I have to disagree. Instore Magazine publishes an email every day with their tips for that day. In today's tip, July 7, 2010 they say "Dominating a single medium, whether it's print, radio, telemarketing or direct mail, can be much more powerful than spreading your message thinly across several different media. This is especially true if you have a very targeted consumer base."
I've learned that concepts of internet marketing are not new, in fact the same marketing ideas for the internet have been around for centuries and used in all other advertising methods. However, when we use these techniques on the internet we can measure response rates in a matter of days rather than the previous months or years that you had to wait.
Anyway, my feeling is this email from Instore Magazine is totally wrong. You really need to be everywhere at the same time to get your message across. Regretfully, if you are trying to pinch advertising dollars then your business is probably not financially strong in the first place, so we have to give you some ideas to make you strong.
First of all, you need to realize that advertising online will get you a higher return than traditional advertising, and for less money. I'm going to classify "traditional" as newspaper, radio, TV, billboard, post cards and direct mail. The cost of tradition media is always a few hundred to a few thousand per ad campaign, and then you are lucky to get 2% return. With radio and billboard you're more likely to here people say "Oh I hear your ad on the radio," or "I saw your billboard." Meanwhile you are saying to yourself "Yeah, now please buy something!"
When it comes to internet advertising you can spread your efforts out using several techniques that will range in price from $0 to $1,000+ per month. Yes, I said $0, as in Zero. The catch with a zero cost is the amount of time it will take to produce such advertising. Somehow you have to "pay" for your advertising. Sometimes it's in labor plus real cash, and sometimes it's just in your labor. But if you are on a shoe-string budget the only thing you might have is your own personal labor.
So how do you go from a shoe-string budget to having loads of money?
First, you need to take control of your Google Places account. I simply can't express how important this is. Google has made it so easy for people to find you from their cell phone. Any cell phone that can download the Google Maps App. has the power to lead customers right to your doorstep. There are more cell phone in use in the US than there are computers. More and more people don't wait until the next time they are at their computer to do find what they need.
The internet provides instant gratification for shopping online, but our cell phones provide instant gratification in the real world.
Looking for food? With Google you can speak your request "restaurants" and all the restaurants within a reasonable walking distance will show up on your cell phone. The next person to request "jewelry" or "gold buying" or "jewelry stores" in your local area will be lead right to your doorstep. You can't get better free advertising.
Second, you need to start writing. I don't want to hear you can't write, that's a total lie. Every time a customer comes into your store you have to use some kind of salesmanship to convince them that you are the better jewelry store in town. Sometimes you have to tell a story; sometimes it's just a long descriptive process of the jewelry. This sales process is your key to writing.
Get yourself a digital voice recorder and secretly record yourself talking to a customer. Transcribe your conversation and you can use that in advertising online. The transcriptions will become a set of articles for you.
Get yourself an account on EzineArticles.com and start publishing. Don't worry about the specifics of how to publish, just set up an account now and they will send you an email every day with directions for you to become a good publisher. Directions on publishing are the easy part of article advertising online, writing the original articles takes longer to do, so start early.
Third, you need to find a local website that provides advertising for your community. I suggest starting with craigslist.com. Craigslist allows you to post classified type ads for your local area. I suggest you post your next sale on Craigslist. Don't run sales? Then find a few sets of old dogs and list them on Craigslist as discounted items priced to sell.
Every day people search Craigslist for good deals. If you cater to your audience expectations you will generate sales. After you get your feet wet with Craigslist you should search Google for "discount website yourtown usa" to find other discount listing sites in your area.
This next idea may not seem so obvious, but it is an internet marketing strategy: Increase the size of your website by adding more pages on a regular basis. The more pages you add to your website, the better the search engines will like you.
As a jewelry store I can think of a few ideas to fatten up your website:
* Write some articles
* Add educational content
* Add a product catalog to your site
The product catalog will certainly add pages to your site the fastest. The best product catalogs have written out descriptions rather than simply listing technical specs of each product. You should also only have one product listed per page.
So far I've only mentioned $0 cost website advertising ideas except for your time to do them. You have to make the time to do them!
Now on the other hand, if you want to spend time and money to advertise online then you should start with building your email list. Once you have a few dozen names on your list you can pay iContact for their email management system. They charge reasonable rates every month and give you easy methods of creating email marketing campaigns, managing your email mailing list and also give you up to the minute statistics of who read your emails.
The next basic idea I have for paid internet marketing is set up an online contest. Unless your website already includes a contest feature you will have pay another company to set one up for you. There are some basic contest companies that tie nicely into Facebook. You can find an inexpensive contest company for the basic features enough to add friends and people who like you. But make sure you pay particular attention to Facebook's policies on rewards for recommendations. Once you build a list of followers on Facebook you then have to socially interact with them, and maybe occasionally market your jewelry to them.
The final idea I'll mention for paid marketing is the obvious pay per click (PPC), more specifically Google AdWords or Facebook. An AdWords campaign is difficult to set up, but the benefit is that you can very specifically target potential customers. The ability to easily tie into your Google Analytics account is golden. If the campaign is set up granular enough you can track your lead sources more than even Google Analytics will allow.
The Facebook ads are much easier to set up, and they even write the ads for you if you are a novice. Facebook also gives you very easy ways to select your target audience based on profile options and liked pages, event attendance or negative options of all these.
In conclusion I'd simply like to recap that you need to be everywhere in your advertising. As my father taught me when I was a stock broker, it's a numbers game. The larger the numbers the more people will reply. You need to be wherever your customers are going to be, so ask them. You can ask them in person or you could post a survey on your website. You could even get a faster response by posting the question on your Facebook or send one out to your email list.
Once you know where your audience is, count your pennies and come up with the best advertising campaign to cover the broadest spectrum for the least expense. The answer is online, not in traditional media.