Modern businesses are blessed with so many free marketing tools. It’s entirely possible and conceivable that you could market your company without spending a penny. You have countless ways of spreading the word and getting your brand out there. Does it beg the question, is paid business advertising worth it anymore?
This is a difficult question to answer because it depends on the business. Some companies swear by this technique and it forms the backbone of their marketing campaigns. Others fail to see the benefits at all. Ultimately, it’s not a case of whether or not paid business advertising is “worth it”. Instead, questioning the value it has for your business is needs to be the focus.
Today, we’ll look at paid business advertising in more detail to help you understand if it’s a worthy component of your marketing strategy.
What Is Paid Business Advertising?
Paid business advertising is one of the oldest marketing strategies in the business world. It’s a simple concept: you spend money on adverts that promote your company. Classic examples include TV adverts or billboard posters that commuters see when they’re walking/driving around town.
Technically, you could film a commercial or create your own poster without spending any money. But, you’d still need to pay advertising agencies to get your content out there for loads to see. So, in short, paid advertising is when you pay to promote your business through a specific medium.
What are the major drawbacks?
This is where things get interesting as a lot of the drawbacks are related to more traditional forms of paid advertising – like the two mentioned above. Some business owners don’t like this approach because:
- It costs a lot of money
- It’s hard to measure success
- Inbound marketing is proven to be more effective
Targeting the first point, there’s no way to avoid spending money when you run a paid ad campaign. However, don’t consider the costs so much as the investment. Yes, it can cost a lot of money, but how much money does the campaign bring in? A lot of the time paid advertising campaigns to generate impressive ROIs. You splash the cash, but it has a positive effect by allowing you to generate more money.
This brings us to the second point: measuring success. Traditional paid advertising techniques do make it a lot harder for you to measure their success. Sure, sales figures may increase after the ad was shown, but that could be a coincidence. Unless you have an exclusive discount code shown in the advert, there’s no true way of knowing if it helped you gain more sales.
Lastly, paid ads are a form of outbound marketing. You’re reaching out to the consumer and trying to pull them in. Research shows that inbound marketing is more successful. A whopping 46% of marketers report that inbound marketing gives a higher ROI when compared to outbound marketing.
This is probably because inbound marketing is more about creating valuable content that consumers find by themselves. They bring themselves to your business because they are already interested in what you offer.
When you take all of these things into account, it’s easy to see why some businesses shy away from paid advertising. However, this doesn’t give a clear picture as all of the drawbacks can only really be directed towards traditional advertising methods. When we look at modern variations, things take a positive turn.
What are the benefits of paid business advertising strategies?
In general, paid advertising can:
- Increase brand awareness
- Boost sales
- Draw in new customers
- Help to retarget leads
- Solidify your brand image
All forms of advertising have the ability to do these things. Even if your billboard ad doesn’t generate sales, it still gets your brand out there and builds awareness while establishing your brand in the public eye.
But, modern paid advertising is where things get extremely promising. If you click here, you’ll be introduced to the idea of digital advertising. We’ve all seen digital ads before in some way or another. You see them on social media, in search engines, or on websites. There are three key differences between digital ads and traditional ones that make them so valuable:
- They blend in
- They target the right customers
- They’re measurable
Run a Google search right now or scroll through social media. You’ll come across multiple ads that blend in naturally and aren’t too “in your face”. This is beneficial as it doesn’t annoy consumers and make them feel like things are being forced down their throats. At the same time, you’ll notice that all of the ads are relevant. They relate to things you’ve bought or have been searching for. That’s the unique thing about digital ads; they’re built for the customer, so they’re more likely to be clicked on.
Speaking of which, when clicked on, you get all sorts of data and information that tells you more about your ads and how successful they are. This allows you to run tests to tweak digital ads until they become more profitable! It helps you generate the desired outcomes without spending too much cash.
Is paid advertising worth it for your business?
Overall, paid advertising is a worthy tactic for almost every business. More specifically, paid digital advertising is the best approach. It is more affordable and scalable depending on your budget and produces better results that are easier to measure and control. If your business revolves around driving traffic to a website or making online sales, consider setting up a paid advertising campaign online.
With that said, there are many other paid advertising options to consider as well. For instance, direct mail printing is a great way to reach your audience and drive local traffic. Additionally, it’s beneficial for businesses that serve their local community. If your business model relies heavily on in-store sales, then it can be far more effective to pay for advertising that drives foot traffic instead of just online traffic.
The bottom line is that trying something is better than doing nothing. It’s important to give paid business advertising a chance to make a difference for your company. If you aren’t sure about which path to take, consult a marketing professional for a specific plan to elevate your vision and brand. Do also remember that positive results could take time to surface, so be patient.