PPC as a Model of Smart Advertising

A five-part series on online branding for businesses by Ryan Chaffin

1. What’s in a Name? Everything
2. SEO: Marketing in the New Millennium
3. PPC as a Model of Smart Advertising
4. Social Media: Highly Accessible Advertising
5. Freshening Up: Maintaining Your Brand Image

New methods of advertising, particularly web-based ones, may be confusing to someone not acquainted with the different mechanisms of the web or well-versed in how they work. Take, for example, the classic Yellow Pages advertisement. Every year you buy your ad space for a fixed amount of money. In these ads, the more space you buy, the higher the price. Things, however, have changed. The advent of the Internet has led to many exciting new ways of advertising that are more affordable and sensible than the old, antiquated methods that essentially equated size with relevance.

One of the most exciting and cost-effective means of advertising on the web is PPC. PPC stands for “pay per click.” This type of advertising does exactly what you would anticipate it would do. As a business owner you pay for your ad space only when it is clicked through on the host’s website. Say, for example, your business specializes in a very specific service, such as vacuum pump repair. A savvy business owner would place an ad for vacuum pump repair on a website that sells vacuums. This kind of ad placement ensures you will get clicks from interested parties, bringing truly curious customers to your website and managing your advertising money smartly all at once.

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Does product placement in movies still work?

Yes, lots of Coca-Cola going on in movies and series, as well as drinks, fashion brands and anything you’d ever think of. I am sure you all remember the Bridget Jones cheering on a huge screen. Or the Apple computers in Zoolander. But does product placement still work for popular movies and TV series?

I have to say I’ve started to overlook a lot of it. From clothes, to what they’re drinking or some of the gadgets they’re using. Then again, it also depends on how much the brand is shown off! If someone types behind a laptop for over 3 minutes, I might notice the brand. Or if you keep showing the computer game box each time you show the kid’s room, I might see it’s Heroes V :) Especially if I was a fan of Heroes III and IV 😛

But other than that, do you buy something just because it’s shown on a TV screen but not during advertisement breaks? Is it a more effective advertising method? I mean, really, would you switch to the Head & Shoulders shampoo just because it was used to kill aliens in a rather silly movie?

I for one think it happens as it happens to all advertising: we learn to ignore it and it’s just wasted money. Are there any successful campaigns? Do you know of any and have you ever bought something just because you saw it in a movie?

The brand-aware take on making money online

Blank billboard in desert landscapeI have never been against people attempting to make money online. On their blog, on their Twitter account, it really does not bother me. If I like their content and their way of thinking, I trust them to make interesting recommendations and to post ads that won’t make me run away.

The trouble begins when people are so wrapped up with making some money that they forget all about their brand in the process. All bloggers, business or not, work hard to promote their blog, to position it and build a brand for it. And then when they have enough traffic they want to have some income in exchange for their hard work. But why kill your blog’s brand for a few bucks when you could get said money without loosing trust and readers?

If you want to advertise, advertise something related to your blog or that might interest your readers. If you talk about web hosting, you can advertise designers, web copywriting services and other such services. But if you start promoting a teeth whitening formula, you’d lose. Why is it a bad decision? It makes you look easy to buy and a bit desperate. People who read about web hosting don’t care about teeth whitening in their web hosting dedicated time. They might want to read about it on the beauty/health/make your self pretty blog they read every day.

The purpose behind monetizing your blog or twitter stream is to actually make money! You need to find the products and services that would make your readers click. They have to think you had a great idea recommending something like that to them. They would have to trust you with that recommendation. Your expertise is part of what convinces them to give that ad/review or any other form of advertorial a second thought. That’s what brings you more money at the end of the day.

Yes, branding is tough. But the advertisements you choose actually help shape your brand. They position you in your niche to some extent. Choose to say your brand helps people and makes expert recommendations. Not that your brand couldn’t care less and would promote anything for the right price.

I bow to BMW – No mercy!

I haven’t seen great ads in a while. You know, the smart, funny and compelling type of ads that make you smile and secretly crave for the product they promote. And then a friend pointed me to a BMW poster ad. It had that very same effect on me! So I am sharing it with you :) It might work on me because I am sort of in their target, but still, great one!

Click on image for the original.

How to keep growing when the economy works against you

The Businessmagnet.co.uk solution

In troubled economic times when companies assassinate their marketing and advertising budgets, you’d expect companies in this industry to talk about how there’s no business and loss is lurking along their way. Yet in this very time and day, Businssmagnet.co.uk, online business directory from the UK, reported steady growth, a solid influx of new customers and a great, strengthened relationship with companies already working with them. I wanted to know more about their approach to business, as it is driving them up, right through the rough economic clutter. Lee Cheesman (see photo), Businessmagnet.co.uk Director was kind enough to answer a few questions.

Lee CheesmanWhile advertising budgets are being grossly cut down, Businessmagnet keeps growing. What’s your secret recipe?

Whilst we have seen a different trend throughout the advertising industry, we have been surprised by the number of businesses that have taken a proactive approach with the current economic situation, many businesses actually increasing their advertising spend, especially within the online sector. We too have taken a proactive approach to ensuring that our Directory is as streamlined and effective as ever. We have increased our web prominence and introduced a better system to keep our contact frequent with our customers. Continue reading