Dear Peronel

Welcome to Ad-Lib, the newsletter for people who want to learn more about marketing their business online.

This month - coping with the rapid growth and increasing cost of online advertising; how to write a useful fact sheet or article for your website.

and finally - so how fast is online advertising growing?


AdWords Advice - Google Ad Spend is Growing

More than 6 out of 10 UK businesses plan to increase their spend on paid search (e.g. Google Ads) in the next 12 months, according to this survey from E-consultancy.

56% of respondents already spend more than £10,000 pa.

It's not surprising that competitive keywords are becoming more expensive and driving up the cost of advertising online!

So if you run a small or medium size business, with a limited online marketing budget, what can you do to ensure that you get the best value possible from your Google Ad spend?

  • If you run your own campaign you need to Look for more of the cheaper keywords (see the item on Using Cheaper Keywords in my January newsletter)
  • Make sure your keywords, your Ad copy and your landing page (the page you send your visitor to when they click on your Google Ad) are consistent & tightly focused on one clear idea (see the item on Campaign Relevance in last month’s newsletter). This will help to ensure that
    • Google rates your Ad as very relevant & drops your bid price
    • All the clicks are relevant & more likely to convert

If your campaign is managed for you, review your monthly performance figures to see if your campaign is still profitable. If you are concerned at all discuss it with your campaign manager

Remember - it's not the cost per click that matters, it’s the cost of the conversion and the life time value of the customer i.e. return on investment (ROI)


How to Write a Useful Fact Sheet to Give Away

If you sell a service or a high priced, complex product, rather than a simple commodity, people are not going to come to your website and click the buy button immediately. So how do you build a list of people who might be interested in buying what you have to offer either now or in the future?

I was talking to a friend last week about producing useful fact sheets or articles to give away free on her website.

Not only will this help to establish your credibility as an expert in your field, but by offering a PDF download in exchange for an email, and possibly other contact details, you will start to build a list of people who have said that they are interested in your subject area - and they may be interested in your services now or later.

My friend has more than 20 years sales experience & has just retrained as a trainer

"But what could I write about?" she asked. I said, "Can you tell me the top 3 mistakes people make in cold calling?" "That's easy" - she reeled off several points. So I asked her to tell me some more about each of the top three.

By the time she’d done that, and answered all my supplementary questions, she'd said enough to cover 5 pages of A4. And she hadn't even started on how her training could help someone to do it right (obviously the topic for her first training course)!

So my advice is pick a topic you know well and pick a good title. People like lists so go for something like - 3 top mistakes . . . or 7 steps to . . . or top tips for . . .

Then get someone to interview you - preferably someone who knows your field as they are likely to ask more probing questions; record the interview; get it transcribed (use transcription software or pay someone if you don't want to do it yourself); turn it into a pretty PDF and advertise it  - online using Google Ads; in a magazine; on flyers at network meetings; in a blog - wherever your potential customers congregate.

If you don't have someone to interview you, start by making a note of your 3 mistakes or 7 steps, etc; quickly write a sentence on each one; then expand each sentence into a paragraph by writing down anything about that point that you can think of.

After that, take a break and when you come back to it, expand one paragraph to a page. Do the same for the other points one at a time, without putting any pressure on yourself. As long as you’ve picked a subject you know well, you’ll be surprised how much you can write down about it

Why not have a go & let me know how you get on. I'll give an hour of my time to brainstorm ideas on how to promote it to the sender of the first one I receive.


Did You Know . . .?

UK online ad spend overtook national newspaper advertising spend for the first time in 2006.

Online advertising spend grew by 40% from 2005 to reach £2bn in 2006, while newspaper advertising grew only 0.2% to £1.9bn

How’s your online advertising? Are you keeping pace with the rest of your market?