Training Log: Good Practices in Online Advertising

Last time we talked about how the Internet is changing the advertising scene. And as promised, in this post we’ll be talking about a few good practices in online advertising. Now allow me to say that I am not an online advertising expert. What I can say however, is that I am an avid “consumer” when it comes to advertisements. Based on my experience and a few things I’ve picked up myself from others, online, and from my OrCom mentors, below are some of the practices I find are most relevant in the online advertising scene:

1. Target an audience, and know where they are online.

Your target audience is looking for you – they just don’t know it yet.” says Wendy Boswell who wrote an online article on Internet Marketing Strategy, entitled Who is Your Target Audience? Now the difference in the field of advertising is that in here, we’re not coming up with a strategy simply to pull our audience in; this time, we’re going directly to them. That’s why it’s important for us to have a targeted audience and know in which communities online we can find them. As mentioned in the previous post, when you know where you can find your audience  online, it is likely for you to know as well the things that engage them to meet in those communities. When we find out what that is, designing and coming up with an advertisement that will cater exactly to the interests of these people will be a lot easier.

2. Engage in conversation.

What separates online advertising from traditional advertising over TV, print, and radio, is that you have the opportunity to interact with your audience. If online advertising were not to take advantage of this, what then would separate it from traditional advertising? Talk to your audience. When they give their feedback, respond right away–and respond in a personal way. We don’t want to be setting up a front that gives the impression that the audience is talking to a robot. Be personal in your response. When your audience knows you care enough not just to simply get their attention but to actually hear what they have to say, you build your credibility to your audience. (Now, I think that means I should also start replying to the comments on this page.)

3. Don’t resort to spam.

Oh, dear me. How I hate spam! Whenever I see spam over YouTube comments, Facebook posts, and others, I quickly ignore the ad. Spamming sure may be effective sometimes, but the message it really sends out is “I’m too lazy to think of a better advertising strategy so why don’t we just flood the Internet and find out who responds.” That’s crazy. On top of that, spamming is almost always associated with malware. Do you really want your brand to be associated with something like that? And didn’t we just talk about building your credibility online?

Now of course, there are other good practices when it comes to online advertising. The list does not end here. But the bottomline is providing your audience a pleasant experience that they would not have had the opportunity of in traditional advertising.

For more information on topics such as this, you can check out some of the links below:

The Google User Experience: Ten principles that contribute to a Googley User Experience

Know Thy Audience Members. (That means thinking like them.)

Wiki: What’s a Quality Score?

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  1. I am working on a marketing strategy for a sign business. I’m trying to decide where to engage with my customers like you say. Possibly an advertising forum?

  2. Three great points.
    Keeping it simple is good.

    Blinky Signs: Local business owners might hang out at http://www.biznik.com or http://www.LinkedIn.com or http://www.meetup.com. The offline and online synergy for these tools might prove to be helpful.

    Best,

    Mike

  3. Most companies are now engaging in online advertising and usually they go to social networking sites where most people are. And engaging in conversations is a good start in making a successful marketing activity. They are successful if they are able to engage people without being too direct and subtly integrate advertising and marketing efforts as part of their agenda. As it goes, they must advertise without it to appear like just another advertisement to sell.

  4. Nothing pisses me off more than the feeling that I’m talking with a pre-recorded message. Sadly, this is something some organizations still. It is true that these organizations use new social media to make their presence felt. But a lot of times, they use this new technology in an old-fashioned way.Treating blogs like online billboards or forums as automated help-desks.

    I sure hope that these organizations stumble upon your blog.

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