In today’s online advertising universe, we are bombarded by digital ads via Smart TV’s, computers, tablets and mobile devices. In such as crowded space I suggest a business never rely on the web to support the bulk of your marketing efforts.
Global businesses are competing 24/7 for their fair-share of your attention with millions of dollars at stake. How can small businesses compete? Small business has a distinct advantage when targeting regional niche markets beyond the web using mass media. Here’s how…
1) Placing Ads in Print Media
Advertising in traditional print media has become less expensive, so makes sense to reach out to your local paper or regional magazine for an updated rate sheet. There is also advertising opportunities in the classified section of publications. Where you chose to advertise will depend on the demographic you are targeting.
2) Direct Mail
Direct mail a.k.a ‘post card adverts’ are mailed directly through the USPS. These include; ‘stand alone’ mail, newspaper inserts and direct mail card packs. Some business owners use ‘lumpy mail’ where the mailer is delivered in an eye-catching package such as a small box or tube shape mailer.
3) Buying Radio Advertising
Thanks to the immediacy of radio, you can run stand alone spots or ‘commercials’ or participate in radio infomercial advertising where the radio host will interview you during during an open-phone Q&A.
4) Advertising on the Television
If there’s a market for your product and you’ve got the budget for broadcast, you could take the plunge and make a mint. Purchasing air-time or ‘media buys’ is a tricky business. A public relations or media buyer knows the best station and time slot in which to place your commercial. Remember to ask for a digital video source file so you may upload to your website, YouTube or Vimeo.
5) Advertising on Billboards
A billboard campaign can be very effective. Billboard ads are relatively expensive, but they stay up for a long time, and they can be specifically targeted to an area. Phone numbers and addresses are pretty useless, whereas your Web site address will extend your reach providing your URL or domain name is easy to spell and remember. If you have a domain name that is difficult to remember, consider acquiring a second domain name for advertising purposes.
6) Advertising at the Movies
One type of advertising that often gets overlooked is cinema advertising. If you arrive to the cinema early, you’ll see local business ads followed by big-budget ads. This can be a great place to advertise relatively inexpensively in quite a high-profile way. Contact your local cinema chain and compare advertising rates.
7) Organic Advertising
There are multiple types of collateral advertising that help “brand” your business. These include printing, stamping or embroidering your business name and Web address on the following;
– Pens, pencils, coffee mugs, coulees
– Golf shorts, t-shirts and ball caps
– Presentation folders, invoices, fax cover sheets and calendars
– Bumper stickers, window stickers
– Phone system ‘infomercial’ about your company for clients on-hold
– Vehicle wraps and magnetic signs
8) ‘Grass Roots’ Advertising
Nothing beats the basic “meet and greet” or “smile and a hand-shake.” Get your name out in the business community. Check online and the local newspapers for business networking groups. Your local Chamber of Commerce would be a good place to start. Talk to community leaders, private business schools, and associations about business programs and events in your area.
9) Press Release Advertising
PR is popular because it is cost-effective and it works. Sending out a press release is just one example of free PR. There are many reasons for sending out a release: introducing a new product or service, celebrating an anniversary, winning an award, reaching a milestone and so on. Doing this on a regular basis is key to keeping your name in front of your customers and prospects’ eyes and being on the top of their mind when it comes to awareness. Popular forms of PR for the World Wide Web and print are; Writing Articles, Newsletters, Letters to the Editor, Online Forum and Blog Participation and offering Free Reports or (white papers).
If you know how to craft your own press release there are many free outlets on the Web to broadcast your business.
10) Web Advertising (Web Marketing)
The most effective Web based advertising is “targeted business directories” or business specific directories. There are thousands of business specific directories to include: real estate, law, construction, engineering, flowers, bridal and so on. To find a directory that has top search engine presence on Google or BING and type-in a ‘frequently used search phrase’ relating to your business, products or services. You want to list your company in similar directories? I have short list to get you started. Submit Your Site
Don’t forget your website
By all means, don’t ignore your website. A Web site is your 24-hours, 7-days-a-week advertising brochure and a successful web design creates a sense of trust and respect between you and your on-line visitors. Check out our web design primers on Web site design and Web site planning.