Here’s what you can do to successfully advertise your business.
1. Know your product or service benefits.
What sets your business, products or services apart from the competition? You need to know what they are as these are the attributes you will want to promote.
For instance, if your printing business is known for a 48-hour turnaround guaranteed, you’ll want to include that special accomplishment in your advertising.
2. Obtain rate sheets.
How much does it cost to advertise through traditional means such as newspapers, magazines, catalogs, radio stations, and television stations? You should secure rate sheets from each one and compare these prices with online advertising methods such as affiliate programs, pay-per-click, and other strategies.
Put together a budget to include advertising and start allocating your resources carefully. Monitor the results to determine where your customers are coming from. After a few months you should know what methods work and won’t do, allowing you to reallocate your funds elsewhere.
3. Explore what your competitors are doing.
Yes, the companies you compete against have advertising campaigns of their own going. You should be very familiar with the various ways that your competitors advertise, study their methods, and learn how you might emulate what they do.
You won’t copy your competitors, rather you’ll improve upon what seems to work for them. Your ads should be simple, direct, informative, and contain a call to action. Provide a toll-free phone number and a web address to make it easy for people to find you.
4. Upsell your products or services.
When you hook your customers you’ve closed the deal. Chances are, however, they’ll buy something else. But, only if you offer it.
For example, if you own a bakery, you might offer doughnuts for $0.79. To attract volume business you could also include a free cup of coffee with every two doughnuts purchased. You just sold an extra doughnut by hooking them with a free cup of joe.
5. Take advantage of social media.
Not all advertising will cost you. At least not in the dollar’s spent on advertising directly. Social media, although free, does have a cost — the time spent managing, promoting and responding to customers through these sites.
Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, and Pinterest are among the sites that might benefit your business. You’ll need to establish accounts, put up pages, add new material, and monitor the action. It can be a lot of work, but it may be the best way for you to connect with your customers and find new ones.
You need to analyze your advertising to determine what works or what doesn’t work. That means reviewing data such as your website analytics, to learn how people heard of your product and attempt to quantify those results. Your conclusions may not be precise, but with careful analysis you can learn what works best for your business.
See Also — Advertising Options for Small Businesses
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