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September 16, 2014

The Online Marketing Campaign for Beginners: Part II

Social Media and Advertising for Online Marketing

If you’ve found me through my first blog in this three-part series, The Online Marketing Campaign for Beginners, welcome back!  Should you be a newcomer, I would recommend checking out my previous blog covering online marketing for beginners.

Last time, we dove into the details of generating valuable content and what types of content belong on particular websites.  To review, it’s imperative to generate valuable content when marketing to an online audience.  This content, if crafted correctly, can be your hook’s worm that will catch your target customers/clients and reel them into your desired online destinations.  Most often, these destinations are the websites, micro-sites, or the landing pages which we’ve discussed.  Today, we’re going to dig into social media and online advertising.  Both of which are tools to drive traffic to your content and subsequently your desired online destination.

Social Media

online advertising for beginnersWhile many of us are familiar with social media from an end-user perspective, marketing products and services to social media users and establishing a community around your brand can be more challenging than one might guess.  In Part I of this series, attracting members of our target market was a key focus and social media is where much of that content can be shared with users.  In summary, social media marketing should look like this:

  1. Choose Where Your Content Should Be Shared: Depending on your brand, different social media platforms are better for you than others.  For instance, Business-to-Consumer(B2C) marketers are often most successful in Facebook and Twitter, whereas Business-to-Business(B2B) marketers find more luck in LinkedIn.  This is because that is where their target market is clicking.  Think about your prospective clients/customers, find out where they hang out, and begin there.
  2. Build Your Profiles:  While you should focus on the platforms where your target market’s users are most engaged, we recommend at least building profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.  From a Search Engine Marketing standpoint, having these sites, including links to your website, can be very helpful.
  3. Share Your Content:  Now, begin sharing the content that we discussed in Part I.  Valuable content will then attract users to your page, and if your content is strong enough they’ll follow you.  This is where we begin creating a community around a brand.  Monitor these pages closely and listen to user engagement.  If users are engaged, be sure to communicate with them and nurture each relationship!

While managing your social media accounts, it’s important to realize that social media shouldn’t be a “hard-sell.”  The idea here is to build social relationships with your target market and build trust.  The hard-sell can be saved for advertising, which will be later addressed, or other techniques.  The members of your social community are not yet leads, but as trust is built the potential is immense.

Online Advertising

Among online advertising tools and tactics, there are many to choose from.  There are advertising options in search engines as well as brand retargeting and website display advertising. While the key to choosing what’s right for you lies within what your target market is paying attention to, beginning with Google AdWords Pay Per Click is best. When getting started, Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is inherently beneficial as marketers only pay for the clicks accrued on their advertisement.

What this looks like:

online marketing for beginners

In this example, Sears’ marketers used Google AdWords to develop and advertisement that will be shown in Google when users search for a “TV.”  As you can see, the advertisement appears to be a natural result of the search engine.  The benefit to its natural appearance is that users don’t feel overwhelmed with advertising and perceive this as a natural  effect of their search query.  For your brand, Google AdWords PPC may be a good option for quickly driving traffic to your online destination.

How it works:

Using Google Adwords is rather simple compared to other online advertising techniques.  The following basic steps summarize the process:

  1. First, choose your budget.  A nice aspect of PPC is that while a larger budget can attract a larger audience, smaller players can benefit from the platform as well.  Keep in mind that you will only have to pay for the users that click on your link rather than how many impressions are made.  In other words, even if the advertisement is viewed, you will only pay for the ad if a user clicks on its link. So long as you’re choosing the right keywords and tailoring your message appropriately, the return on your investment (ROI) is nearly guaranteed.  Don’t forget, however, that you will have to outbid competitors for placement within certain search engine results.  Some queries will be comprised of keyword phrases that receive higher bids than others.  See Step 3 for more guidance here.
  2. Second, create your ad.  When creating your ad, you’ll be asked to provide the link to which the ad will direct users. Then, you will craft a headline as well as the second and third lines of the advertising copy.  For an example, see the image above.  While it doesn’t take an expert to create the ad, it helps to have strong messaging in the language of your copy to entice users to click the link to your online destination.  Here, you would want the destination to be your website, landing page, or any other desired destination.
  3. Last, you will select the keyword phrases with which you would like your ad to be associated.  This is where the Google Adwords Keyword Planner comes in handy.  This tool will allow you to discover what people are searching for, how often, and how expensive it is to bid on an advertisement served when users search for particular keyword phrases.  If you’re not a major player, it’s often wise to target keyword phrases that are high in search frequency, yet low in bid competition.  So long as your selected keyword phrases accurately apply to your market, PPC can be a very cost effective choice with a strong ROI.

Join me next month in Part III of this blog series to learn more about online marketing campaigns for beginners.  There, I’ll be explaining more about email marketing and more!

Contact us for assistance with your online marketing campaign

Author, Steven Nestor, is an Account Executive at Chicago-based marketing company, Forward Progress.  Visit our website at or email Steven at [email protected] to learn more about our online marketing campaign strategies!