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How to Advertise Your Small Business on CNN.com

by aschmidt

Most small businesses are well aware that in order to survive and thrive in today’s ultra-competitive market, a certain amount of their budget must be dedicated to advertising online. The ideal scenario would be for a business to advertise on some of the top online media outlets so their message can be seen by millions of eyeballs every single day. This massive exposure would enable practically any brand to quickly gain recognition and traction. Popular media outlets – like CNN.com, for example –  are prime candidates for online advertising, but the obvious factor that keeps most businesses from doing so is the perceived exorbitant expense.

A “Stealth” Advertising Technique

While the costs to advertise on CNN.com (or any other major online media outlet) will vary based on a variety of factors such as ad type, size, placement, frequency, etc., it’s pretty safe to say that if you were to try to secure ad placement on any one of these content providers straight from their ad sales divisions, you would be looking at a hefty price tag, even for the less optimal ad positions. There is a way, however, to employ a certain “stealth” tactic that will enable you to have your ads appear on extremely popular high-traffic sites, without even having to contact them directly. This stealth technique is known as retargeting.

Retargeting Explained

Retargeting is an advertising technology that enables your ads to be displayed to people who have already visited your website, even after they leave. Statistics show that 98% of all website visitors will not make a purchase on their first visit, and without some type of follow-up mechanism in place to capture those potentially interested prospects, you may lose them to another site, or they may ultimately change their mind and decide not to make a purchase at all. Retargeting provides you with this follow-up mechanism in the form of a pixel code, or a very small and unobtrusive piece of code that places a cookie into a visitor’s browser when they visit your site. Once they leave your site and begin to browse other sites around the Web, the cookie basically follows them and displays your ad on any website that allows retargeted ads to occupy their open ad space. This basically allows you to keep your brand fresh in their minds, with the hope of eventually converting them into leads and customers.

The great thing about retargeted ads is that they are commonly used across the majority of the major online media outlets today, including CNN.com, Yahoo.com, ABC.com, Fox.com, NBC.com, and NYTimes.com. The aggregate number of page views from these platforms easily reaches into the billions per month. Retargeting puts an astounding amount of leverage at your disposal because it utilizes these major media platforms, but does so at a fraction of the cost of dealing directly with any one of them.

Retargeting: How to Get Started

So the question then becomes “How can I get involved with retargeting?” The best way is by joining an advertising network. The majority of ad networks today offer retargeting as a part of their services. Ad networks have the power and leverage to display your ads across a massive network of popular websites, and when you add the power of retargeting into the mix, your engagement and conversion rates have the potential to skyrocket. Ad networks have the collective bargaining power that enables them to negotiate relatively inexpensive advertising rates for some of the most heavily-trafficked virtual real estate in existence. These savings are passed on to you, allowing you to run and optimize your campaigns without the extensive capital requirements that hinder most small businesses from being able to compete with larger firms.

If you’re not quite sure where to start, a good first step to take would be to consult with a digital agency in order to get a better feel for what type of ad network you should choose, as well as what type of retargeting strategy you should adopt. In light of the massive exposure you can gain for your brand, it only makes sense to add retargeting as a key component to your overall digital marketing strategy.

We’ll help you develop a winning retargeting strategy with just the right ad network.

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