In January 2020, Nepal Rastra Bank issued directives saying advertising on social networking sites and internet in general is illegal and anyone found doing this will be booked by law.
The central bank termed the sending payment abroad and receiving it from overseas as illegal. However, NRB had to find a solution to this issue because online advertising, especially on Facebook and Google, was becoming necessary for online entrepreneurs. Therefore, the regulatory body allowed commercial banks to issue prepaid dollar card with a maximum amount of $500. Around one year has passed since Nepalis started using dollar prepaid cards. According to media reports, Nepalis have sent more than Rs. 270.5 million abroad through dollar prepaid cards in the last 11 months.
Whether you are a website owner, a blogger, a vlogger, a business owner, a content creator, or a marketer, you will have to use advertising to build traffic to your website, blog, or vlogs, drive sales on your products and services. You cannot build traffic to your website by advertising on newspapers. You cannot generate sales on your online stores by advertising on TV as well. One needs to advertise on the internet to generate traffic to one’s websites and drive sales on online stores. Therefore, you will have to choose online advertising, instead of traditional means of advertising. Even when one has offline business, s/he might have to promote products and services online because more people use internet than the traditional media like newspapers, radios and televisions.
Rise in online ads
There are a lot of online advertising platforms, home grown as well as foreign based. As an advertiser, one will have to use the platform that has most users and get most views. That’s the reason why Facebook and Google are poplar advertising platforms around the world. As the most popular social network, Facebook allows both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) advertising campaigns. Because of this feature, Facebook is comparatively cheaper. You also reach out to a lot of people across the globe and can be used by every individual and institution. Above all, it is very easy to use. At the same time, to get the most out of Facebook’s many opportunities requires one to think well about it.
First and foremost, one has to identify and define the purpose of one’s Facebook campaign. One needs to set goals such as building likes on your page, selling products, generating views, etc. Secondly, you need to set realistic budget for your campaign. Budgeting is important for measuring the success of the campaign because it determines how many people you reach, how many people you interact with, etc.
Facebook campaign is often part of a major effort in which more communication disciplines are at stake, but the specific purpose of Facebook campaigns can be varied. For example, you can target the campaigns for activities like click on a link, watch the video, comment on the post, take the quiz or poll or do something else. The Facebook business manager allows you to choose among lots of different campaign goals. And you can easily combine the campaign goal. Using pay per click advertising is one of the proven ways to get immediate traffic to your online store and business website. The most popular form of pay per click advertising is none other than Google Adwords. As a visitor clicks on one of those ads the advertiser gets billed by Google every time, it is called ‘pay per click’.
Adword is Google’s ‘pay per click’ advertising programme for advertisers. If you want to get your ad also on Google, you have to bid on keyword search terms. This bidding is based strictly on how much you can afford. Before you start an ad word campaign, you need to understand few things.
The keywords you choose as per your preference for a given Ad Group are brought into play to target your ads to all potential customers. A campaign consists of one or more Ad Groups. The ads in a given ad campaign or Adword campaign share the same daily budget that is the amount you are willing to spend, language and the target country, date up to which the ads will run, and distribution options.
The market is so competitive that if we are not doing paid advertising, we cannot generate any sales. However, the traditional media cannot reach everywhere. How can a Kathmandu-based business reach Jumla by advertising in the print version Gorkhapatra daily? Well, the business can try to advertise in Gorkhparta’s online. But how likely is Jumli to read Gorkhaparta online compared to watching YouTube or checking Facebook? Advertising agencies are putting pressure on the Nepal government to make laws that will stop average Nepalis directly advertising on international advertising platforms. However, we need to remember one thing. One dollar is all you need to advertise on Facebook. If you have to advertise on it through a local ad agency, you might end up paying over 1,000 rupees for the same ad. We definitely need laws, but the laws should also be in favour of the common people.
(Ghimire is a freelance writer based in Dang.)