Where Should You Advertise?

The question, “Where should I advertise.” comes up a lot. Everywhere is obviously an unachievable goal, even if you had the advertising and marketing budget of Proctor and Gamble.

But everywhere is sort of the answer, at least in the beginning. Keeping in mind your budgetary restrictions, nothing should be eliminated from your advertising portfolio until you assess its viability.

Start With the Obvious

Offline (Traditional) Advertising

  • Newspaper
  • Radio
  • Direct Mail

Online (Digital)

  • Social Media Marketing
  • Social Media Advertising
  • Pay Per Click
  • Remarketing

Where to Start

If you have no historical information, use your budget as a guide and split it down the middle.

  • Spend half of your money online and half of your money offline.
  • Assess your cost per lead (CPL) and your return on investment.
  • Keep the top 80% of campaigns based on performance.
  • Replace the bottom 20% with new campaigns (new venues).

If you have some historical data take a long, hard look at each campaign. I’d suggest still starting by splitting your budget between online and offline campaigns. The historical data should provide you with a better starting point in terms of CPL and ROI. Ideally utilize the message from a successful campaign in another venue. You may find that the message works much differently based on the format in which it’s presented.

Each month the 20% culled from the bottom will allow you to venture into uncharted territory. If you find a campaign you’d like to try but it exceeds 20% of your budget, save your money and wait until you can experiment safely.  The goal should be to find a mix (somewhere between “all your eggs in one basket” and “too many irons in the fire”) that provides the lowest CPL with the highest ROI spread over a range of marketing venues.

What Can Search Engine Advertising Do For You?

What is Search Engine Advertising?

Search engine advertising (SEA), also known as Search Engine Marketing is the process of gaining traffic and visibility from search engines through paid efforts. Search Engine Marketing is a bit of a misnomer since marketing is typically the result of unpaid efforts.  Advertising is typically the result of paid efforts. In years past SEA encompassed both paid and unpaid efforts. Over time unpaid efforts have evolved into their own identity under the umbrella of search engine optimization (SEO). Search Marketing (SM) is fast becoming a phrase that encompasses both SEA and SEO.

Consumers use search to ask questions and find solutions; they are essentially using search engines to build knowledge on a certain subject. As a marketer, you want consumers to identify your company, product, or service as the number-one solution to their questions.

In general, the goal of search marketing is to attract targeted traffic to a website. Increasing your website visibility on the Internet helps drive more traffic to your business, prompts more inquiries for your goods and services, increases leads, and potentially generates more sales.

More specifically the mechanics are much more complicated which in turn complicates the possible outcomes. Below is a brief but informative explanation of the reasons to market a website with paid search.

The Top Ten Reasons to Use Paid Search

From Business Marketing Blog by Vinny La Barbera

REASON #1: First Page Exposure in the Top 3 Search Engines

As we have said many times, your business MUST be seen in the top 5 results in Google, Yahoo and Bing. People very rarely look beyond these results or click to ancillary pages of search results. Pay Per Click Marketing is the fastest way to get an advertisement for your business to show in the top 5 results (in the sponsored advertisements) on Google, Yahoo and Bing.

REASON #2: Immediate Traffic

An advertiser can realistically setup a PPC campaign on Google, Yahoo or Bing (Microsoft adCenter) in less than 30 minutes if they know their way around the platform. This translates into advertisers being able to get advertisements for their website on the first page of the main search engines within an hour of campaign setup and activation (again, given they know what they’re doing). This is great for brand new websites that have little to no exposure in the search engines already.

REASON #3: Consistent Traffic

As a marketer, it is crucial to be able to drive as many people to your website as consistently as possible. Huge lulls in traffic or huge unexpected spikes in traffic can kill a website. With paid search marketing, traffic amounts can be controlled as they are tied directly to how much the advertiser is willing to pay per click, per day and per month.

REASON #4: Targeted Ads

The natural results are the most coveted for marketers and advertisers because people still click on them more than the sponsored ads. However, the ability to change, test and optimize the natural results at will does not exist as a web page needs to be optimized in order for its natural results to reflect new changes. With paid search, the ads that are displayed in the sponsored results can be changed, edited, tested, optimized and tracked for maximum effectiveness. This ability allows marketers to know which exact combination of ad text and key phrases work the best.

