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Quite a few business out there can't survive without some type of advertising and/or brand recognition, so advertising your business is one of the most important aspects in running certain types of business. It's also one of the most frequently asked questions for "how to". This article is especially important for direct sales reps and those with company websites that need to make themselves "stand out" among hundreds of others that are selling similar products.
So why should you advertise your business? For one or more of the following reasons:
To Gain Exposure/Brand Recognition
This would apply to those who may have a unique product or service which consumers and clients may not know exists. For example, a special tool that solves a problem for a certain group of people - they won't know the product exists unless you advertise.
Gain Immediate Sales
Many forms of advertising may gain you immediate sales. This is ideal for most, but it's also important to realize sometimes your ads may be working even though you don't see sales at the time the ad runs.
Announce new product/service
If you are an established business and expanded within your market, paid ads can announce your new product or service which those who know of your current business may not know about yet.
Now that you know WHY you should advertise, let's look at the TYPES of paid advertising there is:
Banner and Button Ads
These are graphics, normally either 468x60 in size for banners, and 125x125 or 150x150 for button ads. Some advertisers offer a variety of other sizes. Graphic ads generally have a lower conversion rate than text ads, although do well for brand recognition and gaining exposure.
Most ezine owners allow only 4-5 line ad with a link in "sponsor" spaces, and vary for solo ads. Be sure to choose only highly targeted ezines to run your ads in. For example, you wouldn't want to run a business opportunity ad in an ezine for recipes. If you sold some type of food, an ezine about recipes would be perfect to run an ad with.
Text Ads/Featured Ads
Many of those who offer advertising also offer some type of home page ad or a featured space on specific pages. Again make sure the website is pulling in the traffic you are looking for.
Now that you know what type of ads there are, here are a few tips to make sure you are making the most of your advertising dollars:
1. TRACK YOUR ADS!
If you don't know where your visitors are coming from, how can you be sure where you are advertising is working? If you don't have accurate stats for your website I recommend grabbing a free tracker from AddFreeStats ( http://www.addfreestats.com )
2. Repeat ads
Run your ads in the same place at least twice, if not three or four, before you make a decision as to if this is a good place to advertise or not. Not only will you pick up more brand exposure, but you will be able to make sure the first time was not an "off" time to advertise (or just an abnormally "good" time). Also try different advertising options within the website to see what works best.
3. Read guidelines
Many advertisers have a list of guidelines. Be sure to read through them, and follow each guideline. Paying for an ad where your website isn't allowed is not only a waist of time for the advertiser, but for you as well. Here is an example of an advertiser's guidelines: http://www.momsmarketonline.com/guidelines.html
About the author: Kara Kelso is a work at home mom of two, and the co-owner of Direct Sales Helpers, which is dedicated to helping mothers succeed in direct sales. For more information, visit: http://www.DirectSalesHelpers.com
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