By: VentureHow Staff Writer
Updated on: May 19, 2021
Effective small business advertising and marketing are not a pipe dream. With prudent planning, thoughtful execution, and constant tweaking, a small business can succeed in promoting its products or services. As a small business, you have limited resources. So when you spend it on marketing and advertising, make sure you follow the tenets below to make the most of your advertising and marketing dollars.
Every effort you make to promote your product costs you – even if there doesn’t seem to be a price tag. When you invest your time, assign employees and focus your efforts in one place, you are spending money, so correctly targeting your efforts ensures that you benefit from the time you are putting in.
Make sure every printed piece, the ad buy, and even social media post reflects your brand and speaks to your target audience. By identifying your important audience up front, you can correctly target the marketing plan. You’ll spend the same amount of money to print and send 10,000 postcards whether you send them to random individuals from the phone book or to highly targeted leads. The results of those cards and the number of leads generated by these two different approaches will be dramatically different.
While most of us would not take the “mail to a bunch of random addresses” approach with a tangible item, not targeting your online message is the same sort of mistake. This lack of targeting is one of the biggest stumbling blocks to advertising, so taking the time to identify who should be getting your materials correctly is the first step.
Are you already marketing your business? Check out how well your ads are working now to see where you are starting. Measuring your current efforts gives you a clear understanding of how well they are performing and also offers you an effective way to measure any new attempts as well.
Studying what works takes the guesswork out of planning out the next advertising efforts a can help you expand your efforts in the right way. If your buyers are responding to print media, then incorporating another print campaign could be the way to go. If response rates are dropping to those printed pieces, though, it could be time to invest in another approach.
It may seem like spreading your advertising budget out evenly is the best route, but some months will be better than others. Seasonal businesses like pool suppliers and HVAC companies have distinct high performing seasons that are worth investing in. If you track your seasonal sales trends, you may be able to identify times that could benefit from extra advertising and awareness, even if you are not a seasonal business. Spreading out your buys based on when your targets are buying is usually a better approach than just dividing your annual budget by 12 and assigning a set figure to each month.
Is your advertisement instantly identifiable? Branding matters – and big companies know it. As a consumer, you can probably identify big brand advertisements, just from the look – a Target ad will have a different feel, color scheme and look than an ad from Walmart. Make sure your branding is in place and that customers can identify you – rebranding or coming up with a new look for every ad you buy is confusing and won’t resonate with your target buyers.
Are you making the most of your website? You’ve made a great ad, but does it link to blah, out of date website? You’ll make the most use of services like AdWords and Bing Ads if you have a compelling site to visit.
If you don’t have the funds for ad buys, then focusing on SEO and content creation can mimic the results and help you get noticed organically. If you have a tiny budget, then a single, targeted campaign is better than spending a little bit of money in a lot of places. A Facebook campaign, sponsored Tweets or another promo may allow you to expand your reach without breaking the bank.
Taking a strategic approach to your advertising and understanding where your target will be, what they are looking for and what they are most likely to respond to helps you make the most of whatever budget you have. If you have a small or nonexistent budget, then you can still get the most out of your marketing efforts – focusing on content creation, and free social media marketing (to the right target customer) can help you thrive in a busy marketplace.
What other effective small business advertising and marketing techniques have you followed? What have been your results? Please share your experiences.
Here are some excellent statistics about small business marketing and advertising, particularly digital marketing.
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