3 Reasons Why Google AdWords Beats ‘Traditional’ Advertising

Mobile device displaying Google Adwords
Photo by Edho Pratama on Usplash.

When a business finds that its advertising is being welcomed instead of ignored, it is an opportunity worth investigating and taking seriously. One of the key benefits of advertising with Google AdWords is that instead of buying an ad and hoping to get noticed, the money is spent on reaching out to consumers that have already expressed an interest in your product or service. Okay, while that is not a guaranteed sale (people click for the strangest reasons at times), it is a pretty good place to start selling. A prospect who is interested (warm) is better than a cold call.

The “Big 3,” Google, Bing, and Facebook, all sell advertising programs that are fact-based instead of speculative, meaning they have gathered data that indicates if users have interest in something based on their past Internet activity. Previously, it took a lot of market research to determine the best places for companies to advertise to reach a targeted market. With a Google AdWords campaign, it is a matter of setting it up, reading the reports, and then making the necessary adjustments.

Interested Consumers vs. A Hit or Miss Audience

With traditional advertising, there has always been a work-around solution to overcome people not wanting to watch or read advertising, and it is about as subtle as having a bucket of water poured over you. Deluge them with the content, and then hope it reaches enough folks who are interested. That is why the same TV commercials keep popping up again and again and again. At best, this methodology is akin to gambling; that is, thinking that if you spend enough money trying to market to the demographic you have profiled as buyers, they will buy.

Conversely, with a Google AdWords campaign, instead of hoping to be noticed, prospective customers are trying to find you. So, instead of your advertising being viewed as a disturbance or an interruption, people are interested and want to know more. And that is the biggest difference-maker when comparing AdWords to traditional advertising. It is interest-driven instead of speculative placement.

There’s an axiom that states while folks love to talk and shop, they also, and likely even more so, hate being sold stuff. This is especially true when they are not interested in your product or service.

Interest is the wild-card variable; it is difficult to measure, gauge, or predict. It is the one component that traditional forms of advertising, such as TV, hard-copy magazines, newspapers, and other forms of online advertising, such as buying space on a website directly, have never been able to address. It is the elephant in the living room; it has been the flaw or the missing link from day one in the advertising process.

Thinking big is vital, but spending large will crush you unless there is an adequate return on that investment to substantiate it.

Instant Feedback vs. Wait-and-See

With a traditional advertising campaign, it is difficult to calculate effectiveness; it is a wait-and-see proposition, especially with offline options. Now, there are various forms of analytical software that can measure the effects of other forms of online advertising, but nonetheless, it is costing you money regardless if it is working. There are no do-overs. So, if an ad is not working, it is costing you money regardless of its results.

Measurable Results with Google AdWords

There is a lot more control with Google AdWords, as there are various reports that glean information instantly on the performance of an advertising campaign. Google provides an overall quality score of an ad. This report provides a 1-to-10 rating system, gauging the results generated from your ad’s keywords, ad copy, and landing page. There is no waiting period. If the score is low, adjustments can be made on-the-fly.

Another report available is the click-through-rate report, which indicates how many people clicked on an ad and saw it. Google also provides a cost per conversion report that states how much was spent to get a consumer to take the desired course of action in an ad for a search campaign. The conversion rate report shows how many people clicked on the ad and took the desired action. Combined with the cost per conversion report, this can be used to determine if the campaign was effective.

It all begins with keywords, relevant content, and landing pages, and then interpreting that information and making the necessary adjustments to keep your commercials relevant so that people interested in your products or services will find you.

Planning a Winning Press Release Strategy

A telephone pole with a poster that relates to a press release reads: GOOD NEWS IS COMINGA press release is a cost-effective marketing tool for various types of businesses. It is a broadcasting channel that informs the world that your company is a mover and shaker, and it has the potential to be read by millions.

Newspapers, magazines, blogs newsletters, trade publications are examples of places a press release or info from it may appear. Its return on investment could be significant.

Consumers, industry pundits, and competitors are the typical audience, but it depends on the subject, which leads into the first question that needs to be addressed in forming a press release strategy.

Who is the audience?

every press release should have a targeted audience, and its tone should be fitting to those readers. A newsworthy topic could be about a new product or service. It could also be about receiving an industry-recognized award, announcing the hiring of a key employee, or other company-related news. Striking up a partnership or obtaining a new client would be newsworthy topics worthy of a press release.

