Saturday, November 27, 2010

Should Small Businesses Utilize Online Advertising?

small business online advertising
Sometimes small businesses may not be sure of the best way to advertise and get the word out there about its products or services. Because advertising and marketing strategies are changing constantly to fit society and its needs, it can be difficult to decide which strategies will be most effective for your company.

Web analysts have been saying almost since the creation of the Internet that online advertising was going to take over the advertising world by storm. Online advertising has definitely made a huge impact, but it hasn’t quite taken the world by storm yet. According to years of research on the steady increase of online advertisement, the predicted “boom” in online advertising could definitely be right around the corner.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PwC are releasing some numbers that illustrate that a “boom” could be in store for advertising in the very near future. U.S. online ad revenues have increased 17 percent in the third quarter of 2010, compared to the same period of time in 2009. In just that quarter, ad revenues reached $6.4 billion, which is the highest recorded quarterly mark in history.

According to IAB, online video ads and traditional banners and pop-up ads are still creating an increase in revenues, but text ads that come along with search results represent the largest amount of revenue for online advertising. Their numbers for the first half of 2010 showed that search ads account for 47 percent of all online ad revenues. This is the exact same percentage that search ads had for the first half of 2009 as well.

Until recently, there were two different reasons for small businesses to be reluctant about utilizing online advertising. The first reason that companies were skeptical about adopting it as an advertising strategy was because of the perceived low rate of return for the ads. The second was the expected time commitment that was required to be able to manage an online ad campaign. This skepticism is starting to be relieved as new online ad services are beginning to target small businesses.

Pete Barlas of Investor’s Business Daily said that Google and various other search providers are trying to help small businesses overcome their hesitance about buying Web ads. He said that they are currently making it easier to select keywords and pick up other search engine optimization (SEO) tricks. Another important development is the increase in location-based services that offer customers discounts and rewards when they check in as they visit an establishment.

Recently Google released a new component for its Google Places services. This service was created in an attempt to make it as easy as possible for small businesses to profit from advertising online, and the newest developments really do help out.

Google’s Google Boost service is only available right now in select U.S. markets. It is a service that promises to feature three-line text ads in the Sponsored Links section of Google’s search page when individuals search for terms that have been specified by and for your business. This service is available for a mere $50.

Online advertising is definitely seeing a steady increase in use and profitability. Many small businesses still have concerns with the tactic, but I really feel that it is the direction that advertising is heading in. Everything is going mobile and paperless, and advertising is no exception. Online advertising is a great addition to small businesses' already established advertising and marketing strategies. With the right attitude, dedication, and commitment, online advertising that could really increase profitability for your small business.

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