REASON #5: Testing

One of the most overlooked advantages of paid search marketing is the ability to test online marketing campaigns through the vast amount of features and data that the available platforms provide to marketers. For example, if you wanted to know whether a specific product campaign you are launching is received well with a new marketing campaign and ad creative that you have put together you can setup a campaign in AdWords, run the ads for at least 30 days, and then analyze the data to see if it they were successful. As a matter of fact, many professional SEO firms actually use or recommend paid search marketing as a primary step in determining the best key phrases for conversions and return on investment.

REASON #6: Reach

Besides Google being the #1 search engine with a market share of over 65%-70% over other search engines, Google has also done an amazing job of amassing a network of publishers (other websites) to display Google’s sponsored ads for them. Next time you are reading the New York Times notice the ads displayed throughout the site – those are Google’s sponsored ads and they provide advertisers with yet another way to reach their prospects on other relevant places on the web. This reach is second to none and every advertiser is encouraged to at least look into how it might work for their marketing.

REASON #7: Relevance

Search results are all about relevance, or at least they should be. When someone does a search, they should only get the most relevant results for what they searched for. Google, having the most advanced algorithms to detect relevancy, do a fantastic job of delivering relevant results to users. Google’s sponsored ads, like the natural results, are weighted very heavily on relevancy – from the key phrase to the ad text to the landing page. This creates the best user experience for the end user and also allows advertisers to target and receive very refined, qualified traffic.

REASON #8: Geo-Targeting and Ad Scheduling

A couple great features that the top paid search marketing platforms provide advertisers with are geo-targeting and ad scheduling. Geo-targeting allows advertisers to select only specified locations all over the world to display their ads to. For example, if you had a local pizza place and only wanted to show ads on the search engines to cities that you could deliver your pizza to, then you could select these areas and your ads would only show for those specified locations. This allows your ad budget to go further as it is only targeted relevant locations.

Ad scheduling allows advertisers to select specific days and times of the day to run their ads. This is extremely helpful for marketers who are very familiar with when they get the best response from consumers or when they are able to respond in a timely manner. For example, if you have a Live Chat feature as the main component of your website then it might be more beneficial to run your ads during the hours that your Live Chat is online.

REASON #9: Tracking

It still amazes us that so many companies spend thousands of dollars each month on traditional marketing methods that have absolutely no tracking whatsoever. Take newspaper advertising for example, full page can be relatively expensive compared to online marketing and worst of all, there is no accurate way to track how successful these expensive ads actually are. With paid search marketing, every ad, every keyword, and best of all, every dollar spent can be tracked down to the cent. This allows for very accurate ROI and ROAS tracking and makes paid search marketing that much more essential for any business.

REASON #10: Branding

Paid search marketing has many advantages such as those described above. However, one of the best uses of paid search marketing from a marketing perspective is branding. Effective branding is extremely important for every business as people remember brands, not companies. If your brand is memorable and associated with something memorable then your marketing will be that much more effective. Paid search marketing, through all of the reasons mentioned above, allows for very cost effective branding of your business/ product/ service and company name.

Major search engines like Google account for more than 90% of all search engine traffic. SEA allows you to leverage your business in Google’s playground to get the maximum exposure to your business. Be seen in your industry with Search Engine Advertising. To find out how you can get started contact Obelis Media today!

 

 

10 Best Apps for Small Business Owners

Apps

Nowadays just about every business owner has a smart phone.  If you don’t own a smartphone stop reading right now.  If you do are you utilizing all the capabilities of your phone? With the use of these apps, your phone has the potential to become your office on the go.  For now, let’s narrow the focus of the enormous quantity of apps available for most platforms.

These apps are in no particular order. With the exception of Evernote, I personally use every single one of these apps (and I’m thinking about downloading Evernote as soon as I’m done with this article.

  1. Dropbox. This free, cloud-based, file-storing service lets you bring your photos, docs and videos anywhere and share them easily with your laptop or mobile device. Move all your files to the cloud so you can access them from any device, anywhere. You can also interface with your team to share files, which provides great version control and cuts down on e-mail.
  2. Skype.  Need to work remotely but want to stay in touch with your staff?  This app features not only video calls, but also voice and text. Rather than using a hotel’s business center and racking up the long-distance phone charges, more and more small business owners are finding Skype’s mobile app a cost-efficient alternative.
  3. Pandora.  Pandora is free personalized internet radio.  Simply enter a favorite artist, track, comedian or genre, and Pandora will create a personalized station that plays their music and more like it. Rate songs by giving thumbs-up and thumbs-down feedback and add variety to further refine your stations, discover new music and help Pandora play only music you love.  It’s scary smart. Ok, this isn’t really business, but more for when you need a little break.
  4. Documents To Go (iPhone users only and I love this). While the iPhone allows you to read and view Microsoft Office documents, it doesn’t allow you to create or edit them. However with the help of Documents To Go you can do everything from creating a Word document while you’re on the road, to tweaking your sales forecast in Excel.  There are several versions…The Premium version is the way to go (it’s $5 more than the Office Suite version…not a deal breaker).
  5. Evernote.  (Okay, I’ll admit it, I don’t use this one) Evernote is an easy-to-use, free app that helps you remember everything across all of the devices you use. Stay organized, save your ideas, and improve productivity. Evernote lets you take notes, capture photos, create to-do lists, record voice reminders–and makes these notes completely searchable, whether you are at work, or on the go.
  6. Remember the Milk.  Remember the Milk’s got a great name, and the app works like a regular to-do list — you add tasks and then you can mark them complete. You can even set priorities. There’s no leaving the list at the office or at home since you can check it on any device. The syncing of the list is almost instantaneous — add something on the web and it will appear on the iPhone or Android right away.
  7. CardMunch.  Take a picture of a business card and a contact is automatically created on your smartphone. Reduce the clutter and get organized.
  8. Pocket.  The app formerly known as “Read It Later,” let’s you drag any content to your Pocket where it’s automatically synched with the web and all your devices. It’s simply the best place to store and access content you want to read at a later time. You don’t have to be connected to read the content, so it’s great for long plane rides.
  9. Quickbooks.  Is now available on the cloud based accounting system.  It allows you to organize your business all in one place to handle a variety of financial tasks that can be accessed at home or on the go. You can record sales data in a very effective manner, create estimates for clients and send them invoices. QuickBooks is available for iPhones and Android devices.
  10. Scanner.  Scanner applications allow you to scan documents, receipts, whiteboards, business cards, notes, etc. and save them to your mobile device. This application allows you to adjust the file size and resolution, delete and reorder pages, preview the pdf version, and fax the documents to US numbers.

 

10 Questions to Ask Before You Hire an Audiologist

You need to hire an audiologist. You’ve run an ad on Craigslist or Audiology Online or Monster.com.  You’ve narrowed down your selection to a few resumes.  You’re ready to wave your magic wand over the pile until the resume for the perfect person for the job rises magically to the top of the pile.  Oh, wait, that isn’t how it works.  You mean I have to interview them, no one told I’d be interviewing anyone when I got into this person.  I have no idea where to start.

We’ve all been there; interviewing someone can be akin to having a root canal.  Yes, it’s necessary, yes you know you need to do it, but who wants to?  Start with a phone interview.  It’s less time consuming and will enable you to contact a greater number of potential hires without requiring the same time commitment as a face-to -face interview.

To make it a bit more palatable I’ve compiled a list of 10 questions. The questions are designed to uncover any potential audiologist’s strengths, weaknesses, long-term plans and sales aptitude.

10 Phone Interview Questions for Audiologists

  1. Why did you get in to the field of audiology?
  1. What do you think is the most interesting aspect of audiology?
  1. What personality traits do you possess that make you feel well suited for a private practice audiology clinic?
  1. Our practice sells hearing aids. On a scale of 1 to 10 rate yourself as a sales person.
  1. Why did you give your self that rating?
  1. With regard to the profession of audiology what do you think is your weakest attribute?
  1. If you could improve one aspect of your professional skills what would you improve?
  1. How do you feel about participating in marketing activities that create awareness about hearing loss and the practice?
  1. Do you ever want to own your own practice? (If yes, what is your timeframe and where would you want the practice to be located?)
  1. Why should I consider you for the position?

The answers to these questions will allow you to decide if there’s any point in setting up a face-to-face interview.  As you go through this list, keep in mind, with any potential hire; skills can be taught; attitude rarely changes. And one more thing to remember, human resources is all about putting the right people in the right place doing the right thing…. I know, where’s a magic wand when you need one!