When it comes to advertising, most larger companies aim to expose as many people as possible to their products or services. They are playing a numbers game, and since they have the resources to promote their products to the masses via television, radio, billboard, and webpage advertisements or commercials, this strategy can be extremely effective.
However, most small business owners simply do not have million-dollar advertising budgets and can find that their product or services are being overlooked by consumers swimming in advertisements from the competition. Although it may seem daunting, especially when you are being constantly bombarded by fortune 500 company advertisements, there are some strategies and affordable advertising options to help small businesses keep up.
Targeted marketing is small business owners best friend!
Unlike larger companies, who have enough resources to cast the widest net possible to gather the most interest, your marketing efforts will be focused on identifying the different groups of people who are most likely to become potential customers. Examine your list of existing customers and keep track of traits that can help separate them into groups, such as age, gender, interests, and occupation. After you have identified the demographic sections you wish to direct your marketing campaign towards, it is time to decide the best methods to reach them.
If you have found that the majority of your customers are young women, then set up fliers at places around town that they frequent, like malls or hair salons. If you find the majority of your customers are middle-aged men, set up fliers at popular locations for this demographic such as golf courses or gyms. You can also place these indoor adverts at businesses with complimentary products. For example, if you sell flower pots, then a prime location to place your fliers would be at a home depot or gardening center. Although you will of course have to ask local business owners if they mind you putting up fliers, many will be happy to help, and this interaction could lead towards more collaboration. If you manage to find a group of non-competitive local businesses through your networking efforts, then an excellent strategy is cross-promotion. Together, your little cohort of businesses can help expand each other’s consumer base through fliers, coupons, reciprocal website links, and specially bundled promotions.
If you are having a difficult time reaching your target group through these local in-person efforts, then a virtual approach might be your best bet. Facebook, Yahoo, and Google all have pay per click advertising that can be extremely successful while still managing to remain affordable. These ads are the most effective way to target specific groups due to the complicated algorithms that they employ to find consumers. If you have a business that sells boats for example, you could place ads that will pop up for people on a search engine searching for the keyword “boat”. If you want to specialize your advertisement, you can even narrow down results to consumers searching for “sail boats” or “fishing boats”, whatever you think is most applicable for the product or service you are currently selling. The very best part of these pay-per-click advertisements is right in the name, you only pay for each click on your advertisement, not based on how many people have seen it. This means you can set a limit for how much you will pay total each day, and you only pay the full amount if a certain amount of people actually click on your advertisement. These companies typically charge between 10-75 cents every time your ad is clicked on, and since each click means a customer is genuinely interested, Pay-per-click advertising is absolutely the best bang for your buck.
In order for these advertisements to be successful however, you will need a webpage to redirect them to. Some free options such as a WordPress blog or a Facebook page are a good start, and you could also look into starting an Instagram or twitter account for your business. However, nowadays social media business pages are practically already a necessity, so if you want customers to take you seriously then you might need to spring for something slightly more professional. GoDaddy offers some great tools for beginners to experts who need to host and build a website as well as excellent customer service and support to get you going. Get 50% off your website hosting with GoDaddy.