The cost of an online advertising campaign is directly proportional to the size and number of your competitors. Some businesses can run effective campaigns for a few hundred dollars per month, some spend tens of thousands per day.

Within this large range of budgets, there are a baffling number of other options. There is a large body of terminology to understand, featuring acronyms like CPM (Cost per Thousand Impressions), and CPC (Cost per Click). There are banner ads, text ads, graphic ads, keyword selection, bid ranges, network selections, and on and on.

Keeping It Simple

As with everything we do, Abivia believes that your online advertising should be driven from your business objectives and your budget. A good campaign can be developed only through a clear analysis of who and where your potential customers are. This analysis will determine what message you need to deliver, when to deliver it, and how the message should be presented.

This basic analysis is an absolute requirement. It simplifies your goals. It makes the purpose of your advertising clear. It gives you the power to cut through the complexity and terminology and determine how to proceed. The only task that remains is to determine the extent of your campaign, this is largely determined by the competitive landscape and your budget.

Test, Measure, Repeat

Countless billions of dollars have been thrown away on advertising without measurable results. In online advertising, there is exactly one word for an expenditure that doesn't provide measurable results: stupid. Everything you do online should be measured and traced.

The world's greatest advertisers and copy writers agree that no matter what you think of an ad, no matter what your intuition, the only way to determine if an advertisement works is to measure its performance. History is full of cases where subjectively “inferior” ads have outperformed alternatives that seemed intuitively better.

Online advertising provides an extraordinary opportunity to test alternative ads against each other in a very measured way. It is relatively easy (and inexpensive) to take a new idea, insert it into a campaign, and to measure its relative performance.

This process of testing alternatives, measuring results, and selecting the best performers should continue indefinitely. Online consumers learn to ignore messages very quickly, and competitors learn to emulate your successes with equal speed. Keeping up and remaining dynamic can be a requirement for survival.