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Advertising: Article

Top Ten Tips for Advertising Online in a Bad Economy

Pay for leads, not impressions or clicks

Content Marketing Journal

Tough economic times are forcing many companies to shift their advertising from traditional print and television to less expensive, more efficient online media outlets. However, before companies dive in they should have a clear strategy to make sure they get the best return on their investment. The following tips from AdCommunal Inc., a leading online ad agency network, will help companies large and small as they venture into the world of online advertising.
Top 10 Tips for Advertising Online in a Bad Economy:
1.   Understand your audience. Choose an advertising approach that best suits your goals, and select an agency that can deliver to your goals.

2.   Pay for leads, not impressions or clicks. The best way to do this is through a performance-based program where you pay a set amount per lead generated; regardless of how many times the ad is shown or clicked on.

3.   Maximize your investment. Not only does a lead-based performance approach generate leads, it provides free brand visibility through banner placements and free site visibility through clicks, while generating leads that you can contact repeatedly.

4.   Avoid set-up fees. There is no reason for you to pay set-up fees for your online campaign. If an ad agency tries to charge you set-up fees, look elsewhere.

5.   Look for exclusivity. Most advertising agencies will tell you that they do not handle competing accounts - check if the agency has a smaller division or a separate department that's serving your competitor.

6.   Consistency through smaller agencies. Make sure that the agency representative you deal with is also responsible for the distribution of your campaign, thus giving them a direct handle on both sides of the transaction.  Smaller ad agencies tend to allow for this, are often hungrier and can provide better attention and service.

7.   Target niche sites and bloggers. Make sure the ad agency you select has access to a network of various traffic sources including social media, search engines, niche sites and bloggers -as they can be valuable sources of traffic.

8.   Avoid extra costs of hiring a dedicated affiliate/program manager, and instead, appoint the ad agency as the exclusive program manager or agency of record to promote your campaign.

9.   Monitor your success.Make sure the agency you choose provides advertiser and publisher reporting interfaces so that you can login and see real time ad tracking data like the number of leads generated, ads run and sites reached.

10.  Make improvements as you go. Select an ad agency that can differentiate between sources of traffic so advertisers and publishers can optimize campaigns, fuel profitable sources and avoid wasting ad time and money on the wrong sites.
Research shows that companies that consistently advertise even during recessions perform better in the long run. A McGraw-Hill study looking at 600 companies from 1980 to 1985 found that those businesses which chose to maintain or raise their level of advertising expenditures during the 1981 and 1982 recession had significantly higher sales after the economy recovered. Companies that advertised aggressively during the recession had sales 256% higher than those that did not continue to advertise.
"During tight economic times it's more important than ever that companies make smart advertising decisions," said Neil Raj, Director of AdCommunal Inc., adding, "With fewer traditional outlets and a shift towards online media consumption, many companies are turning to online performance-based advertising. The trick is to make sure that they do their homework to find the best ad agencies and networks to partner with."

More Stories By Neil Raj

Neil Raj is the director of marketing at AdCommunal Inc. AdCommunal Inc. is a performance-based online marketing provider for advertisers, publishers and online affiliates in the United States, Canada and the UK. The company offers a no risk, pay-per-lead policy for advertisers and publishers, advanced tracking and reporting software, a user-friendly interface and free tools to help publishers maximize their revenue. AdCommunal has access to ad placements on various websites, blogs and social media such as Facebook and Twitter, all on a performance basis.

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