The world of marketing has changed dramatically over the past few years. Only a decade or two ago, the primary way businesses and individuals would get their name to customers was through traditional channels like television, radio, newspapers, and word of mouth. However, the internet has changed the way the world does business, including where we make our purchasing decisions.
Technology giants like Google and Facebook have made their fortunes through internet advertising. Google has become the global leader in highly relevant search results, and has monetized its position by offering highly effective paid search results to businesses and commercial websites. When choosing how to market on Google, there are two directions to go. The first is to create interesting, fresh, engaging, and topically relevant content for website visitors. This strategy is called Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, and is a free but time consuming way to use Google to drive traffic to your website.
The other method is to pay Google for top positioning through their "sponsored links" at the top of search result pages. Paid search can be extremely effective if used properly, and can generate significantly more impressions than traditional marketing methods at a fraction of the cost. Paid search at Google is effective because you can narrowly target your audience. Things like location, age, and gender can be targeted so you aren't advertising a makeup set to an old man or a motorcycle website to a young girl. More importantly, you can specify which specific search queries will result in your website being advertised. This hyper-specific marketing will allow you to target only those who have expressed enough interest in your website category to actively search for information on the internet about it.
Facebook is another industry leader that gives companies looking to market themselves a powerful and cost-effective way to target their audience. Facebook is now the leading social media platform for advertisers, and this is due in large part to its ability to target the audience even more specifically than Google.
Unlike Google, Facebook users are not actively searching for a topic. However, they are constantly putting personal information onto their Facebook profile. This personal information can be used to target customers with surprising specificity. For example, you can have an advertisement that will be seen only by males ages 22 to 25 with a Bachelors degree and an interest in basketball who are single and Christian. This is only one example, and only begins to scratch the surface of what Facebook targeted ads can do. Best of all, Facebook ads will typically cost you pennies per 1000 impressions, or as low as 10 or 20 cents per click. There is no question that Google and Facebook advertising, when used correctly, can be an incredibly powerful marketing tool for your company.