Small Business Advertising

If you have a small business advertising may be something you have already considered. However it is this type of promotion where I have seen most businesses invest but seen little or no return for their investment.

Advertising can be used to fulfil various functions such as

  • raising a general awareness of your products or services
  • generating enquiries
  • building up a database of contacts
  • getting an immediate sale.

To ensure you don’t waste your money it is useful to understand different types of advertising:

Brand advertising

This type of advertising aims to raise awareness of a product or service, particularly the brand itself (i.e. the name and logo) through repeated adverts and is really only suited for large organisations with deep pockets. Numerous and repeated adverts over a sustained period are necessary to make a difference in public awareness, even more so to see an increase in sales.

So as a small business, if you place say just a weekly ad in a paper over a month then it is unlikely you will be remembered and get any tangible benefits.

Direct Response Advertising

This approach is designed to solicit direct action from the intended target market. Some examples are:

  • ‘Ring now to reserve your place’
  • ‘Visit the store this weekend for 50% off all products’
  • ‘Return the completed coupon by Friday to be entered into the free draw’
  • ‘Book by 31st May and you will get a second ticket at half price’

This type of small business advertising can work well if carefully thought out so the intended target market respond.

Where to advertise

The success of advertising depends also on the product or service you are offering and where you advertise. As a business owner you are likely to be approached by various media, newspapers, radio, football clubs, local on-line directories, organisations issuing diaries, to name but a few, all wanting to take your money.

Some questions to ask before placing an advert:

  • What is my intended target market (i.e. who am I wanting to sell to?)
  • What response do I want from my advert?
  • Does this type of advertising reach my target market and if so how many?
  • How many adverts will there be and over what period?
  • Will my intended clients notice and respond to my advert?
  • How many of my competitors will be advertising?
  • How can I ensure that my advert gives me the response I am looking for?
  • What is the cost of advertising?
  • How will I measure the success of my advert?

Recommended Further Reading:

101 Ways to Advertise Your Business: Building a Successful Business with Smart Advertising (101 (Allen & Unwin)) by Andrew Griffiths (Paperback - 1 April 2004)

Successful Advertising for Small Businesses (Entrepreneur Magazine) by Conrad Berke (Paperback - 26 Sep 1996)

See Also:-

Small Business Marketing
Constructing An Advertisement
Small Business Advertising Tips

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