You’ve got a small business, you need customers and the first idea you can think of is to advertise in the newspaper.
So you call up the newspaper agency and ask for the advertising rates to promote your small business in the front pages of the newspaper. They tell you the price and you just stand there frozen in shock of what you’ve just heard.
I’m sure you’ve experienced this before, I know I have.
Full page advertising is not for the weak hearted, it’s for companies who earn hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, it’s not for small businesses.
Being in business for over 7 years, I’ve learnt how to manage my resources and locate affordable ways to attract more customers. Therefore in this article, I’ll share with you my top 10 advertising ideas you can apply for your small business.
Here we go:
Affordable Advertising Ideas For Your Small Business
- Word of mouth marketing. This is the most affordable but still one of the most effective ways to gather business. By looking after your existing customers, they will refer other customers to you. The great thing about word of mouth marketing is that it doesn’t cost you anything, just a good relationship with your existing customers.
- Affiliate program. If you setup a structure in which people refer you business, you can send them a commission upon referral. This is fantastic and give you control. Instead of spending all your advertising upfront and hope to get customers, instead you now simply pay for the referral when they become your customer.
- Advertising on Facebook. I love advertising on Facebook. You have full control over your marketing dollars and you can target your target market with laser accuracy. By spending around $100, you can generate approximately 1,000 visitors to your website, however spending $100 in a newspaper won’t get you very far unless you write great copy.
- Blogging. By setting up a blog site, you are generating free leads and prospects to your business. However blogging is a long term strategy, don’t expect to write an article and then all of a sudden, you get a surge of customers. Articles usually take time to be indexed in the search engines so blogging should be used as a long term strategy along side your other advertising ventures.
- Small classified ads. Believe it or not, many people do look at the classified ads section, the great thing about this section of the newspaper is that these people are ready to buy and therefore reading your ad. The most important thing about advertising in the classified ads section is that people who call you are interested in what you have to offer and ready with the money.
- Small niche newspapers. Let’s say that you’re a dog trainer, if you advertise in a dog training magazine or dog training local newspaper column, you’ll have a better chance of attracting quality customers and leads. Also, with small niche newspapers, it’s a lot cheaper to advertise there than the major newspapers which contain a mixture of people who are interested in everything else which dilutes your advertising dollars.
- Seminars. One of the best ways to attract more customers is to stand up infront of them and share your knowledge. I’ve done this in the past and seminars is very effective. When you’re sharing information to an audience, people see you and are engaged, this is more effective than looking at an advertisement.
- Youtube. Have a video camera? Great! Record some useful information as a video and upload it to YouTube.com. YouTube has become it’s own search engine and if you are continually posting videos onto youtube which all points back to your website, you’re generating free leads and attracting customers.
- Joint ventures. Do you know anyone in your industry who shares the same interest but does not conflict with it? Then partner up with them. If you’re a dog trainer, you can partner up with pet store owners and advertise with them. Work out some sort of win/win deal with your new joint venture partner and you’ll be sharing customers and resources.
- Banners. An old school way of advertising is to simply place them on a busy street. Of course, the prices may vary but banners do still work. I remember one time I was promoting some real estate property and one of the strategies we did was to advertise using banners. We placed banners all along a busy street and received so many phone calls. We sold the house, thanks to the old school way of advertising.
So there you have it, the top 10 affordable advertising ideas for small business.
Keep in mind that some of these idea will be relevant to your industry and some won’t, the most important thing you can take away from this article is to simply pick one and run with it. If it works, keep it, if it doesn’t, move on to another strategy.