No Advertising, No sale. No sale, no profit and you might as well not be in business anymore. Advertising is the lure that draws new customers to your business or product.
Small businesses utilize several options to advertise a product or service. These range from traditional media to newer and out-of-the-box methods to get the word out. You can know what methods work by tracking which campaigns produce sales. Effective advertising demands a strategy.
Posting ads on websites that receive heavy traffic is one way to get the word out about your business. Social networking sites such as Facebook or MySpace have advertising programs with ads tailored to a particular demographic. These ads show up only next to profiles that meet the specifications of your product’s target market. You can also use the Google AdWords service to post online ads.
A traditional form of advertising, daily and weekly newspaper ads allow you to target specific geographic neighborhoods. Attaching an incentive, such as a coupon, to the ad can help track the ad’s effectiveness. Purchasing an ad in a section relevant to your business — for example, a home improvement business ad in the home and garden section — can also help you to reach target clients.
A catchy jingle and quick tag line can enhance a radio ad’s effectiveness. Matching the station you choose with your target demographic is key. If you want to reach adults aged 35 to 64, an adult contemporary station is a good bet. An alternative or urban station is good to reach youth aged 18 to 24. At the time of publication, radio ad provider Strategic Media reports that those who buy products in response to a radio ad spend an average of $148 per purchase, compared to an average of $98 for television infomercials.
Television ads on local stations might require time and effort to produce, but can be especially effective if you sell a product or service with a high price point. At the time of publication, strategic Media states that a TV ad can cost $50,000, while a radio ad will cost only $1,500. However, you can justify the difference if a TV ad can reach customers who would not respond to radio.
Organizing Programs & Seminars
If the product you sell relates to your own expertise, public speaking can be a great advertisement. Offer your services to organizations that could benefit from one of your workshops or lectures. Bring business cards and promotional materials to the event to encourage your audience to spread the word about your services.
Door Hangers and Flyers
Canvassing the neighborhood, placing flyers in mailboxes or hanging ads on doorknobs, is a good way to target a specific area and to make sure your potential customers have seen your information. Even if most homeowners will discard the information, gaining a handful of clients may be enough for a positive return on the marketing campaign investment.
Advertising your product or service through event sponsorship can take many forms. You might receive an acknowledgement in the event program, have an on-site location where you can give out sample product, or your company logo might appear on the event posters.
A non-traditional form of advertising, word-of-mouth advertising involves hiring people to talk about your product or service in a public place in a way that other people overhear them. Hired marketers can go into coffee shops in pairs and talk audibly about your bike shop on 3rd Avenue or your door-to-door leaf blowing service. The campaign is effective if the essential information needed to send clients to your business is simple and easy to slip into conversation.