First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, June 30th, 2009. Written by Julia Talevski
Advertising is a key part of many small businesses, particularly when, like catering company On Tap Beverage Catering, a business operates in only one sector of the market.
The mobile beverage caterer has seen most of its advertising success derive from the online space, predominantly through Google AdWords. The company has two full-time staff and more than 100 casual bar staff.
Owner Drew Davies spends all of his marketing budget online and worked with Google AdWords Experts Yodel™ to help develop his company's online marketing campaign.
"We're in a bit of niche spot in the market, Davies says.
"We run bars for events, and go to unlicensed venues such as people's homes, workplaces, surf clubs, beaches, parks and other venues.
"I purchased the business in 2006 and have put a lot of time, effort and money into it.
"The results so far have been really good; it's grown at a really high rate."
Besides using Google AdWords, Davies is also looking at venturing into search engine optimisation to increase the company's listing on Google.
"The traditional telephone directory books are getting a bit old these days and people need a quick answer.
"They're going to the internet, Google and the like, to search for services," he says.
Davies also takes advantage of free online business listings and pays for advertising with online business director HotFrog.
"Not only does it give you more of a presence when you list on these directories but it increases your search chances," Davies says.
To help keep in contact with past clients, Davies also sends out electronic newsletters.
When Davies first ventured into online marketing, there was a bit of trial and error involved with getting the key search words right.
"You can't expect results to happen. You've got to test those key words, see if your market is responding to them and then just keep changing, to try and improve the key words until you're happy with it," he says.
Businesses considering stepping into the online marketing space should work out who their target market is and try to find out if the market is going online to search for the business, Davies advises.
"It's really important to have a presence," he says.
"Just test your key words and put yourself into your client's head to see what they would type in. The results will come after a bit of time."