Advertising is essential because it helps create awareness of a company. You need to choose the right medium and allocate sufficient resources. You must also develop the relevant content for your target market. Other than the budget, many other factors will determine your choice of advertising platforms. A good understanding of the different options is vital. Each is unique and will give your small business specific value. Let us explore some of this in more detail below.
· What Is Your Budget?
The budget will determine the type of advertising and the channel. Advertising on TV can be costly, and a small business may not have the money to spend on such a platform. You may, however, find that outdoor advertising or print is more affordable. If you are really cash strapped, forget about analog and go digital. You can run some fantastic campaigns on social media platforms at relatively cheap costs.
Your budget will also determine what the advertising material looks like. It is more expensive to print in color than in black and white. The rates will vary quite significantly.
· What Product Are You Advertising?
If your product is for the ‘general public,’ you can use platforms such as broadcast, print, and outdoor. Those that may require a demonstration on usage will do well on screen and TV advertising. Print media will work well for those selling Industrial Products. If you are selling alcoholic beverages or tobacco products, you may not be allowed to advertise on television, radio, or screen. In other places, you may advertise but only after a particular hour. You will need to find out what the restrictions are in your area.
· What Do You Hope To Achieve In the Market
Every time you advertise, there is precise thinking behind it. The most important is to carry your messaging to potential customers. You must come up with a profile of the target market. Take into account factors such as what they like or dislike, where they live, how much they earn, whether they have children, among others.
You may, for example, find that Instagram will work very well for the younger demographics. Middle-aged professionals prefer Twitter, while platforms like Facebook are much more general in their offering. If you are targeting those within the high-income bracket, you can advertise in magazines because they are likely to buy. If you want to reach people within the local area, take advantage of things like flyers, posters, signage, and regional dailies, among others. If you are targeting people who may not have high levels of education or none at all, consider radio or television.
· What Is Your Distribution Network Like?
You should not go on the national platforms and advertise your products if you do not have a nationwide distribution network. If a particular product is only in certain areas, then concentrate on those localities. You will ensure that if a customer is interested, they will find it in one of the stores.
· What Are Your Objectives?
The overall objective for every advertising campaign is to create awareness and influence purchasing behavior. But as a business, you should have specific goals that are unique to your business.
You may want to create local awareness only. You may also be thinking of scaling your business and will want more recognition outside of where you operate. You may be looking to launch your product and want immediate awareness. You could be starting a promotion and want people to get to know about it. Outline what your specific objectives are so that you make the right choice. Promotions, for example, will work very well on the radio if you combine them with contests.
· What Are Your Competitors Doing?
You have to keep up-to-date with what your competitors are doing. See what platforms they are advertising on and whether it is getting them excellent traction. It does not mean that if your competitor is heavy on a medium, it is necessarily the best. It could, however, indicate that it could be something you may want to check out. Do your homework, your competitor may be misguided, and blindly following could land you in a lot of problems.
· Is Media Available?
You may want to do print or TV advertising, but find that other companies have already taken the good spots. There are some prime spots that some companies will buy even a year in advance. It makes it very hard for a small business to find space. Unfortunately, there is nothing much you can do about this, and that is why it pays to have flexibility with regards to your options.
· Other Factors You Need To Consider
Different Media will have different offerings including:-
- The reach – how many people the media reaches over a period of time
- Listenership for radio – the rate calculation is per thousand listeners per minute and 10 seconds
- Viewership for TV or screen – the rate calculation is per thousand viewers per minute and 10 seconds
- Cost – how much money you will spend on the medium of choice.
- Consumer confidence – how much credibility the audience attaches to a particular medium. The most credible media and newspapers and magazines, while the least is outdoor advertising.
- Frequency – How many times your messaging will reach the audience at a given time
- Coverage – the geographical location that the media can access
You need to consider the factors above any time you are thinking of advertising. A small business can find cost-effective ways of advertising on the medium we have highlighted. However, if you find that you do not have the budget, take advantage of the online platforms. They are cost-effective, and if you understand how to target your audience, you can raise awareness of your brand and products.
Paying due consideration to the factors we have listed above will help with resource allocation. You can also be sure that with the right targeting, you will get your message to the right audiences.