Developing an Online Advertising Plan

A focused online advertising plan is designed to take full advantage of the global Internet audience. The goals are to build your company’s brand awareness, to attract potential customers to your site, and ultimately to increase your company’s sales. 

To meet these goals, there are many avenues to reach out to the online population. The key is in understanding what each can – and can’t – do for your company.

Once your corporate website is in place, the next obvious advertising step is to publicise it. Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) are the methods of making your website’s address pop high in the results when a person uses a search engine to find the kind of services or products you offer. This is critical, because most potential customers don’t browse through the pages of results, and choose from those that are displayed on the first page.

Display Advertising, like ads in magazines, refers to paying for placement of banner ads and other online advertising media on commercial websites. The most common model is Pay per click (PPC).  This puts your company name and link on search engine pages, advertising networks, content websites, and blogs. The spend is based on the amount of times a user actually clicks on your link. Prices are usually set by the popularity of the keywords you choose to associate to your company’s link.

Online advertising opportunities are also available on the low end of the cost spectrum. Email marketing through online newsletters and promotion campaigns, reciprocal linking with complementary vendors, and traditional press releases are all effective advertising means that will build customer loyalty and raise brand awareness.