Advertising for small business can be accomplished inexpensively and very effectively if planned out correctly. Technology has opened up many new opportunities for small and local business to get their sales message across to potential customers very inexpensively as well as stay in communication with their existing customers. This article should offer some tips on effectively advertising for small business and how to use technology to your advantage.
The definition of any business is an organized collection of customers. It has nothing to do with buildings, offices, phone lines or plaques on the wall; it has everything to do with introducing people to the products and or services your business has to offer that will add a benefit to their life. Customers are the most valuable asset any business has and this fact should be taken in to consideration when advertising for small business. It starts with your message, what is the benefit that you are offering your potential customers and it is your message effective? The technology that is available to deliver the message is secondary to the message itself.
Traditionally, the phone book or the yellow pages have been a fairly effective means of advertising for small business however, at the time of this writing the readership and effectiveness of the phone book is dramatically decreasing as more and more consumers are using online and mobile device methods to search for local business.
Local Classifieds have been a great form of advertising for small business as well as local business for quite some time and still are a good source for advertising on a budget. Here again readership is diminishing as more consumers are utilizing online classifieds such as Craigslist.com, Angieslist.com or eBayclassifieds.com list to find what they are looking for. A major benefit to utilizing a local publication to run your classified ad is that usually you will be able to get your business listed in the print as well as the online classified version at the same rate.
A very effective way for small business to advertise to a target market is by direct mailing or direct response marketing. This form of advertising for small business does require more up front capitol due to the physical material and mailing that is a required however, because it is a physical advertisement the item tends to not be thrown away as easily as an email or digital message. The key to effective direct mailing boils down to two things, understanding your target market, as well as the message that you’re sending. The message should be explaining to your potential customer how you can help them with your product or service as well as giving a strong call to action. Because of the amount of data that has been collected by list companies such as LPM Associates, Direct Media and Millard Group identifying a target market is honestly not that difficult. Due to the monetary requirement in direct mailing testing is a critical. Even if you have a small advertising budget, starting a direct mailing campaign on a very small scale can be effective. The idea here being that the profit generated by direct mail campaign be reinvested into advertising until you can send mass mailing.
Ever since the first commercial was broadcast in the United States in 1941 television has been an effective means of advertising for small business. At the time of this writing television is becoming less effective due to technological advances such as DVR and Tivo making it possible to fast forward or completely skip advertisements. Google TV has however opened up an affordable door for small business to run very inexpensive ads compared to traditional broadcast rates.
Internet marketing has become an extremely effective means of advertising for small business. This form of advertising starts with a web presence that is designed to not only relay your sale message but also collect contact information from potential customers. Because seventy percent of local search queries result in a sale, it is extremely important that even a small business has a web presence of some kind. Combining social networking and mobile optimization is also very import for any advertising for small business.