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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Free Advertising Vs Paid Advertising for Motor Club of America (MCA)

When first starting out you will most likely not have a very big budget to work with so you will have to depend on free marketing methods. There plenty of free marketing avenues and some of them if not most can convert quite well if you are targeting your market.

In our business you will learn quickly that using every form of MCA advertising is the way to go so you shouldn't neglect the option of paid marketing when you are able dish out a few dollars. What most people fail to realize that in our industry marketing and advertising is the driving force behind making money. People have to see you and if you are not visible no one will know what you have to offer. As stated above, most will start marketing with us with little or nothing so paid advertising might be out the question temporarily and they will have to rely on free advertising. Free advertising if done right can generate money that you can then use towards paid methods. When you first start in the paid realm you want to start off slow and just get your feet wet. If you generated $100 you do not want to take the whole sum and put it on a free ad somewhere unless you know what you are doing. It would be a better idea to take $25 and test to see if the paid platform you are going to advertise on will turn a profit. If it doesn’t then chalk it up as a loss, move on and start researching other paid avenues that might convert better. An example of paid advertising that usually returns good results is paid ads on Craigslist. They charge $25 per ad in major cities with heavy traffic like Chicago and Los Angeles. This type of paid advertisement is a no-brainer because you have a large metropolitan area section that will put your ad in front of millions of eyes. With that many views your page will experience a large amount of traffic that will definitely generate tons of leads for you to contact and more often or not you will receive an automatic sign up or two. So if we do the math, you paid $25 to receive waves of traffic, leads and possibly automatic sign ups. Of course you will have to make sure your ads are appealing to your target market to generate a high click through ratio but not as much as you would have to with many FREE methods.

Free Advertising vs Paid Advertising

Free advertising is actually more work than paid advertising but you really don’t have a choice when you are first starting out. The old saying “time is money” comes into play because any time that you invest in something should be considered valuable. Being creative when you use this form of advertising is a must since most if not all conversions depend on peeking interest with your target market in a setting that is usually reserved for socializing or entertainment. You may have to visit several online communities or social networks and place a link to your website in your signature/profile and spend time commenting on the messages that others leave so that you can become a contributing member of the community.
- It’s Free!
- There are an unlimited of places to advertise for Free.
- Sharpens your creativity that can then be used with paid advertising methods.
- Ability to develop an organic network of business associates from you contributing to topics and discussions.
- Free targeted traffic to your page.
- You can meet a lot of cool people in the process of marketing i.e. facebook friends, youtube friends, twitter, forming a tribe etc.
- Time consuming.
- Complaints of spamming.
- Low conversions if not placed in targeted areas.
- A large learning curve.
- Can take long to gain momentum.

Paid advertising may allow you to place banners in the same community that you are using Free advertisement on so that everyone who visits that particular site will see your ad. You won’t have to spend time developing relationships and commenting on discussions and topics. With careful research and frequent testing paid advertising can boost conversions every time you place them. Once master your paid campaigns and you are turning a decent profit you can take it to another level and scale up to make even more money.
- Immediate results.
- Less time consuming
- Reach a large audience of your target market.
- High conversions.
- The ability to expand quickly(If you find a profitable campaign you can put more money into it).
- Can be consistent.
- Requires a budget.
- Even though you make money your profit margins are lower.
- You can loose a lot of money if you don’t know what your doing.
- Can seem complex and intimidating at first.

So Which Method is Better? You decide. Always try various Free and paid methods. Make sure to pay attention to your stats, keep up with you conversions and the amount of traffic you get from each campaign you have in play. To close, In reality there’s no such thing as free. You either use your time or money and both are valuable in this economy.


To your success,
Thomas Price, AST (Automated Success Team), Motor Club of America San Antonio

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