By Carlo van Wyk
How to sell more and spend less on advertising
I've decided to write an article on how to advertise your kiteboarding business and products effectively by maximizing your ROI (return on investment) regardless of what medium you choose to use as your advertising vehicle - be it internet advertising, print advertising or any other means of advertising.
The basics of advertising
The more people you get walking through your shop, the bigger the chance that you will make a sale.
Say for instance you get 100 people walking through your shop, it’s safe to assume that 10% would be interested in a certain product, and about 1% of that 10% will probably buy a product.
So if you’re advertising in a magazine that sells 1000 copies a month, 30% of those people might take note of your ad on a certain page, 10% of those people might enquire, and 1% of that 10% will probably convert into a sale.
The same principle applies to internet advertising.
The problem with advertising
Most people who advertise get a much lower return on investment than they should. It’s not uncommon to see someone spending several thousands of rands taking out a print ad in a magazine, only to get a 0% conversion rate (CR). Conversion Rate simply means the percentage of people or visitors that converted into actual sales from your advertising campaign.
Similarly, people spend lots of money by advertising on the internet with no way of measuring conversion rate, and it is also very possible to have a 0% conversion rate by advertising on the internet.
Traffic and visibility alone does not convert to sales. If you are advertising and don’t have a way to measure your conversion rate, you’re wasting money. Similarly, if you are measuring conversion rate but are not converting to any sales, you are not getting any return on your investment, which means you’re almost better off by not advertising in the first place.
How to Advertise the correct way
We’ve just learnt that having visibility in a magazine, or a banner ad on a website that sends people to your website is simply not good enough.
In order to measure your ROI, you must have a way to measure the traffic that originated from your campaign. If it’s a banner click, you want to know exactly how many people clicked on that banner, what they did on your site, and on what page they clicked out.
If you’re trying to measure leads coming from a magazine ad, it’s going to be a little bit more difficult to track, but with a little bit of planning it’s still entirely possible.
Different ways to Advertise
Effective Marketing + Relevant Content and an easy to use website = Maximum ROIHow to Measure Traffic Originating From Internet Advertising
- Banner Advertising on websites
Advertising on some of your local kiteboarding websites is not only an effective way to get targeted advertising, but also very cost effective.
Online advertising allows you to measure the success of your banner ad instantly. iKiteboarding.com for instance allows you to change your ad as many times as you wish through an easy to use interface, meaning you can have many campaigns run over a certain period by simply updating your banner.
- Best bang for the buck
Your ad gets displayed over and over and over again, many times a day.
-Not only is it the best bang for your buck, but internet advertising is also the most effective.
Because you are advertising on niche websites related to your industry, and even created around the area or country you live in, this form of advertising is targeted. The days of machine gun advertising in newspapers, billboards and magazines are over.
-World Wide Reach
The internet has much wider reach. You can reach a lot of people around the world for very little.
With the help of google analytics and by using landing pages, you can measure the success of your campaigns with absolute precision.
Make sure you advertise on a website with good traffic, if you advertise on a website with no traffic you are not gaining any visibility.
Get started at http://banners.ikiteboarding.com
- Pay Per Click Advertising (such as Google Adwords)
What is it? I’m surprised at how many people don’t know what it is. It’s the best thing since sliced bread. You register for a google adwords account, select a bunch of keywords you would like to target, bid a price on each keyword, write one or more text ads that you would like to associate with those keywords and select the country or even city that you would like the ads to appear in. You bid on the price for each keyword and only
How does it work? When a user searches on google and matches one of the keywords you bidded on, your ad appears in the ads column on the right hand side of google. As stated above, you can target the ads to only appear in certain countries or even in certain cities. The higher the bid price per keyword, the higher your ads will rank. You can set daily cost limits too.
Get started at http://www.google.com/adwords
- You only pay per click
- Extremely targeted
- Very effective
To get effective results, you have to constantly monitor your ads and re-adjust bids.
Can get expensive real quick, but managed properly, can be very cost effective, and done right can be the best ROI.
- Magazine Advertising
One of the oldest ways to advertise. Can be good for brand awareness especially if done in magazines with high readership, but less effective than internet advertising.
-Good for brand awareness
-Can deliver glossy ads
-Magazines have a much smaller audience than the internet
-The visibility of your ads are poor, once certain pages are read the magazine is put away, and your ad no longer holds value.
-Not as targeted as internet advertising.
Measuring traffic and leads
The first thing you need to do is to install Google Analytics on your website. It’s not only free, but it’s also the best tool out there to measure traffic, where they originated from, what they did on your site, and most importantly how many people converted into sales. Installing google analytics on your site is easy and can be done in a few minutes flat. Once you’re up and running don’t worry too much about how to use it – just start using it and you will get the hang of it in no time. >>Get Google Analytics
If you are running a banner ad on a website which promotes a new product that you want to sell, don’t send all the visitors to your homepage. Instead, send them to a product specific page (also known as a landing page) that is relevant to your ad, and make sure the text on that page is geared towards selling that product.
Statistically, if a user can’t find what the link he clicked on said, he’ll be gone in 4 seconds.
Some tips for creating effective landing pages :Make sure that the information you advertised is on your landing page
, and that no additional clicks have to be made to obtain the information that was promised.Make your landing page as simple and clutter free as possible.
Keep the information short and to the point. Every additional link you have on your landing page is a way for the user to click out. You want to focus the user on the end goal : the call to action.Have a clear call to action on your page.
A call to action is an invite for the user to initiate an action. This could be to contact you for a free quote, get a 5% discount on his next purchase by contacting you, subscribe to your newsletter, or get you to contact them. Make sure it’s a clear, visible button, above the fold of the page. Have the same call to action at the bottom of the page for easy accessibility.How to measure leads and traffic coming from magazine ads
If you’re running an ad in a magazine, measuring the leads and traffic is going to be a little different, but it’s still pretty easy to do.
How to measure conversion rates
Make a landing page specific to this magazine ad
If you are advertising your web page url, be sure to point to a specific page on your website that you created specifically for this ad. This page must not be linked from any other pages on your website, and shouldn’t be sent out to any other people. This way you can be sure that all traffic going to this page comes from the magazine ad.
Offer a product discount and advertise a discount code in the magazine.
This way, if people phone and want a discount they have to mention the discount code.
Now that you have a way to measure the traffic that originates from your advertising campaigns, the next step is to measure how many of these people initiated an action. In most cases you don’t really have to do anything, since you’ve already done most of the work.
You should have a specific landing page on your site per product that you advertise for magazine ads, and for internet ads. If a user initiates an action on one of those pages, you will know on which page the action came from, and subsequently know from which advertising campaign the lead came from. If it’s from a magazine ad the page will be specific and unique to the magazine ad, and if it’s from an internet ad you can track where the clicks came from via Google analytics.
A more accurate way to track conversion rates can be done within Google analytics by putting a script on the action page (such as your newsletter subscription page, contact page, etc.), but to keep things simple follow the above advice.
Put a monetary value to every click and lead you receive.
Remember that sales don’t always happen right away - so if you can’t sell right away, find a way to keep in contact with your customers. Let them sign up to your newsletter, claim a free discount, stand a chance to win a prize, etc. In time this effort will pay off and lead to more sales.
This advertising model can be applied to any industry or business.