Internet advertising gives in-store and online retailers a lot to happy about this season.
Normally, when people think about reasons to be thankful during the holidays, thoughts turn to family, friends and the things in life that truly matter.
[source: Inc Magazine] And while that’s all well and good, there are also reason for business owners to be thankful. The Internet has made it really easy to reach potential consumers during the holidays which means better holidays for shoppers and more revenue for sellers. Here are four reasons business owners should be thankful for Internet marketing this holiday season.
More Time to Reach Potential Customers
Business owners who want to do a holiday advertising campaign on traditional media channels like print, TV and radio should have made the proper arrangements months ago. By now, most traditional media marketing teams have filled their slots or planned their publications, so any business owner coming in late to the game will have a hard time finding a place for TV ads or large ads in the local print media.
For that reason, business owners should be thankful that Internet marketing exist. With it, it’s possible to start an advertising campaign at the 11th hour and still have time to reach target consumers. This gives business owners and marketers time to create timely ads based on sales feedback or inventory.
If a toy store runs and ad in the paper for a particular toy, and that toy sells out, the ad is still there causing confusion, and the advertiser is still paying for that exposure. With PPC ads on the search engines and social media, business owners can simply change the ad to something else. Similarly, business owners can decide on a whim to do a special and still have time to get it out to their audience in a matter of minutes.
Easier to Target Specific Groups of Consumers
Another reason business owners should be thankful for Internet marketing during the holidays is the targeting and accuracy. Selective targeting in mass media advertising was a contradiction in terms before Internet marketing. It’s now possible to target specific groups of consumers and prevent other groups from seeing them.
When business owners show ads on television, radio, or in print, everyone sees the ads, whether they are a target consumer or not. An ad in the newspaper for a women’s clothing store is seen by everyone who buys the paper. That means the advertiser is paying to show the ad to the men, teens, and the elderly people who buy the paper.
With Internet marketing tactics like ads on social media, a business can easily set their target to be women within the ages of 25 and 55. Since social media networks know this information about their users, it’s possible to spend money only on ads for the target demographic.
The same is true for interests. Business owners and marketers have a good idea of the type of people who would want to buy their product or service. With Internet advertising, it’s possible to only show ads to people who have the interests that make them a target consumer. Your local TV station may know how many people watch their shows, but other than that, they know very little about their individual viewers.
Ad networks and social media (to the chagrin of many) know a lot about people based on their social media activity and browsing habits. This makes it easier to show ads about model ships to people who have an interest in model ships. When everything works properly, audiences are able to enjoy free content on the Internet while occasionally seeing ads for products they may really be interested in.
Less Expensive to Reach Large Audiences
The low cost of Internet marketing is another reason to be thankful. Besides the advantages mentioned above, Internet marketing is significantly cheaper than traditional media channels. Marketers can reach audiences of similar sizes as print, TV and radio at a fraction of the cost.
While some may jump to the conclusion that the reason Internet marketing is cheaper is due to reduced effectiveness, the truth is simpler and more benign. When you think about it, traditional media is far more limited than the Internet.
Newspaper and magazines only have so many pages they can use for ads, and the only make so many issues. TV networks only have 24 hours in a day, so there can only be so many ads. The Internet has so many Websites, so many people using them, and every click is another page where an ad can be displayed. While definitely finite, the opportunities for marketers to put an ad in front of their target consumer are exponentially greater than for traditional media outlets.
It’s relatively cheap to reach thousands or millions of target consumers through social media or PPC advertising. And the targeting can be based on location, interest, demographics, etc., so the large numbers are of people most likely to buy.
Allows Marketers to Use Most Up-to-Date Technology
Finally, business owners and marketers should be thankful for Internet marketing because it allows even small businesses to take advantage of the latest technology. From the mid 1980s to the early 2000s, it was very hard for business owners to advertise to people on the latest technology. Throughout the rise of computer, cell phones, video games and the Internet, most businesses were stuck advertising on TV, radio, and print.
Now, with advances in Internet technology and the adoption of mobile devices, it’s possible for even small businesses to reach people on the technology they use the most. For example, Google, Facebook and other advertisers let’s ads run on the apps or games people play on their smartphones. Location based ads can be used to target people are physically near a business, and Websites allow business owners to reach people far and near with ads on the Web.
Now that it’s cheap and easy to reach people on the latest technology, it’s less necessary to rely on traditional advertising methods that remain expensive and have fewer options for audience targeting.