Advertising campaigns can cost a lot of money starting from the conception period to execution. Both new and old companies regularly need to put their products and services in the face of their current and potential customers to stay visible in the market.
For small businesses, fitting effective advertising campaigns into their limited budgets might seem unrealistic. This means that they can be forgotten easily if they don’t get creative with strategies to make advertising work for them.
The good news is, there are ways to make it happen. You don’t need to invest thousands of dollars to gain the results you need from advertising.
However, before you start, it is important that you prepare your business for the implementation of your strategy.
Working ‘blind’ or hoping that as you go, things will fall into place will not help. Instead, you’ll be throwing your already limited resources into advertising campaigns and marketing strategies that aren’t structured for your business and won’t bring you any results.
To avoid this, here are the few things you should checkmark before launching an advertising campaign.
How to Prepare for an Advertising Campaign
1. Identify your target audience
Who will be viewing or hearing your ads?
The answer to this question is important because it will help in narrowing your advertising medium options. You don’t need to reach everybody; just the target people who have a need your products or services can solve.
Instead of spending your money to advertise to a large number of people where your target audience makes up only a fraction, you can use the information gathered to identify what mediums or channels you can reach them better through targetting.
2. Identify the right time to advertise
You might have a great product and a creative ad lined up, but it might not be the best time to launch that advert.
It is more effective to concentrate your ad budget on periods when people are willing to spend more money or are looking for items or enjoyable services to buy for loved ones. Instead of spreading your budget out too thin, identify those periods where the products or services you sell will be in higher demand, and channel them there.
For many businesses, Black Friday, Christmas and Boxing Day are the ideal times.
If your offers don’t resonate with these type of buyers, study your competitions to see when they launch their own campaigns. While doing this, try to identify why they choose those periods and use the information gathered to prepare your own ad calendar.
3. Ensure that your brand is well represented
In marketing, the term brand recognition refers to the ability of individuals to recollect information about a brand, without physically seeing an item from the brand. To promote brand recognition for your business, it is important that all the details being presented to the public align properly.
Your brand colors, logo, chosen typeface, slogan and other details should be the same. Even when you’re being creative with your graphics for a new ad. It’s important that you still retain the framework of your brand’s look, so viewers can immediately identify your brand. So many small businesses blow this. It’s a simple essential step to add staying power to your marketing efforts as a whole.
Advertising Options to include in your Strategy
1. Social media
Different social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter provide advertising options that will help you reach a wide range of people. The best part is, they also provide targeting tools that can be used to narrow viewer options to the specific demographic of people you want viewing your ad.
Social media ads are inexpensive and will be run depending on your set budget.
2. Advertise with other local business owners
Take advantage of networking events, scheduled in-person meetings, and walk-in events for business owners that are organized in your community. You can meet other business owners who are also looking for budget-friendly advertising options.
A great way to help one another out is by placing ads for placing ads for one another’s business on your business websites. This way, locals who are already familiar with some of the older brands, can get familiar with newer brands.
3. Give out branded merchandise
Design creative prints for mugs, pens, t-shirts, sweaters and other merchandise people will want to use, make them, and give them out. They will do the advertising for you by using those items. Be sure to include your website URL.
4. Sponsor your local sports team
Want everyone in your community to know about your brand? Invest in one of their teams.
Most teams won’t mind wearing your logo as long as they come with good quality kits. Doing this will show your support for your community, and make your brand a household name.
5. Advertise with buses, trains, and cabs
Yes, I know you’re likely thinking “But those are expensive!” Well, they’re not so expensive if your ads are placed inside the vehicle or carriage.
Smaller posters placed inside cost less and the thousands of people who use these means of transportation every day will continuously be exposed to your brand and its offerings. Just be sure demographics matches your target audience in your community.
6. Print flyers
Design attention-grabbing fliers. Use images that will make people interested in reading the words. And then share them at places your potential customers will be at. You can also exchange flyers with other business owners and advertise by giving out to customers or including them in packages.
7. Create podcast ads
Podcast air time comes at a reasonable price and making your own podcast advertising will not cost you much. You can get recommendations for podcasts that are popular among your target audience, and negotiate with them. Another option is to sponsor the show if you have a bit more money to spend.
8. Get creative and make your brand go viral
You can think up a challenge or an offer that will get people excited and interested in joining you or buying from you. You can also promote your idea by creating a social media buzz around it.
If it’s exciting enough, other people will take turns sharing with their followers and friends, and eventually make you go viral.
Let’s wrap up…
As established above, there are many ways to advertise your brand without looking for new ways to supplement your ad budget.
The key points are to identify and target the people with potential interest in your brand, learn the best time to advertise and stay creative and innovative.
Side Note: Don’t limit yourself to using digital marketing strategies or traditional marketing methods. Consider utilizing a combination of both digital marketing and traditional marketing for best results.
Now it’s your turn. Any creative small business advertising ideas that you’ve tried? Leave a comment below, and share with all of us.