Paid marketing has an abundance of opportunities, and because of that, it's hard to determine which one to start with first! Which is why in part 2, we're going to cover major on and offline paid marketing channels, and some best practices for getting started.
Google Ads: Google ads, now one of the "classic" online paid marketing channels, gives you the ability to place ads targeting specific "searches". Want to get listed for Tax Accountant Pittsburgh? You can. Or Bookkeeping Atlanta? You can, as well. Any major search can be targeted by Google Ads. The major benefit of placing ads on targeted searches is that there is a high probability that visitors have the intentof doing business. Because of this, specific keywords can become highly competitive (IE Expensive to rank for), which is why you need to have your accounting website best practices setup. Inside of the google ad network, you also have the option to include a "display ad" (graphic ad) as well as control youtube ads (see below). Both these avenues can be a great channel, but require more setup (have to create the designs for the display network, and if a video for Youtube, must create the video!). Facebook Ads Facebook ads are another (very) popular way to drive paid traffic to your website or offer. Unlike Google searches, Facebook visitors tend to be less in "buy" mode, so therefore, it's wise to create great educational content your target market could download (ideally in exchange for their email). However, given the platform is newer and less crowded than google, your typical cost per click (CPC) is significantly lower than Adwords. For example, if Google requires $3.00 per click, Facebook would typically cost 30-80 cents per click! However, you need to measure to make sure either channel is profitable for you, and price should not be the only factor... the return should always be measured. Linkedin Ads Linkedin Ads are also a newer platform, and for those familiar with Linkedin Ads, know the entire platform is built for B2B connections and professionals. So it has the potential to place targeted ads in front of professionals. Unlike Facebook, the "cost per click" is closer to Google Adwords, meaning you'll likely pay $3.00-$6.00 to place sidebar ads on Linkedin. Given the expensive click on a newer platform, it's extremely important to measure and test this channel thoroughly. Twitter Ads Perhaps the "latest" social ad network, Twitter ads allow you to target the follows of specific accounts, as well as target a specific radius (same as Facebook and Google Ads). This could be very powerful in that the Twitter ad network is not as popular at the moment, and cost per click are roughly 50 cents. Given that Twitter is a very "noisy" platform, Retargeted Ads The majority of visitors that come to your site will leave without taking any actions, even if you have best practices in place. Which is where retargeted ads come in. Retargeted ads will place ads in front of people that previously visited your website. The best part is, these ads will appear on major websites, so the visitors will get the impression that you are "everywhere" and through ongoing exposure, you will greatly increase the conversion rate of visitor --> prospect. If you like to get started with retargeting, two popular sites are perfectaudience.com and adroll.com. Youtube Ads Youtube ads can be placed as either text below or near the video (much like a search engine), except they will be viewed near a popular video. Much like other popular social media channels, Youtube's audience is consistently growing, so the rate of which your ad is seen will continue to increase. Aside from the standard text or display ads, Youtube also gives advertisers the opportunity to have a "video before the video", which visitors can opt out of after 5 seconds. Banner Ads Banner ads are the classic form of online paid marketing. In this case, you typically decide which website you want to place an ad on, contact the owner of the site, and pay upfront for the cost to run the ad over a specific period of time.
* Bonus* Offline:
With most offline paid marketing channels, your costs will be higher. However, as long as you dedicate to a few months of running a campaign, and having a measurement program in place (to determine ROI), they can become very profitable as well. It's not about cost, it's about the return Newspaper/Journals: Newspaper and journals can yield a positive ROI, but you need to place a method of "action" inside of the ad. This could be to call a number for a free consult, cash flow analysis, or personal tax return analysis. Or perhaps it's a specific URL for the publication that drives people to a page to download a case study, free report, or white paper. Either way, be sure to have a "call to action" and use principles from a high converting website (like a clear benefit-driven headline, social proof, etc) to get the most out of print. TV/Radio: Both TV and radio typically require a heavy upfront cost, so before exploring this channels, I highly recommend running other channels to make sure you have a well-tuned sales and marketing funnel. You should have a high converting proposal, very nice profit margins, understand your conversion rate of visitors --> prospects --> clients, as well as the lifetime value or average value of a new client for your firm and practice. Events: Event sponsorship can be effective, but in this case, make sure that there is a very high probability that the *perfect* group of potential clients and prospects are in attendance. Do not sponsor an event because you feel you "should", do so because you expect a return from the event! Direct Mail: Direct mail has gotten a bad rap over the past few years, but what is interesting is that as online marketing grows, offline marketing becomes less crowded, meaning you can get the attention of your prospects easier/quicker than ever before. Whether it's through using programs like every door direct mail (through the US Postal Service), or purchasing a list, direct mail campaigns can be effective as well. As always, remember to measure, measure, measure! Enjoy the post? Feel Free to Share with a Colleague