In a previous post we explained why broadcast (scattergun) marketing isn’t so hot any more. (http://buzzwebsitedesign.com/scattergun-marketing-doesnt-work)
But this has been replaced by something much better called ‘targeted marketing’. What I mean by targeted marketing is that you only promote your products and services to those in your target market or those who are actively looking for what you’re offering.
I know I’ve written similar before but there is little need these days to try and market to people (or businesses) who aren’t in your ideal client demographics. After all, why try selling apples and pears to those who prefer to eat oranges and other citrus fruits?
I know that some readers will be very familiar with what I’m saying here but when I discuss this with clients and they say something like: “But I already know this stuff”, I usually respond with: “That’s great, but why aren’t you doing it?”.
You may think I’m being a bit harsh here but we know so many things about promoting our business but it’s just too easy to just take the easy route and spend money on marketing ideas that aren’t targeted at all.
So, the point of this post is to remind you again that there are tools out there which are affordable to smaller businesses and can pinpoint those in your market or those looking for your offering.
The two tools I want to cover are Google Adwords and Facebook Ads. With Google Adwords you can target those who are actively searching for your products or services on the search engine. With Facebook Ads you can target those in your chosen market.
So, let me briefly explain how this works.
With Google Adwords you buy a slot at the top of Google search results according to the search terms you’d like to be found for. So, if you sell fitted kitchens in Leicester then you’d probably want to be found on the search term ‘fitted kitchens leicester’ and variations of that. The image on the right shows the ads for that particular search.
Adwords is an auction and you will bid to have the highest position when someone puts your search terms into Google.
Now we don’t have the space here to go into how it works (Google will happily explain that to you) but suffice to say that you’ll only be selling to those who are explicitly looking for what you’re offering.
A client of ours, who is a contract Environmental Health Officer, is doing very well out of this approach. She has a very specific offering and only promotes to those looking for her services. Very targeted marketing indeed.
The downside is that you may end up paying quite a bit because you get charged when someone clicks on your ad, whether they buy or not. If your competition is fierce then the cost per click could be quite high, remember that it’s a bidding war and the highest bidder gets the top slot.
I did a contract a few years ago for a financial services company and the top ads for the term ‘SIPP’ were paying around £19 per click. But the profits in financial services often justify this kind of spend to get someone to a website and acquire a lead (assuming your website has a decent call to action).
Facebook Ads works a bit differently because you’re targeting people in your chosen market.
So, if you sell to people in their early twenties who are into fixing up cars, like watching Top Gear and live in Oxfordshire then you can create ads and only show them to those people who are on Facebook with those characteristics.
You won’t waste time and money attempting to sell to those who are not in your target market. You can narrow them down by age, gender, location, relationship status, favourite TV (or reading or films or music), groups they belong to and much more.
This gives you the opportunity to focus only on those who are the best candidates for your products and services.
Again, this is a bidding war so manage your spend carefully.
A good example is my friend, Julia, who ran a salon in Staffordshire. She wanted to target teenage girls at her local high school who were looking to go to their school prom. She ran a series of Facebook Ads only to girls of a specific age group and who said they went to this particular school. The ads cost less than £50 and brought in well over a thousand pounds worth of new business into the salon. Targeted marketing at its best with very high return on investment.
So, some very good examples of how to use Pay Per Click (PPC) for targeted marketing and it’s definitely worth investigating.
My advice for both is to test and measure. Start small and if you get the response you’re looking for then scale upwards steadily while constantly measuring the response. Also, test different ads, keywords (on Google) and different times of day. There’s no point throwing loads of money at a market channel unless you’re sure that it’ll do what you want. And PPC advertising gives you the opportunity to do just that.