Online marketing budgets skyrocket around the globe

Online marketing budgets skyrocket around the globe

While print and TV advertising may never really fade away, they’ve certainly suffered a major decline in power and revenue in recent years. While many would claim the current global economic crisis may be partially sapping advertising funds normally earmarked for these mediums, there’s little doubt that fresher technologies – more specifically the internet and mobile handsets – are the main culprit.

Nearly half of all marketing spending is going to online strategies – a massive 47% – according to a survey conducted by Hearst Electronics Group and Goldstein Group Communications (GGC).

The survey results were highlighted in a recent post over at Small Business News, but to summarise basically GCC think the survey’s findings point to a paradigm shift towards wider adoption of online advertising mediums.

“This type of data reveals best practices among business marketers at a time of tremendous flux,” said GGC President Joel Goldstein. “The sense of urgency to move to online marketing has been felt by leading marketing organizations for some time now, but the extent to which budgets have been re- defined is dramatic. While traditional media still play a role in building a balanced program, clearly online spending for webcasts, search engine marketing and generating online content are now seen as the primary drivers of branding and lead generation for most companies.”

Many of the participants in the survey said they get their best leads from their website and search engines. GGC stresses that it is about quality and not quantity.

Stand to reason, doesn’t it? I don’t know about you, but our website is our main source of enquiries for our Gold Coast video production.
Furthermore when people do contact us they’ve checked out our products and services via our site’s video tutorials and are basically ready to order. Meanwhile although many marketing specialists claim traditional ad avenues are still worth pursuing, our print ad in the Yellow Pages that cost several hundred dollars hasn’t resulted in any extra business this year, and a recent mail out that cost even more only turned over a handful of leads. Of course, it depends on your industry, but for most business owners online marketing is fast becoming a more rewarding alternative.

But with so many online marketing options out there, where should business owners invest their money?

I recommend spreading your budget to cover a handful of strategies that deliver the best bang for your buck. Here’s a few ideas to get you started.

1. First up, if you don’t have a website, get one! This doesn’t need to be expensive. Heck, even if you’re completely web illiterate you can make one yourself using cool free services like Weebly or Wix, while those with a bit of knowledge of html can use free services like Drupal. These can all be time drains though, so drop me a line if you’d like me to suggest some great affordable local web designers here on the Gold Coast (or Byron or Brisbane).

2. List your website and business details on every free local online directory you can find, and don’t be afraid to pay for listings on directories that fit your demographics or have large volumes of traffic. Most will offer introductory rates so you can trail the service and make sure it’s delivering results before you commit long term.
3. Are there online ezines or industry sites that are targeted towards your buyer demographic? Enquire about advertising rates, as some of these can be more affordable than you think and can deliver your company message to an extremely targeted readership.

4. Online video commercials are a great way to spread your company message online and deliver traffic to your site, or inform your site visitors what your company or services are all about once they get there. When you consider online videos can last unlimited years all for a onetime production cost, and that prices can be as low as $500 for a professional video, it definitely makes expensive magazine advertising look obsolete.

5. Online press release and article marketing can also drive traffic to your site and help your website with SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), plus it can be dirt cheap! If you have writing flair you can distribute press releases and articles touting the benefits of your products and services for free via dozens of great online distribution services. Just try and make sure you keep your releases or articles newsworthy. If you need a little help to get started, you can always employ a copywriter to do the writing and distributing for you.

6. Don’t underestimate the power of Adwords programs like the ones run by Google, Yahoo and the like, or social media advertising on popular sites like Facebook. Setting up your campaign can be quite time consuming, but once you have it up and running you can basically forget about it – or easily tweak it to perform better if it’s not performing. You can also set your daily spending limits so that you budget doesn’t get blown to smithereens, so you only need to spend what you can afford. But the best thing? You can directly target your customers. Of course if the whole Adwords phenomenon is too tricky to get your head around you can always employ a marketing company to run your campaign for you, but this bumps up your overall campaign costs.

Of course, there’s plenty more marvelous options out there that don’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Want to find out more about online marketing here in Australia? Visit us at Soul Arch Mediaor call us on 07) 55595551 for a free consultation.

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