No matter what your business, effective online advertising is critical to finding customers and prospective clients. Even some of the world’s most recognizable brands continue to advertise online in order to stay in front of customers, continually aiming at catching them at different stages of the buying cycle.
Of course, that’s just the point of view of the business – getting in front of customers’ eyes. To the customer, that kind of advertising just feels like interruption.
Enter the search engine. The advent of search engines helped create win-win models of advertising in which small business advertising website and the customers they sought to attract were not at odds, but rather working together. Businesses found customers and customers found the products and services they were looking for.
Google has become so effective at this that its advertising revenue remains its primary source of income: about $36 billion of its revenue came from online advertising in 2011 – much of which comes from its Google AdWords program.
Clearly, this program is working – for online advertising, for customers and for Google.
However, that doesn’t mean that Google AdWords is the only online advertising solution in town.You might want to try some of these alternatives to AdWords that can still give you a good return on your advertising investments:
- Bing Ad Center: If you want to cover much of the search market that Google doesn’t have cornered, this is where you should start.
- Newsletter advertising: You can still advertise online without directly going to search engines and without sacrificing the large audience. Find a well-circulated online newsletter and inquire about their advertising rates.
- Remarketing: Sites like ReTargeter.com will help you cover online advertising space and creatively stay in the forefront of your prospect’s mind.
- Display Advertising Networks: There are a number of other great services for online advertising where you pay based on number of impressions: