One of the most important expenses in a small business’ budget is money spent on advertising. Many small business owners don’t realize how important advertising money is or they think that only big, corporate businesses need to advertise. Nothing could be further from the truth, in fact, the small businesses need to advertise even more than the big guys. The reason is simply name recognition. There are many small business advertising ideas that don’t cost a fortune and can get the business name out in the public where it should be in order to bring in more revenue.
The key to making advertising and marketing successful is found in knowing how to approach the market and using the right advertising strategies. The following ideas will help get the marketing started and get in motion a strategy to bring in more clients and more money.
Before a small business can implement and advertising strategy they need to first understand some key ideas to successful marketing. Some of the most common tips for small business marketing include:
- Customers and products: It is vital to know and understand the product that is being marketed and the customers that are purchasing the product or utilizing the services offered. This may sound like a no-brainer; however, it is often a much overlooked part of marketing. Many businesses, both big and small, often attempt to market to the entire purchasing public when they should be marketing their product to smaller, more select groups of people.
The group that should be marketed to is the focal group and is usually a section of the population that uses the product or service offered. For instance, if the service is errand running and assistance with getting around town, senior citizens would be an excellent core target; however, young adults in a college town might not be apt to utilize this service and targeting them would be a waste of advertising money.
- The Message: The advertising slogan or message is vital. It should be concise, catchy and easy to remember. It must tell the customer exactly what the business or product does and why customers should use it.
- Marketing Materials: Every piece of paper that the small business uses is a marketing piece. Letterhead, envelopes, invoices, sticky notes, business cards, pens and pencils and much more. If it can have a logo put on it, then it should be considered a piece for marketing. One look around at coffee cups that people carry around every day is proof of the advertising power that marketing materials have.
- Networking: Networking is another vital marketing tip that is often overlooked. At the end of the day, many business owners are tired and simply want to go home; however, if some time and energy is invested in business groups such as the Chamber of Commerce, the number of business contacts earned can change the way the business operates and the money it makes. Networking is simply meeting more people who ultimately will help spread the word about the business.
- Referrals: Ask current clients and customers for referrals and use these to earn more business. Testimonials are powerful tools in advertising.
- Partner: Use the networking tool to find other businesses that target the same core group of customers. Partner with them in promotional materials where each company refers customers to the other. This can be a highly effective marketing tool.
- The Internet: Utilize the Internet to put get the business name out in the public. Blogs, social networks and other free options abound on the Internet that can help circulate the business name. Take the time to start a blog and keep it up daily so that the content is always fresh. The blog will have links to the company website and thus bring in more clients.
These are just a few tips on putting together a marketing strategy. The next step is finding places to advertise and put the marketing ideas to work.
Today’s technologically advanced world has made it possible to advertise in many places for very little money. There are also other marketing strategies that won’t blow the budget and at the same time will help bring in customers. Some of these include:
- Social Network Advertising: These are typically pay-per-click advertisements. The ads are only charged for if they are clicked through. These are extremely inexpensive and can put the company in front of hundreds of thousands of viewers.
- Mail Outs: These can be inexpensive as well, if they are designed in-house. Once they are designed, the main cost is the mailing list and the postage. A mailing house can be helping with this part of the process.
These are just two of the many advertising ideas that are possible and can be successful when using the marketing tips presented earlier. Small business advertising is an essential part of a long and successful business.