Spice it Up: The Internet Mix

social media mixDo you market yourself on the internet? I’m not talking about the free stuff: Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, Foursqare pages. Those are certainly necessary, but there’s a second step that requires more commitment and risk, but offers a bigger return. I’m talking about the paid stuff: Google ads, Facebook ads, paid search results, etc.

If you don’t, I understand. Why should you pay for things you virtually can get for free? Here are a few things to think about before you submit your budget for 2012.

  1. Validity. This has a lot to do with perception. Even though audiences know ads are bought, they still give them more credibility. Paid channels make products and service look valid. They look for real. They come across more professional. They become the real deal. You can argue all you want on this point, but those that advertise generally do better, especially those with multiple locations. Still don’t believe people actually click them? I can show you daily campaign limits maxed out for weeks that have reached millions of people.
  2. Growth. It will grow your social audience. Don’t believe someone knows about your page and just decided not to like it. Most likely, they’ve never come across your page and thus never had the opportunity to like it. And yes, this includes your regular church attenders. Ads give you a great way to tell them and immediately get their like. You can even wind-up paying less than $1 per like. Compare that to direct mail.
  3. Excitement. Those that are already a part of your organization will love seeing its name all over the web. And when people are excited, they talk about it. When people talk about it, others learn about it and come.

Remember, you don’t have to do everything. You only need to do those things that will reach your target. OK, if your target is everyone then you might need to do everything. But I’m sure when you really look at what you’re promoting, you can find a core audience that will only show up in a few of your channels. Internet channels allow you to be very discriminating, unlike mass media. It’s also cheaper, and you can see results on a daily basis or hourly if you’re as OCD as me.

Have you bought internet ads? From whom? What were the results? Why haven’t you?

[image by ewanr]

Ryan leads marketing communications for First Baptist Church at the Mall in Lakeland, FL. Find him at twitter.com/ryanmchoate or facebook.com/ryanmchoate.

2 Responses to “Spice it Up: The Internet Mix”

  1. PaulSteinbrueck Oct 3, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Hey Ryan, thanks for writing today's post. We had great success using Facebook ads to get the word out in our community about our Christmas service one year. I blogged about that here:
    http://blog.ourchurch.com/2010/01/29/how-facebook

    I'd love to hear more of the specifics about the paid advertising campaigns you've run – costs, how you measured results, etc.

    • Sorry for the late response. I measure results by attendance and clicks. Facebook is where we spend money and pay per click is what I prefer because I'm selling tickets, etc. My goal is to get people in the building, not just get the word out. That means I'm more concerned about the click through rate than impressions and I'd like for my click through rate to be .03% or higher. The highest I've seen on my ads is .07% on a daily basis.