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Promote Your Local Business With Google Adwords and Facebook Ads

A real estate professional recently asked about whether to try Google Adwords and/or Facebook Ads for local business advertising. I shared this opinion because I run campaigns for clients and myself, and I also teach an introduction to Google Adwords class for small business owners.

My advice based on my experiences…

Don’t rush into advertising on Google Adwords or Facebook (or Yahoo or Bing) until you’ve done some significant keyword research and planning.

Real Estate, Finance, Insurance are all extremely competitive. You are often biding against the major brands and well as their local agents.

It takes time to find the right combination of keywords (and negatives), the right ad copy, the right targeting. There are no shortcuts and it’s better to test a lot of variables before you can dial in on what works.

Determine a niche your good at that your local competitors aren’t active in.

Google Adwords has flexibility of running in Google search results only, Google’s extended search network of partners, and on the Contextual network (blogs and other sites). You need to break all those out and test individually. Two of the three might unnecessarily skew your results and effectiveness.

I like Google for local business because it has more refined geo-targeting. With Facebook, while you can choose a specific town/city, you have to choose from defaults like 10 mile radius, 25 mile radius. Also not every town/city will be available.

I like Facebook because it lets you be clever by combining factors like self-reported age, gender, marital status, interests and location.

Bid-wise, I’ve noticed my Facebook campaign click costs are typically twice Google Adwords. But ultimately you need to have the right sales conversion metrics in place to track that a lead or sale came from Facebook vs Google. Then with enough data you can decide if the higher expense gets you a more qualified lead/sale.

In summary:

  • Plan carefully
  • Do your research
  • Find a niche, and
  • Test everything so you can make informed decisions.

I hope you find this helpful. Please share your experience and opinion here.

Thanks.
-Roland

Podcamp NYC Session- Securing a sponsor in the New Media Space

Podcamp NYC
April 25, 2008
Securing a sponsor in the New Media Space

Listen to this podcast:

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Marketing inspiration is everywhere.

I tend to ignore online media ads. (Shh, don’t tell my clients) Being in the advertising business so long and having to troll through so many Web sites daily, my attention span is limited. I usually do stop for animation, eye poping colors or out of banner actions.

So why did this static media unit on the Seattle Times catch my eye?
Rich media, geo-targeted car insurance ad

Smart marketers have been using forms in rich media units for years to perform a basic function (e.g. loan calculator) or capture a few key pieces of contact info. I realized this one also specifically called attention to Washington drivers and posted in a Washington media site. Again, nothing startling. But just something I hadn’t seen executed before. It’s smart.

A geo-targeted ad, customized to the audience most likely to read the publication. Capturing key data points in the ad allows the user to get prescreened and directed to an appropriate solution. It’s also beneficial for the advertiser since it prescreens/prequalifies prospects early on. Smart and efficient!

I get inspired in other ways too.

  • Podcasts (Ask A Ninja, TikiBar TV, TWiT, DL.tv)
  • Professional Blogs
  • Exploring new “Web 2.0”, social networking, and AJAX apps

So, challenge yourself. Stop and look around you. Something might catch your eye and spark your imagination. Marketing is more fun when it’s challenging, smart and measurable.

Enjoy!
-Roland

Article: comScore Study Reveals Gamers Are an Attractive Online Advertising Segment

Checkout the first-quarter results of the comScore Networks “The Players” study.

Excerpts:

In-game advertising is an innovative way to reach Gamers, but some worry it might be considered an intrusive form of advertising that could alienate an audience. However, while some Gamers are offended by in-game advertising, the results of comScore’s survey suggest the positive effects outweigh any negative consequences. Specifically, when asked about their attitudes towards games with advertisements, only 15 percent of Heavy Gamers claimed they would be ‘unlikely’ to play games that included such product placements.

In contrast, more than twice as many Heavy Gamers (33 percent), said they would be ‘likely’ to play those games, while fully 52% of Heavy Gamers and 56% of Light/Medium Gamers stated that the inclusion of advertising would have no impact on their likelihood of playing a game.

“Advertisers are quickly learning that Gamers are a highly desirable consumer target,” said Erin Hunter, senior vice president of comScore entertainment solutions. “Gamers are networked and vocal about what they like and don’t like, and the results of comScore’s study reveal that the vast majority of Gamers are not bothered by in-game advertising.”

What do you think? Please post your comments. Thanks.
-Roland

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