Sometimes it feels real good to jump back into the past, watch some reruns, and relive the good ol’ days. Back when things were simpler. Like Phoebe in Friends:
That 90s mobile phone was revolutionary. You mean I can call you and you can call me, anytime, from anywhere?
As technology has evolved, so has our mode of connecting with people. Back then it was a thrill to be able to receive calls anytime, from anywhere. These days before I answer a call, I check whether I recognize the number, then let it go to voicemail. If I knew the person, maybe I’ll text back first. Why are you calling me when you could just text?
Back in the 90s, all you had to do to be found by local customers was list your business in the Yellow Pages. Buy an ad, write your text, place your logo, and voila. People found you. That’s all it took, right?
It might seem that way, but you know as well as I do that just placing an ad in the Yellow Pages never got you your best business, even in the 90s. It took grit, sweat, time, and human-to-human connection to help your business thrive.
It still takes grit, sweat, time, and human connection to help your business thrive. Every business owner knows we need to advertise in order to spread the word about our business. We can’t always rely on word of mouth to multiply our efforts.
So what do you do when the Yellow Pages lands on your doorstep? Me, I kick it round to the kitchen to prop open the door to our basement. There it joins the stack of the last five years’ worth of Yellow Pages.
Where do you go to find what you’re looking for? Where are your customers going to find the businesses that can fill their needs?
Stop investing in your neighbors’ yellow-paper doorstops and start investing in advertising that will make a real, lasting difference. Here are three quick tips for where you can divert your ad budget to see real, measurable results:
Google is the Yellow Pages on steroids. We’re all searching for something, and if you search for that something online, Google will offer up about 87 million results. How in God’s green Internet are you supposed to get your business in front of the right people in that tsunami of content?
One way is by advertising on Google Search. Using targeted keywords, your ad budget, and Google’s metrics, you can get your ad placed at the top of Google’s organic search results. Your ad looks a whole lot like the search results below it, with the tiniest edition of “Ad” in a box. Your prospective customers will find you faster and easier, popping them directly into your site and your customer list. Added bonus: these ads also help boost your organic search results.
Ever wonder how it is that Home Depot is following you around the Internet, showing you the patio furniture you were just looking at this morning? Using Google Display Network, you can get your products and services to show up in front of your customers wherever they are browsing – if they’re in Candy Crush, your ad could be in Candy Crush. If they’re watching the news on their phone, your ad could appear in a corner of that website. These ads are especially effective to improve your brand awareness and remind your customers about a product or service they searched for before and meant to get back to but forgot, because human nature.
Facebook makes it super easy to target your key audience by geography, age, gender, and more. You set your ad budget, you set the range of time you want to promote your product or service, you control the photo and ad copy that shows up, and you get to watch the results.
How often has an ad appeared online that reminded you about that patio furniture and made you go back to their site or their store to buy their product or service? It’s happened to me even though I know what they’re up to! They keep doing it because it works. And I want it to work for you.
Sure, renewing your ad in the Yellow Pages is a piece of cake. But your ad dollars could be pulling a lot more weight online. As a small business owner, you could jump into these three options today and manage your own advertising. But if you are like many small business owners we know, you just don’t have the time to mess around with your advertising. That’s why we’re here. If you’d like some help managing your online advertising, talk to a member of our team today. We live for helping small businesses in rural communities grow and thrive.
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