If you are a MicroISV with 20$ utility product, what are your best options for advertising? How and where do you advertise your MicroISV businesses? What are your experiences with PPC schemes (AdWords/AdCenter)? Does anyone tried social network advertising channel (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, MySpace...)? Anyone with Direct e-Mail campaign? How much from your income you turn back to Advertising (2, 5, 10% ...)? What is your primary advertising tool? Where you focus your efforts?
So start with the utility program is solving who's problem? So what is your market and what is the bennefit that the utility creates and what is the value of that bennefit (time saved, cost recoup, revenue enhancement etc..). The characteristics of the market and how you want to approach the market should start to get you an idea of what to communicate through.
Advertisement has to do with cost of customer aquisition compared to revenue. So it's something to experiment with before you can find out what level of cost to pay versus your conversion rates which you don't know until you start testing. AdWords is very powerful and there are many blogs on how to use it. I suggest reading about Bingo and from Balsamaq blog.
They both show their entire business and deal in the software space and I think answer your questions which are a rapid fire. Don't have thoughts on the social network sites though they are powerful and Balsamiq uses them.
Both above mentioned companies are case studies of systematic marketing. The bingo cards I think is of speical interest because its just bingo but he posts his profits, operational plan, marketing plan and release plans along with how to do A/B testing. Very articulate and has been featured by google as a case study.
Balsamaq is the rapid rising star, has a slightly different feel to how its articulated and the value of the software is obvious to software developers.
So I personally have not been successful but read both of these frequently and have been working to get to my point and these case studies may answer all the questions you just posted. Regards
Both of those blogs listed above are great references - I check them both frequently!
You really need to experiment with the different options and determine which one delivers the best ROI for you.
You should also look into general SEO for your website. A lot of the PPC strategy is rooted in a solid understanding of SEO and keyword targeting.
Before you start advertising with PPC schemes or other paid advertising efforts, you can first try to create a blog in your product site that contain how-to articles about the problems that the people face in your niche and how your product can solve those problems. This has the benefit of being virtually free and will generate stable traffic over time.
After getting traffic from your articles, you can monitor your organic search results (what search keywords that got people into your site) and then start targeting your AdWords based on those hit keywords.