Over the past two decades, I have spent my career helping small business owners to create affordable small business advertising. The problem most small business owners have is that the only place for them to turn for help in creating such advertising are the media reps which sell local advertising. Every once in a while you’ll find a real pro selling advertising at the local level whose primary focus is upon creating success for your business. These advertising pros recognize that they will achieve success by helping YOU to achieve advertising success. If you’re lucky enough to have found such a gem, be sure to send him/her a nice thank you gift because this type of local media rep is very rare.
Many advertising reps are focused on one thing: selling advertising. Whether your advertising works or not for your business is usually not a primary concern. Offering an affordable advertising solution is usually the FURTHEST thing from your local media rep’s mind.
With that in mind, here are 5 keys to creating affordable advertising for your small business.
5 Keys to Creating Affordable Small Business Advertising
1. Tightly target your advertising message.
When you try to create a message for everyone, then you’re in fact speaking to no one. By tightly targeting your advertising message, you can then…
2. Tightly target your advertising message delivery.
When you’ve created a tightly targeted message, you can then tightly target your delivery. You’ll buy your small business advertising based on the number of “impressions” you make. When you tightly target your message, you can tightly target your audience. That means fewer “wasted” impressions, which are impressions you make when you’re reaching members outside of your targeted audience.
3. Focus on a single media
When you’re operating on a limited advertising budget, there is no such thing as a “media mix”. For the absolute MAXIMUM impact, pair radio or television with your website.
Radio and television are GREAT at operating “under the radar” and getting tightly targeted advertising message noticed.
4. Tightly target your ad delivery.
This is where you’ll meet with resistance from your media rep. He/she will usually try to get you to allow the station to determine where to place your ads. Worse yet, you may try to spread your ad dollars over as long as possible. THIS WILL DRAMATICALLY AFFECT YOUR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN’S SUCCESS!
If you’ve got a limited budget, then your goal should be to OWN a single program or day part. Don’t allow your ads to run willy-nilly. If you’re buying radio, schedule your spots so they HAVE to run 9 times in a 3 hour period. (Your rep won’t like this… the traffic department won’t like this, but stick to your guns and don’t sign the contract without this!) If you’re buying television, (especially if you’re using the incredibly affordable “cable” advertising) you may not be able to specify a particular show but you can certainly limit your spots to a specific station. Again, your goal is to OWN your little corner of the television network.
If you can only afford 20 spots on cable, then schedule those 20 spots over a 4 day period. Don’t try to spread those 20 spots over 20 days… your message will get lost in the sea of advertising clutter.
The word picture I use with clients is to think of a glob of peanut butter. The “month” of advertising is represented by the slice of bread. Instead of spreading the peanut butter thinly over the entire slice of bread, plop that glob of peanut butter onto the slice of bread. Don’t spread it around because we want the viewing or listening audience to KNOW when they’re tasting peanut butter!!!
5. Make your call to action a visit to the website.
This is important. See, advertising is a combination of art and science. You may need to tweak the message you’re delivering.
If you make your call to action “call our office for an appointment,” then the only form of measurement you have is whether the phone rings. However, if the call to action is “visit our website” then you can take a look at your log files and see if the ad drove visitors to your website. If it didn’t, it’s time to “tweak” either the message or the delivery method.
I had an experience with this with a client of mine. We create a tightly targeted marketing message and delivered it via local cable advertising. Because the ad drove customers to a web site, we were able to objectively see if the ad was “working”. It was. People were coming to the oddly spelled domain name via direct request. Using a traffic analysis program, we could track their movements through the websites. At that point, we knew the advertising was working so instead of changing the message or the media we used to deliver the marketing message, we began to look INSIDE the website for the problem.
A look at the log files showed that customers were leaving when they reached the product pricing page. The client lowered his product’s pricing and like magic the phone began to ring.
The important point to consider is, had we made the call to action “Call for more information” we couldn’t have pinpointed this problem as easily or effectively as we did by using a visit to the website as the “call to action”.
If you’re looking for a simple, step by step approach to creating affordable small business advertising that delivers results … pick up a copy of the book Beyond the Niche: Essential Tools You Need to Create Marketing Messages that Deliver Results .
The exercises contained within the book will really help to illuminate your way to creating tightly targeted advertising messages that speak to a niche market and deliver results.