Advertising For Small Businesses

Advertising For Small Businesses by Neil BurnardWhile you always want to think big, small business owners also need to be realistic about their advertising campaigns.  You’ll typically be looking for effective, low-cost solutions, but often-times you can only have one or the other; you most likely won’t find a simultaneously effective and inexpensive channel for your ads.  That’s why it’s so important to budget and not just play around with left-over money.  By assigning the right amount of money to the right channels, you can achieve your desired results or at least improve what you already have.  Here are some great advertising strategies for smaller businesses, based off an article I found on the site entrepreneur.com:

Target your audience: The product you’re selling isn’t going to match everybody’s needs.  Create an accurate target customer profile based on data you’ve collected, and then use that to target similar demographics and psychographics with your campaigns.  Whether it’s online or offline, make sure your copy and imagery reflects what your customers want.

Measure and track your advertising: Online advertising platforms like Google AdWords and Facebook can provide you with plenty of stats that can help you determine what’s working.  This doesn’t mean that you won’t need to test and experiment, but it does mean you can make quicker decisions about what to try next.

Get your timing right: While spreading out your advertising equally year-round might seem like a common-sense approach at first glance, sustaining a similar marketing and advertising initiative throughout the year isn’t wise.  If you sell seasonal products, advertise during your highest-performing seasons.  Keep an eye on when your competitors launch their own promotions, and you can keep pace with or even outmaneuver them if you have an advertising budget set aside.

Brand well: Do your ads have signature colours, copy or imagery that make them instantly recogniseable?  Over time, your customers will identify with and respond to your specific ad layouts.

Use your resources well: You know how important it is to rank well in search, but you may not have the resources and time available to consistently create new, informative content for your website.  In such an instance, take advantage of services like Google AdWords to you can appear higher in SERP results without needing to optimise posts for your keywords.  If you only have a small advertising budget, then magazine ads might not be the way to go; opt instead for a Facebook ad campaign.

Show up where it counts: Making too many assumptions about your target customer is a bad idea.  If your advertising dollars are going to the wrong place, then all of your work is being sorely misplaced.  Get to know your customers; survey them, figure out where they like to hang out online, what they read and what podcasts they listen to.  This will help you attract more worthwhile leads to your business.