Tips to Improve Your Low Budget, Small Business Advertising Campaigns

Saturday, November 17, 2012

During your small business advertising campaign using pay-per-click advertising, how many times have you uttered something like this phrase? "What?? I don't understand how the keyphrase "cheap online advertising" has such a low relevancy on a page about cheap online advertising! It doesn't make any sense!"

Believe me, I've been there too, numerous times, wasting money. Buying books and trying to trying to implement their small business advertising strategies to get my Click Through Rates higher and my keyword relevancy up didn't seem to help either, so I just ended up wasting more money. Does this sound familiar? Are you stuck in this rut too, trying to advertise your small business but just spinning your wheels?

The good news is, your small business doesn't have to burn through advertising dollars, paying way too much for pay-per-click ads. I'll discuss those options in a minute. While we're on the subject, however, when you're on a penny-pinching budget, who can afford $8 to $10 per click when you're trying to keep your small business afloat or at least get it off the ground? Advertising and internet marketing books will tell you that the ultimate lifetime value of a customer will outweigh the cost of that click. While in some cases that may be true, if your small business is selling a product that a person might buy once every few years, it could take a while to recoup your expenses. Especially if your Click Through Rates and keyword relevancy scores are low and your cost per click is higher. For example, say the market for selling baseball gloves is extremely competitive, your CTR and keyword scores are low and you've tried every SEO trick in the book to get them up, but you're still paying $8 per click. I'm just throwing out random figures, but let's suppose it takes you 25 clicks to finally sell a $30 baseball glove. That's $200-$30. You've just paid $170 to get one customer. If your customer comes back in 3-5 years when his glove wears out to buy another one, now you're only down $130. Supposing he stays a lifetime customer, you could break even in about 20 years. That's not so bad, right?

You'll have to forgive my sarcasm there. I will openly admit being biased, but I just don't feel it's fair that the major internet advertising players, particularly a few search engine giants, tell small business owners that they can advertise on a level playing field. If your daily advertising budget is in the single digits because that's all you can afford, that's not the same playing field as a business that can afford hundreds or thousand of dollars per month, or even per day!

Your best bet for low budget online advertising is to make use of social networking sites that are highly affordable or even free, like Twitter and Facebook. Both are excellent ways to promote your site on a budget. Plus, in all likelihood, social networking is the future of advertising (if it's not already) in an increasingly competitive internet market that's trying to capture the short attention span of its users. Strive to make personal connections with your potential customers. They're more likely to remain customers of your small business if they're dealing with someone they know on a personal basis, instead of some faceless corporation.

It's a bit of a misnomer since we're talking about dealing with people over the internet where anonymity reigns, but try to focus on human interactions. Your small business advertising campaign might just involve making friends, instead of wasting money on pay-per-click ads. Wouldn't you rather make a new friend than stress out over Click Through Rates or keyword relevancy?