Realistically speaking a small business cannot compete with the larger ones when it comes to advertising. For most, the budget simply does not exist. It makes more sense to go for low-cost advertising solutions that will work for the company. You may have some money set aside, and you need to be careful about how you use it. You will need to allocate whatever you have to the right channels. Only then will you be sure that you will get some return on investment. Whatever platform you opt for should allow you to measure the results. With proper data, you can make better use of the money you have. So which strategies must you incorporate in your marketing to ensure that your advertising is effective?
· You Must Have A Proper Audience Targeting Strategy
Consumers are different and have different needs. No matter how fantastic your product is, it will not be suitable for everyone. You can therefore not run a general campaign hoping everyone will see your product. Develop an accurate customer profile using whatever data you have. Take into consideration specific factors such as age, income, marital status, and location, among others. By correctly understanding your target consumer, you will be able to come up with messaging that resonates with them.
· You Must Measure Whatever Advertising You Do
You will find it very frustrating if you spend money on advertising, but cannot be sure whether it is working or not. The online platform has several advertising options, and you can measure their performance. Platforms such as Facebook and Google artworks have tools that will give you the necessary data. You will need to continuously test and experiment before you finally land on what is working well. And even then, you will need to keep on making adjustments as the consumer’s needs evolve.
· You Must Know When to Advertise
A small business can’t advertise all year round. As it is, you are already operating on a small budget which you cannot afford to spread throughout the year. You may think that the sensible thing to do is target advertising for every month. However, with a small budget, you may only be able to do so much. It means that your advertising will not be impactful.
You are better off advertising quarterly, thus allowing you to do a blitz campaign that is sure to stick in the customer’s minds. And quite honestly, how many companies can actually sustain a full-year advertising campaign. Also make sure you keep some money aside for special holidays like Christmas, Halloween, and Valentine’s among others. Depending on the kind of products, you can make a killing at this time.
It will make advertising worthwhile. It also does not hurt to take a look at what some of your competitors are doing. Pay special attention to those who have been in the industry for a long time.
· You Must Understand Of the Different Advertising Platforms
There are so many different platforms you can advertise your business on. But, they all have different offerings and target different audiences. So do your homework well so that you do not spend money on a channel that will not give you any Returns.
· Make Sure Your Branding Is On Point
Customers need to be able to know your brand immediately; they see your logo or imagery. Think Coca-Cola, Nike, Toyota, Mercedes, KFC, among others. While you may argue that these are big brands, and you are absolutely right, focus on learning from them. Get good branding and stick to it. If you keep changing it, the customers will not be able to make the Association, thus leading to low brand awareness for you.
· You Must Allocate Your Resources Appropriately
Look at their channels that will provide the most value, and allocate sufficient resources to those. If you can get away with taking advantage of the free platforms, then do so as well. You may, for example, know the importance of ranking in the search engine, but do not have time to create the content. You can then put a budget in Google AdWords.
It may also not be a wise move to take a full-page in the dailies, while that one off-budget can run a Social Media campaign for a month.
· You Must Network
Go out there and spend time around people within your industry, or even outside of it. You get to learn a lot; you can pass your business cards around; you get referrals, among others. Be active in such groups so that you build your profile. You will find such professionals on platforms such as LinkedIn and professional Facebook groups.
Also, consider getting to know their local journalists so that they can push your content, thus generating free publicity for your company. Become the go-to source of information for everything to do with the industry. Journalists are human beings, not some monster who is out to tarnish your company name. They also have deadlines to meet. Having a story or information source is something that they will welcome.
· Use Influencers
Influencers will help you market your products without the hefty budget you would otherwise spend on print and TV advertising. You must do your research to ensure that you are working with a credible person, who has a large social media following. While some may require that you pay them, others are perfectly content doing product reviews. So you may need to factor in sending some of your products to the influencer you decide to work with.
You have a lot of opportunities to advertise your small business. You, however, need to do it strategically so that you do not waste your money. You must, therefore, allocate resources to the right channels. You also need to have a plan, timelines, target audience, and the right strategies. You will find that your company is starting to get some recognition in the market. You must then do all you can to convert the leads into purchasing customers.