How are you going to reach your audience most effectively?

This is the point where a plan to write a press release dies because a decision has to be made on how to get people to read it.

What are the options?

Value versus costs is a huge variable to flag in the decision-making process. There are free and paid press-release distributing services that will send out a press release for customers. However, “free” means fewer services are provided. For “free,” a written press release is loaded into the vendor’s database of contacts and e-blasted. A paid press release service offers more, such as writing and editing services and, in general, a better list of contacts. It also handles all tasks.

PR and marketing companies handle the entire press release process for larger, high-end firms that outsource press release writing and distribution. While this is arguably the most effective way of doing this, it is also the most expensive route. A lack of control also could be an issue.

Make it a DIY project.

A press release can be self-distributed provided a company knows its target market and has both a list and a way of directly contacting sources, such as trade publications, magazines, bloggers, reporters, editors, TV stations, and so on, that may be interested in the release. Having a list of sources to contact would make this a DIY dream. However, that “list” doesn’t come easy. It could be a labor-intensive effort.

Purchasing a list also is an option. Buying a list saves time, but the data may not be accurate; before buying a list, inquire about its age and when it was last updated. A highly developed list of media contacts is an asset worth having. Managing a media-contact list is an ongoing project. A company’s market share and reputation could be bolstered from using it correctly.

Make plans based on value propositions.

Knowing what you want is better than being told what you need. Planning is required to determine which route would work best. There are no patented right or wrong ways, and it is possible as well to begin in one direction and ultimately do things completely differently. Begin with the basics.

Who is your audience?

Why are you writing a press release?

Where do you want the press release to be placed?

How often are you going to write press releases?

Answering these questions will help you plan your strategy.

Why Facebook Marketing to Your Friends Doesn’t Work

Facebook marketing - Cell phone with Facebook logo on with words Social Media in Scrabble-like lettersWhile Facebook is a great place for businesses to get noticed and build a following,  there also is great potential to alienate people and destroy potential opportunities through poor Facebook marketing practices.  This is especially true if you have a small business, and all of your posts are (1) posted from your personal page, not your business page and (2) are all about selling products or services.  Facebook is a social media platform, not a selling forum.

What kind of a friend are you, anyway?

Is it really necessary to say insincere? Any friend who is always trying to sell you something isn’t being very friendly. Friends share experiences with one another online and offline. They support each other, genuinely care, and enjoy keeping in touch. Generally, they do not seek to make money off each other.  In other words, they are not as annoying as an unexpected door-to-door salesperson or a group of Jehovah’s Witnesses ringing the doorbell.

Think about it. If you would not do something in a real-life community, why would you think that it would be okay to do it online in a virtual community? A friend by name but a troll by deed is a friend or follower that nobody needs to have, online or offline.

What prompts a business owner to misuse Facebook marketing for gaudy self-promotion?

Many times, it is probably the result of misdirected excitement and enthusiasm. People are always posting jokes and memes and talking about personal experiences. So, it is understandable that a friend may want to make a post about a business endeavor. However, when that one post morphs into three to five additional posts, essentially saying the same thing (“Buy something from me!”) every day, it can be a real relationship-changer.

While many people love to talk and shop, they are loathsome to being sold stuff, especially from someone they assumed was their friend.

It’s narrow-minded thinking, too!

If you are trying to build a business off of your friends, your potential market will be seriously limited. Facebook only allows a personal account to have 5,000 friends. So, even if you have 5,000 friends on Facebook, your reach is limited to those 5,000 people, plus the folks your friends tell about your annoying posts. Let’s be realistic: How many of your friends even need your product or service (especially in the B2B sector)? Instead of expanding your reach, by Facebook marketing to your friends, you are debasing your professionalism.

So, what’s the right way to market a business on Facebook?

The first step would be to start a business page and put all of those “salesy” business posts there instead of on your personal page. Posting from a business page will take the stigma out of promo posts by putting the content in the right place. However, there is no guarantee those posts will result in any sales, either.

Posting on Facebook, and the other social networks as well, is good for SEO and reputation management purposes, but it may not be the place for a B2B enterprise to attract prospective customers.

In Facebook marketing, there is no free lunch.

Nothing worthwhile is free … and that is particularly true when it comes to Facebook marketing, or any type of marketing or advertising. If you are a retailer selling to consumers, Facebook could be a gold mine, but you are still going to have to pay for it.