How to Advertise Your Business
The wide world of advertising can be intense, especially since it has changed so drastically within the past 10 years or so. But don’t let it intimidate you. There are many ways to advertise your business, and each have their own set of tips and tricks. In this post, we’ll explore the top 10 proven advertising methods for businesses, small and large. This will include some pros and cons, best practices and things to avoid. So, hold on to your hats, folks. You’re about to take the first step in becoming an advertising expert: Education about small business marketing.
There’s at least one television set in almost every home in the U.S., so in theory, TV ads are a great way to reach the masses. There are some caveats, though. Television spots, at least the ones that matter, can be cost prohibitive. If you own a local small business, though, you may be able to find some good deals on local stations. The key is to know your target audience, which programs they watch and when they are watching.
2. Print media
Print media is perfect for promotional small business marketing. used to be a go-to advertising medium. It was a no-brainer. The question wasn’t whether to advertise in print. It was, how much will you spend? Print media includes magazines, newspapers, and to a lesser extent, books and journals. Today, the cost to print and distribute such materials has risen, so it is no longer the go-to advertising method it once was, but it is effective for many nonetheless.
3. Digital advertising
Digital advertising is a broad term that encompasses many different mediums, but there is one thing that binds all of them together. Digital advertising is at the cutting edge of technology. These are the ads that “wow” bystanders and actively bring them into your advertising creation. It may be an interactive billboard, an advertising hologram or an interactive photo booth, but digital ads are likely to be jaw-dropping, one-of-a-kind experiences.
4. Social media
Online, social media offers a way to breathe life into your brand. Instead of relying on a static web page to represent your brand, you may build a community of customers and prospective customers who want to discuss your brand and what it represents. The conversation may not be positive 100% of the time, but it will be real, and that is what people will respond to.
No one really wants to pay for advertising. In an ideal world, you can just produce a product and people will buy it; done and done. But we don’t necessarily live in an ideal world. And when you’re looking to reach your customers where they are online, pay-per-click advertising is one of the best ways to do so. As it sounds, you pay each time a potential customer (or anyone else) clicks on your advertisement. Your ad may sit on the top of search results on a major search engine, or it may be a banner that is hosted on a popular blog that’s relevant to your niche.
In theory, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a free form of online advertising. But anyone who has ever run an SEO campaign will tell you that it is far from free. There are so many SEO firms in business because, well, it’s big business. Forcing your way to the top of search results takes a great deal of time and effort, which equates to money. If you plan to run an SEO campaign, be sure to choose the right partner. If you choose a shady SEO firm, you stand to lose more than just the cost of its services. You can get your site banned from the major search engines indefinitely. Just be sure to choose a reputable firm and monitor results closely.
7. Word of mouth
Even with all of the technological advances made in recent years, word-of-mouth advertising is still the best, but it doesn’t come easy. It requires a commitment to making your customers happy, almost at all costs. These days, it takes more than just service with a smile to get your brand on customers’ lips. Try to go above and beyond “the norm” to ensure that customers will recommend your product or service to their friends and family.
8. Promotional items
Nike, Ed Hardy and Titleist employ methods that some would call pure advertising genius. They have thousands of walking billboards around the globe, and the best part is that not only did they not pay a dime for advertising, but they made a profit from it! If you can find a way to make your promo items fun, interesting or cool, you might even get people to pay to advertise for you too. Promotional marketing for small business is the best way to go.
9. Text ads
This is a new and somewhat controversial advertising form. It has been proven to be highly effective for some brands that get prior permission from their customers. This means that customers, or potential customers, have agreed to receive promotional texts to their cellular phones from these brands. Texts will alert them of new items, sales and other events that they may want to know about.
10. Public relations
It’s a bit old-fashioned these days, but some good old fashioned PR can really go a long way. In the old days of PR, though, it was almost unheard of for a small business owner to contact the press directly. A PR professional was a necessity. But with the advent of social media, much has changed. It is very possible for a small business owner to garner attention from the media, if their story is good enough.
Suggested Read on this Topic: