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  • Updated: April 1, 2012 - 10:23 AM
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A bride in her wedding dress in New York City

Photo: Timothy A. Clary, Dml - Afp/getty Images

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Question

I own a company called Trip Me Not, and I sell a long skirt that lets brides practice walking in a wedding gown, so they don't trip on their big day. Since it's a niche product with a customer-base that is Internet-savvy, do you recommend Google AdWords? Is it worth the money to advertise on Facebook to engaged women?

SARAH EASTMAN

TRIP ME NOT

Answer

Good question. Two thoughts. First, Google displays your ad based on keyword search -- potential customers who are using words in their search that trigger your ad. With Facebook you choose customers in your targeted demographic -- 24- to 34-year-old women who are engaged.

Which one is better for you -- I do not know -- but you can quickly find out. Look at your last 10 or 20 customers. If they were referred to you by their friends -- that speaks to Facebook. If they came to you on their own through a search, that suggests Google AdWords.

But this is not an either/or choice. Try one, refine your message and continue with your initial choice or switch depending on your results. With both AdWords and Facebook you have the ability to change your message, change your keywords or change your target based on results. That being said, my inclination would be to look at Facebook first. Not everyone who looks at wedding dresses online is a potential purchaser in the next few months (for example, young girls).

Second, does your product lend itself to direct sales or selling through bridal stores? Because your product is used as part of a larger purchase -- the wedding dress -- is it reasonable to look to expanding your sales channels to include selected bridal retail shops? Again, select stores where your customers bought their dresses -- test, retest and refine.

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