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10 benefits of online advertising to attract customers

Advantages of online advertising: business owner in cafe using phone

Key takeaways

  • Digital advertising can help you extend your reach to new customers while shortening your sales cycle
  • Launching a seasonal advertising campaign can boost sales in the off-season
  • When you factor in overhead, time, and bandwidth, an online ad campaign can be more cost-effective than digital marketing

The benefits of online advertising are endless. Digital ads can broaden your reach to attract potential customers, shorten your sales cycle, spread the word about new products, and even save you funds. Plus, digital ad campaigns can be the perfect fit for small business owners who don’t have the personnel or bandwidth to launch an organic marketing campaign.

Dive into the benefits of online advertising, and discover the different channels you can use to launch your campaigns.

Different online advertising formats for your campaign

According to Statista, worldwide digital advertising spending is expected to reach nearly $850 billion by 2027. This jaw-dropping figure could be due to several reasons: a high return on investment, the ability to attract new buyers, and the flexibility in choosing the ad format that works best for your business.

If you’re launching your first digital ad campaign, the initial step is deciding which medium you wish to use. Ad formats include:

  • Display ads: Display advertising combines text, images, and a URL (web address) to drive traffic to your site (typically an e-commerce site). Display ads like banner ads are shown on third-party websites, advertising your products or services.
  • Video ads: These ads use video content to sell goods and services online. Video ads can be displayed on third-party websites or social media platforms and direct people to your website.
  • Social media ads: Social media advertisements include Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, LinkedIn Ads, TikTok Ads, and Pinterest Ads. They’re displayed on social media platforms within a viewer’s social feed.
  • Search engine marketing (SEM): Search engine marketing, or SEM, involves paid advertisements that appear at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs). SEM ads include Google Ads, Bing Ads, and Yahoo! ads.
  • Email marketing ads: Email ads are shown at the top of prospects’ inboxes. Typically, these emails are placed within a promotions folder to distinguish them from other messages.

Your advertisement might fall within several formats. For example, if you advertise your business on Yelp, your ad would be a display ad and displayed as a “sponsored result” above or below the search results, similar to SEM ads.

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10 benefits of online advertising to boost sales

Debating if digital advertisements are worth the investment? Explore just a few of the many advantages of online advertising.

1. You can reach a broader audience

Building brand awareness is imperative to the growth and success of your company. However, extending your reach through digital marketing methods—like social media, blog posts, or email—can be a slower process.

With digital advertising, your message reaches new potential clients even if they’ve never previously interacted with your brand. (Translation: You don’t need to rely on social media shares or word-of-mouth to expose new customers to your ad.) Plus, online platforms allow you to determine who sees—or doesn’t see—your ad campaign, so you can make targeting adjustments as needed to ensure the most effective visibility.

2. You can shorten your sales cycle

With organic marketing tactics, it can take considerable time to build up an audience. For example, search engine optimization (SEO) or content marketing could take months to see an increase in web traffic.

With online ads, you can see an increase in sales in a much shorter time frame. Imagine you’re a local catering company that invests in SEM. If a potential customer types “office breakfast catering near me” into a search engine, they could come across your ad in the search results and be primed to order from your company the next day.

3. You can clearly define your target audience

Benefits of online advertising: business owner setting up an online ad using iPad

Through traditional marketing methods, you’re most likely to build an audience from those closest to your brand—for example, your first initial followers on social media could be friends and family. While these individuals might be your biggest cheerleaders, they might not actually purchase your products or services.

With digital advertising tools, you can create a buyer persona for your ideal client. You can limit your advertising reach to those within a certain demographic, having particular likes and interests, or living within a geographical region to increase your chances of making a sale.

4. It can support a successful product launch

Before you launch a new product or service, you’ll want to build a pool of prospects. That way, once you go to market, you’ll have a collection of potential buyers ready to purchase.

However, it can be difficult to gain traction when you don’t have a product or service ready to buy. With the right advertising strategy, people can hear about your company, competitive edge, and new product line ahead of time. The result? Your inventory could start flying off the shelves on day one.

5. It can be a cost-effective solution

One of the biggest reasons small business owners avoid paid advertising is because of the cost. Some business owners believe the cost of an ad campaign is too steep and they won’t get a solid return on their investment.

However, internet advertising offers cost-effective tools to bring in new customers. For example, with pay-per-click (PPC) ads, you only pay when a viewer clicks on your advertisement. Essentially, you pay each time someone clicks and lands on your website.

6. You can dive deeper into analytics

As a small business owner, there’s a good chance your time and budget are limited. With traditional advertising methods like radio, television, or billboard ads, it can be difficult to know whether new customers discovered your business through your ad. But that’s not the case with digital advertising.

One of the best benefits of online advertising is reporting and analytics. You can access specific metrics to track your reach, views, audience growth, website clicks, and conversion rates (the percentage of people who bought compared to those who just saw your advertisement). As a result, you can better understand whether your advertisements resonate with your target market.

7. You can make adjustments in real time

One of the many advantages of online advertising is that you can continuously tweak your campaign through A/B testing. You can swap out messages, edit copy, or switch your target audience for the campaign. Doing so increases the chances you’ll boost conversions through ad dollars.

8. You can attract more customers through retargeting

If you’ve ever launched a marketing campaign or an advertising campaign, you know it takes time to move potential buyers down the sales funnel. Prospects will want to learn about your company, understand your competitive edge, and view your product line—all of which won’t happen in a single interaction. Instead, it could take several touchpoints before you earn a sale.

The perk of online advertising specifically is that you can move potential buyers more efficiently down the funnel through retargeting. With retargeting tools, you can continuously show advertisements to potential customers who previously engaged with your brand. For example, if a viewer clicks on your ad and lands on your website but doesn’t buy, a retargeting platform can show them new ads to push them across the finish line.

9. You can boost sales even in the off-season

No matter your industry, there will be seasons that are busier than others. If you own a snow removal company, the winter months will be packed, whereas someone owning a landscaping business will find themselves busier throughout spring and summer.

Building an online presence through digital advertising can help you earn sales in the off-season. You can run an “early bird” seasonal campaign and offer a discount to those who book your products or services months in advance. Or you could sell complementary products in the down season to earn a few more sales—for example, the landscaping business could sell snow blowers or shovels throughout the colder months.

10. You can easily run a multimedia campaign

Among the greatest benefits of online advertising is flexibility. Digital advertising formats often overlap: A display ad can also be an SEM ad and a social media ad can also be a video advertisement.

The flexibility within the digital world makes it easy to run a multimedia campaign. You can create a brief video ad for TikTok or Instagram, purchase a display ad on search engines, and launch a PPC ad on Yelp. Launching a multimedia campaign allows you to see which types of media connect best with your target audience, thereby increasing your chances of making a sale.

Make the most of online advertising now

Small business owner holding an iPad in her store

As a small business owner, building brand awareness is key to the success of your company. However, digital marketing tactics take time and investment to gain traction—and traditional advertising doesn’t offer clear analytics to help determine the profitability of your campaign.

Fortunately, there are many advantages of online advertising. By advertising on a digital platform like Yelp, you can define your target audience, dive deeper into advertising metrics, and—by setting your ad budget—potentially save money over time. Now that you know the benefits, check out these 26 local advertising ideas for small businesses.

The information above is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and may not be suitable for your circumstances. Unless stated otherwise, references to third-party links, services, or products do not constitute endorsement by Yelp.