All methods of advertising generally serve a positive purpose and are all capable of generating sales.
Although there are undoubtedly some forms of advertising that are just not very likely to work in any situation, the value in advertising is usually derived differently depending on what sort of result is desired by the advertiser. In recent months, many Australians would have heard a radio advertisement that painted SEO in a very negative light.
With any form of advertising whether it be on or offline, all that matters is the results. The radio advertisement in question seems to be focussing on radio advertising as an effective form of direct response advertising. This is found to be controversial as statistically speaking radio has less direct response value than search engine marketing.
Radio advertising does provide reach, which makes it great for branding campaigns. According to industry officials, a high percentage of radio listeners find the commercials to be engaging. By engaging these listeners, advertisers could in some cases spark action later on.
The reach of radio advertising unfortunately does not equate to targeting. Advertisers pay radio stations to reach a whole lot of people with no guarantee that many of them have any interest in the business. Also, those listening to radio advertisements are not actively interested in that particular product or service. Aiming branding at those without an initial interest in the product can lead to a fairly minimal return on investment.
Search engine marketing is not so much focussed on branding as it is on direct generation of leads and sales. The basic concept is that you serve your website to Internet users who are using an online search engine to find the products or services that they need. The intense level of targeting, measurability and adjustable profitability are the main draw cards of search engine marketing. A benefit found to be of value to many advertisers is that they are not paying to serve their websites to users who are not already interested in the products or services on offer.
Due to search engine marketing’s recently publicised status as a valuable method of advertising, it has become rather competitive in a lot of industries. With competition comes an increase in the investment required to achieve dominance in both organic and paid search results. It is important to keep in mind that the competition would not exist if the potential profitability did not.
No two industries are ever the same so it is impossible to determine that one method of advertising will always work. Businesses that are serious about marketing tend to begin with direct response advertising to determine the demand and potential profitability for their product. From there, broad branding campaigns on platforms such as radio would be more effective.