Advertising online is an easy, and relatively inexpensive way to spread your message to your targeted audience. With most online advertising you only pay for those ads that are actually clicked on, and you have the ability to target who will see those ads. You certainly can look to smaller sites (television and newspapers for instance) that sell ads on their networks, but clearly the most ubiquitous are Google and Facebook.
There are two types of ads in the Google realm, text and picture. Certainly text is cheaper, but you also will not get the click-through rates that you do with picture based ads. We’re visual, and visually interesting ads catch our eye better than text-based ads do.
In Facebook, there’s only one kind of ad – picture, and it works very well. In ads we’ve placed for clients, we find we get better results with Facebook than with Google text-based ads, generally speaking.
The cost of entry in to either Google Ads or Facebook is quite low. You can get started with an extremely targeted demographic and LIGHT coverage on one network for about $30/month. As with all advertisements, more money yields a bigger, faster result. But for $30 a month it’s worth experimenting with and getting comfortable with.
If you’ve never looked at putting ads on Google, just surf over to www.google.com/adwords or for Facebook http://www.facebook.com/advertising/ and get started. The instructions are pretty simple, and will give you the opportunity to choose your target market. If you’re experimenting with a low-budget, be sure to limit your target geographically to just your home town. Once that’s set, you can choose gender, age, and in Facebook, education level, expressed interests, and pages liked (or not liked). Pretty powerful stuff.
Just be sure to set overall campaign limits so that you keep your experiment an experiment and not a huge budget item if it’s wildly successful.