If you’re an online publisher then you’re probably familiar with serving up ads on your site to earn revenue, but have you ever thought about buying ads of your own to do the same thing? It may seem counter-intuitive when you come across the idea. After all, you’re producing content to make money, not spend it all on online advertising, right? Here’s the thing though, in the business of online marketing and advertising, you often have to spend money–at least at first–to make money.
You need to invest in a lot of things, including yourself, your education, technology, and getting your name out there. Let’s focus on the last point. When starting from scratch, getting your name out there can be an uphill battle. Building an audience takes a lot of time and resources, and you need to produce awesome content often and at a consistent basis.
Say you’re already doing that. What if you’re already exerting a ton of your time and effort in producing great content, but it doesn’t seem to be paying off?
If you already have a great website with useful content in it but you aren’t getting the amount of traffic that you know it deserves then you probably need a boost to improve your numbers. That’s where advertising comes in.
When done right, online advertising can pay off tremendously. As long as you know your target audience and where to find them, you stand a good chance of reaping the benefits of your advertising investment.
See, online ads can bring in more traffic, which could then translate to more readers and revenue (either through ad clicks or with the purchase of your products / services). Serve up relevant, targeted ads to in front of users that you know will love you’re content, and you’ll start seeing some improvements in your metrics in no time.
They key is serving up those ads to users that count. What’s the use of a million impressions if those users have absolutely no interest in what you have to offer? If you haven’t done so yet, conduct market research on your audience and determine where they hang out online and what ads and messages appeal to them the most.
By the way, before you start thinking that market research involves dropping a ton of cash on focus groups and what not–stop. In this day and age, even a one-man team can conduct effective market research without spending a dime. How?
Below are a few ideas:
– Send out a quick survey to your subscribers and ask for feedback’
– Read comments on your blog to get an idea of what types of content resonate most with your audience
– Turn to social media. Check out the pages that your target audience likes on Facebook, join relevant groups on Linkedin, and see who they follow on Twitter
– Conduct surveys using free tools such as Google Docs or GoPollGo
– Tweet out a question / post it on Facebook and take note of the responses
Doing the things above should give you a wealth of data and insights about your target audience. Take those insights and use them to create engaging ads that would drive more traffic (and eventually revenue) to your site.