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Start-Up Business Advertising – Online or Offline?

28 Apr

In the past, advertising was regulated to television and print media. However, with the invention of the internet, there is an entire new sphere with which to consume content and advertise to clients. For business with a website, there are an abundance of advertising and marketing tools at your disposal for generating new business.

It doesn’t matter if you sell products online or not, the internet is still an excellent way to attract new business. In fact when it comes to online versus offline advertising, research shows that using the internet is far more advantageous for new businesses than traditional methods.

Creative Versus Directional Advertising

Creative advertising involves billboards, radio, television, magazines, and newspapers. These are considered offline methods, and have traditionally been known as “creative.” This is not to imply the advertising is imaginative or artistic. Creative in this sense means creating interest in your product. As the consumer had never intended to come across your product, you are in a sense creating interest.

Directional advertising is a term used for online advertising, as the intent is typically to direct your marketing efforts at a particular group that has either made a search query or visited a particular product page. In other words, contrary to creative advertising, the consumers here are already interested in purchasing something, and are looking for a relevant item.

Targeted Marketing

With offline advertising there is some targeting involved, as you can market to a particular base or genre. For example, if you sell women’s hygiene products, you would advertise in magazines that have a large female subscriber base as opposed to a men’s health magazine. Nevertheless, this is an imperfect strategy, and you are never going to target the specific client you are looking for. On the internet you have far more specialization and can place your advertisements only on relevant websites. Furthermore, you can use search functions to find clients who are actively searching for your product.

What the internet provides is a more efficient advertising strategy that markets by location and keywords as opposed to casting a wide net and hoping to find potential clients. This also presents a cheaper alternative given that the number of people you are advertising to will be less, even as the number of relevant consumers you reach increases. For example, a magazine or television show will charge you based on the number of readers or viewers they receive. There is nothing to distinguish how many of those people are potential customers, yet you will be charged all the same. Conversely, with online advertising, the numbers will be much smaller but will also be better targeted. Moreover, online content itself is cheaper to produce. All of this adds to being able to advertise more effectively in terms of cost and strategy, something that is essential to new businesses.

Content and Research

In addition to more efficient advertising, in recent years the amount of content that is shown online has rapidly increased. Newspapers and magazines are even making the shift to the world wide web, and more consumers are using the internet to consume news and entertainment.

However, the internet also serves as an important reference for those looking to research products before buying them. 9 out of every 10 consumers will visit a product page and read customer feedback on an item before purchasing them offline. It is important that you monitor what people are saying online and address any concerns your consumers may have. Using a company page on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter will help you market and provide customer service directly, and avoid having to fight to display your business at the top of search engine. Conversely, you would have to pay a substantial cost to get premium advertising space offline.

Cliff Hill writes on behalf of PublicLiabilityInsurance.org (Click here to visit) an online resource for business owners providing self employed insurance.

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One response to “Start-Up Business Advertising – Online or Offline?

  1. jioge

    April 28, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    For me, online advertisements don’t work unless it is in an animated form. For instance, I’m in the habit of never even glancing upon the Facebook advertisements, and I actually had to just check to see if they are still there.

     

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