Forbes recently reported that online ads surpassed newspaper advertising expenses in 2010. To most industry observers, and especially those of us who work with pay per click and other forms of Internet advertising, this wasn’t so much news as it was confirmation of a growing trend. After all, Web advertising is a lot more targeted than nearly any kind of print marking, and has shown significantly higher conversion rates all along.

So should this news ring any alarm bells for your small business?
The short answer is probably not. You haven’t gotten to where you are, much less weathered a tough North American economy, without having a good grip on where your money is going and what kind of return those expenses are earning you. And yet, it might be a good time to reevaluate your advertising costs on a line by line basis. Here are a few questions to ask:

Can I clearly trace new sales or accounts to a specific expense?
There’s an old joke about the business owner who knows half of his advertising costs are wasted, but doesn’t have any idea which half. You don’t want to be in the same shoes, so get into the habit of pinpointing where the business is coming from so you can trim the fat from your advertising budget – online or off.

Is there a better or cheaper way to reach my target market?
One of the best things of online marketing is that it allows any business to reach niche groups. Take a good look at what you’re spending on ads to see if there isn’t a better way to reach them without having to waste money on others who might not have any interest in what you sell.

Are my ads reaching new customers, or just existing ones?
You already have the names and addresses of your existing customers, so don’t spend the bulk of your money advertising to them. Often, if you’ve invested in the same magazines, directories, or direct mailing lists for years, you can get more benefit by putting your ads in front of some new buyers.

Struggling to find the right balance between print and web advertising… and make them all profitable?
Talk to Effusion today – we’ll help you find the marketing mix that’s best for you.