Online advertising includes paid search or PPC and paid media, which involves targeted, paid placement of ads or content, and is an essential part of any communications strategy, particularly useful for startups. Paid search may include the use of sponsored content, search ads, display ads, video ads, and more. But how and when should you use online advertising for startups?
All of the insights we have shows people search online, for everything. Their search includes browser search, social search, and news-based search. For startups who have relatively no to low relevance for their offering, domain, or brand name, online advertising might be the best way to jump into the conversation.
As a marketing agency in Oregon and California serving national and international brands and startups, we’ve taken startups live using online advertising and PPC either by themselves or in conjunction with a full communications strategy. Here are the four most effective uses of online advertising for startups.

1. Your online advertising strategy should be built into your launch.

Startups should weave their online advertising strategy into their communications strategy. A Google Adwords Manager Account should be set up with your marketing agency, preferably a Google Partner, and the campaigns built and optimized, so the brand assets can obtain higher ad quality and relevancy, which will support them through the early stages of the launch. PPC management is best done in phases. And each phase requires different tools, skills and effort. Therefore, with the right mix, online advertising campaigns can stay relevant.

2. Use online advertising including Google Adwords to your startup’s advantage.

It’s essential to ensure your target audiences can find the information they’re looking for. By putting your startup at the top of search results, users have a better chance of seeing you. And, you are better positioned to start the conversation.
Use channels like your startup’s website and Facebook page to host the content and use online advertising to amplify that content to your target audiences. With the use of paid advertising, your startup can target its online advertising in very niche locations and placements, and can then further target that user’s intent based on the data.

3. Incorporate content marketing.

Some of your startups’ greatest assets will come from the use of content marketing. Content is the most relevant and useful way to drive traffic back to your brand and to subsequently drive leads and nurture sales. Today’s user is looking for longer-form content with substance. Therefore, your content plan should include creating helpful, informative, accurate, and less self-serving-than-you’d-like-it-to-be content. Don’t worry, startups, it will pay off. The content goal should be to tell a story. If done right, people will care about who you are and what you stand for.

4. Paid video and visuals are the most cost-effective, and they work.

With an increasing number of eyes on YouTube and a substantial millennial base, video-based content is now a nearly necessary part of your communications strategy. The use of video supports a users’ understanding of your product or service. It can also make your branded content more memorable. Video is then a valuable asset to any startup and will continue to be important in the startup marketing mix in the future.
Utilizing paid video, whether it’s a tutorial or a YouTube commercial or ad, startups can create useful content. Content that’s useful is not only informational but provides brand recognition and awareness.
Online advertising is a powerful way to control the brand narrative and message. Online advertising should then be a vital part of a startup marketing communications strategy. By an understanding and use of online advertising and PPC, startups can proactively communicate, reach markets – and create new ones.