When it comes to marketing in the modern age, there are lots of choices out there. Marketing for small businesses has shifted from the realm of radio and television to things like the Internet and social media in particular. Knowing which marketing efforts to actively pursue requires understanding what options are available and then deciding which are a good fit for your business. In this article, we will go over a bunch of marketing methods that are divided up into four different categories comprising the most expensive, the least expensive, the ones that you might not think of yourself and more.
The Conventional Stuff
Radio and television have definitely been the most popular way to advertise small businesses in the past. Radio in particular was popular because just about everyone had a radio in their car and listened to it, plus radio advertisements were inexpensive to buy and easy to make. Of course, if you’re looking to visually appeal to your audience, a radio ad might not be as effective as one on television and that’s why local television stations do a brisk business and small business advertising even today. But these two mediums aren’t the only ways to advertise your small business. There are other conventional methods that you might want to take advantage of as well.
Billboard advertising has been shown to be effective when used properly. Billboard ads are a little more expensive than advertising on the radio or even putting an ad in the newspaper – which is another conventional method you might want to consider – but if you can create a print advertisement on a billboard that is designed to convert you might find this to be a very effective method.
These conventional methods all have one thing in common. They are tried-and-true advertising methods that have stood the test of time for several decades now and well radio is nowhere near as popular as it used to be and television is quickly being replaced by online video there is still value in conventional advertising.
There are, of course, conventional methods of marketing that are not effective these days but were great in the past. An example of this is yellow page advertising. Businesses that took out expensive, large-sized advertisements in the local telephone directory were sure to be the first called when someone was looking for their product or service. But these days, hardly anyone even uses paper telephone directories because smartphones and computers can look up information much more quickly and accurately.
The Free Stuff
Another way that you can advertise your business is by coming up with some creative ideas for free advertising as well as using the more conventional methods. For example, word-of-mouth is one of the most effective forms of advertising and doesn’t cost a dime. Some of the ways to make sure that your customers are doing word-of-mouth advertising for you – and not the wrong kind – is to have superb customer service, sell great products or services and make sure that everyone who comes in your store is happy. Other ways that you can advertise without incurring any actual cost is by using flyers, passing out business cards or by running discounts or promotions that entice people to come in.
The Most High-Tech Stuff
You also may want to consider some high-tech advertising. This doesn’t mean putting your logo on the back of a robot – at least not yet – but it does mean that you can advertise using the Internet in conventional and unconventional ways. For example, make sure that you have a social media profile on all of the major social networks and take advantage of the newest platforms that are going to give you the best returns. Some of the recommended platforms include: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn and Snapchat.
But social media is not the only way to take advantage of high-tech advertising. Using Internet marketing techniques like having a blog that is updated regularly with search keywords that people can use to find it and having a website that is modern and useful and is fully optimized for mobile. In addition, you can use forums and article directories to get traffic to your site which will then turn into traffic in your store.
There are also methods for selling your products and services online that are either free or very inexpensive. Many stores find that if they keep a regular ad on the classifieds site Craigslist that they see results from it. Some people have success by listing their products on eBay and selling to people all over the world with that method. You might also try paid advertising online that is geo-targeted like Google AdWords.
The Most Creative Stuff
Some most effective advertising that has ever been used is also some of the most creative. Of course, viral videos can be particularly effective for nationally based businesses but for small business even if they were able to create a viral video they might not see a huge return in their own area. Instead, you can try some things that will entice new customers to try you directly from your local area.
Some of the most creative ideas revolve around coupons, discounts and freebies. You might want to try being part of a coupon book or package, which is something that many businesses find success with and doesn’t cost anything usually if you are a service-based business. You can also decide to host events or social gatherings. Some businesses find that their revenue goes up if they open up themselves to allowing social gatherings on their property but this doesn’t work for every business. However, every business can host events that they can advertise with flyers and on social media that will draw customers in.
There are lots of ways out there that you could market your business successfully. Small business is stronger than ever and there are a lot of options these days when it comes to marketing. Try out some of these methods and see how they work for you.