Consumer Advertising Platforms for Small Businesses

Consumer Advertising Platforms for Small Businesses
  • Opening Intro -

    It may not be every day that your business runs ads, especially given the cost of advertising.

    Ads may sometimes miss the mark, making it difficult for businesses to justify the expense.


Yet, you can carefully craft an advertising campaign that makes use of one, two or three or more advertising platforms that are suitable for most any small business.

Direct Mail

Sending advertisements the old-fashioned way may still work for your business with direct mail, you can send out ads yourself or use a third-party provider to bundle your offering with other businesses. The cost of direct mail has risen in recent years and there is always a risk that few people will read your offering. You might also consider the modern from of direct mail and that is an email distribution list.

Print Media

Newspapers and magazines have taken huge hits since the rise of the Internet, as advertising continues to move to the web. Still, with ad blindness pervasive online and those costs rising, some newspapers and magazines are still managing to attract a sizable following of advertisers. Print media advertising departments are in the bargaining mood, so pick your sources carefully. An ad in an airline magazine might stand a better chance of getting read than one in the weekly paper that few people seem to read. Consider also bespoke publishing where you pay for the entire magazine.

Traditional Broadcasting

First there was radio and then there was television. For years, the death knell of radio advertising was sounded as Madison Avenue wrongly believed that the older medium would be abandoned for the new. Instead, radio has managed to hold its own, especially AM talk radio. Radio is cheaper than TV, but both mediums can reach big audiences in the shortest amount of time. Talk with your local radio station and your cable operator about your ad options.

Web Advertising

Clearly, the Internet has the widest reach of all forms of advertising. Its price, however, is not cheap especially if you need to target your customers through a service such as AdWords. Quickly, your advertising budget can be depleted, perhaps without you knowing who looked at what ads. Newer web analytics tools have made it easier to track customer interaction including point-of-sale transactions. Alternately, consider investing in your social media campaigns. Basic participation is free, but if you want to grow your business then network ads and the work of a virtual assistant will cost you money.

Team Sponsors

Little League baseball, soccer teams and even football teams have sponsors. Usually, these sponsors are local businesses who get to post the company’s name on player uniforms. Some also allow for ads at ballparks, in programs or even a broadcast message over the speaker between quarters or innings. Team sponsorship may be hard to quantify, but it can have the beneficial effect of demonstrating goodwill. Invest in your community by supporting local youth.

Ad Considerations

Small businesses can save money by pooling their ads with other businesses. These shared costs can be used across all advertising platforms as a shopping center, a suite of services or a business association can cooperatively advertise to reach the same customer base.

See AlsoCaptive Advertising and Your Small Business


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Categories: Small Business

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".