Advertisement is the process of reaching out and letting your target customers know your company, your products or services, with the intention of creating business. It is an integral part of the marketing mix. Every company, especially startups should have a marketing campaign in place. The most successful companies I’ve worked with as a bookkeeper in Brisbane have specific budget for promotions and marketing. This is something that small business find hard to do.
Television slots, newspaper and magazine pages, and billboards assure optimized exposure. However, these traditional advertisement channels are expensive that only big companies are able to afford the expense.
But, small businesses and startups should not despair. There are affordable and effective ways of reaching out to your customers. First, let’s discuss the elements that make an effective advert;
Ø Call to Action – Your ad should contain a specific call to action. Use words and phrases like ‘call now’, ‘click here’, come and visit us today’ or ‘buy now for discounts.’
Ø Contact Information – Make it easy for your customers to get in touch with you and make sure that you include your business’ contact information. Phone numbers, email addresses, websites, or physical addresses should be present.
Ø Clear Business Name – Established businesses can afford to use vague business names like Apple, Gap, Colgate, and Budweiser. People know exactly who they are and what they make. But for small businesses, it would help of the ad if your business name indicates the nature of your business. ‘Kendra’s Cupcakes and Home baked Sweets’ is more effective than ‘Kendra’s Sweets.’
Ø Visually Impacting – Use more graphics or images than words. Limit the words to the business name, contact info, and company slogan. Instead of listing down your products, use pictures. People won’t spend time reading small letters. It is easier to catch attention with images and will also make longer lasting impression.
Ø Readable Fonts – You can go artsy with your ad, but make sure that your fonts are easily read. Avoid frilly scripts like the Palace Script and Gigli or the complicated Old English Text. Stick to the standard, more basic fonts.
After you created your ad copy, it is now time to get it out to your market. Here are channels of advertising where you don’t have to cut deep into your company’s budget;
The Internet – Going online with your marketing and promotional campaigns is no longer an option, it is a must. As consumers are more and more relying on the convenience of the internet finding products, businesses should establish an online presence. Most online marketing channels are free to use. You will only need to put in some time to maintain your accounts.
- Facebook – Everyone is on Facebook. Creating a business account is also for free. You can post pictures of your products and connect directly with your customers, with no extra cost.
- Instagram – This is a platform where people can share pictures to the world. You can add captions, links to your website, and advertisement copy to the images before posting.
- Pinterest – This is very similar to Instagram, however Pinterest images are more organized as you can create boards. Links, captions, and promotional images are also possible in Pinterest.
- LinkedIn – This networking site is more relevant to businesses based on professional services. Doctors, lawyers, real estate agents and brokers, accountants and bookkeepers of Brisbane use LinkedIn to get in touch with the industry and their prospect clients.
- Twitter – This is a very effective way of communicating with your customers. You can post as many updates, promo messages, and images as you need to. Use of Twitter is also free.
- Blogging – Creating and maintaining a website might entail expenses. You will have to buy a domain, pay hosting and marketing services, and writers to maintain it. But a website is not only a promotional outlet. It can also serve as your showroom, a customer care channel, and a 24/7 store.
- Local Listings – Search engines also offer listing and ad placements for local businesses. While it will cost you to place an ad, it will still be a lot cheaper than producing and placing a TV advertisement.
- The Charitable Way – Find ways where you can help your market segment. If you’re producing cat towers donate a tower or two to some cat shelters, if you’re into children’s entertainment, offer a free show in schools – and then let your products do its own promotions. Your only cost is the product donated or service rendered.
- Small Town Flyers – You can never go wrong with flyers. This is especially effective if you are promoting a business event. You do not only provide a marketing copy to your prospect, you also create an actual contact with them. Make the most out of it, make an impression – smile, introduce yourself, and be friendly. With flyers, you also control your audience. This will cost you the paper and printing and time handing out.