Going back to the second leg of your marketing stool — tactics — I want to talk here a bit about your media buying and planning. If you decide that a paid campaign, whether it be pay-per-click, ads in trade magazines, radio, television — anything that costs you more than your time (article marketing and networking on social websites and forums are examples) — you’ll need to get a clear view of your budget. More importantly, you’ll want to get a clear vision of who your target market is and where they hang out.
Yet there’s a third step in creating your vision. This may the most important of all. You’ll want to decide the what of your campaign, your objective. That is, do you want people to buy right now, today, this minute? Or are you looking at raising brand awareness. The first will result in a shorter, more intense media buying plan. The second takes a long-term view and you should expect that results may not come quickly and this must be factored into renewal decisions that are solely based on ROI calculations.
As a web hosting company, your target market is a relatively narrow niche. So you’ll probably want to stay away from buying spots in such media as radio, television, general interest magazines, untargeted online banner networks, etc. Instead, you should focus your media buys to trade websites/publications. This is good news for several reasons: 1) keeping your media buying targeted will keep your advertising costs relatively low and 2) you’ll find relatively quickly if your ad campaign is working. You’ll be able to track your results easily and you’ll see soon enough if one media buy brings you better results than another. For my next post, I’ll talk about what you need to do before you purchase even one banner ad.