Like any business, we have a defined and limited advertising budget. In the past we have done a lot of different advertising buys:
- Google AdWords
- Facebook Advertising
- LinkedIn Advertising
- Print publication advertising (newsletters and magazines)
- Direct Mail Advertising (postcards, inhouse developed mailing list)
- Banner advertising on some other sites
But there’s only two that we keep going back to after testing:
Direct Mail Advertising To OUR developed list
And even the Direct Mail Advertising list comes from our research using Google.
We prefer to focus our search advertising on the Google site itself and not on their affiliated network sites. We will tinker with terms, and eventually find ones that we like the click-thru results. We really only buy a few terms currently, and a small daily budget of less than $10 per day, and that actually generates more prospects than EVERYTHING else we do in marketing outside of customer word of mouth. I suspect we’ll cut our direct mail marketing to about once a year now, with our Google Adwords results being so effective for us.
We strongly recommend that small businesses and other organizations consider looking at doing some advertising on Google. Start small, experiment, customize your advertising to your geographical reach, and monitor the results. Results should easily measureable: clickthrus to the site, contacts via the web site, online sales, etc., using both data provided by Google AdWords and through your website analytics program. Before you buy the term, research it using AdWords Tools and Webmaster Tools.
Google AdWords is a complex ad creating and buying tool, so it is going to take some time for you to determine how best to use it. You can hire an expert to run your advertising campaigns, but if you do, you should insist on getting the knowledge base of both why terms and budget was determined in advance, how results are expected to be measured, and what those results mean. Or… you can start slow and invest part of your advertising budget in building that knowledge base in house. In either case, it’s worth it to find out what’s there for your business.