of advertising that may not be getting the desired results to one that is showing a direct increase in sales. Another advantage is that these changes can be made quickly and as often as needed.
There are of course other advantages such as protecting your Brand, ad targeting towards specific demographics, the affordability of longer-term visibility and more. Companies are also able to compete in a global market thereby significantly increasing their market share and of course sales numbers. Online marketing is here to stay and consumers are more demanding than ever before so make sure you are seen in the very places that most consumers go to when they are ready to shop – The Internet!