5 Spring Advertising And Marketing Tips
For most small and new businesses it’s a matter of what can we afford to do this season and where are our dollars best spent. Here are 5 ways to get your advertising campaign underway this spring.
Set An Advertising Budget
The first thing we need to do is set an advertising budget (even if its small ) and stick to it. This is one of the hardest things to determine. Some business gurus recommend spending up to 40% of your profits on marketing in the initial years then cutting back to around 10% once you have some brand recognition.
Determine Your Target Market
Then you need to determine which form of advertising will best reach our target market: websites, radio, print, online, social media, direct mail? To determine our target market we need to put ourselves in our customer’s shoes, we can do this by creating a profile of your customer . Here are a few questions you might ask when developing your customer profile:
- What is his or her name? (assigning a name can help us to treat or customer profile like a real person).
- Where do they live?
- Where do they work?
- What magazines do they read?
- Do they go to the gym?
- What fears and frustrations do they have when it comes to our services or products?
- Do they read the newspaper or get their information online?
- Are they an active user of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter?
Once your customer profile is complete you will have a better idea of where to spend your advertising dollars to best reach your target customer.
Image advertising or Call to Action
Determine whether you spend money on “image” advertising and create more brand awareness for our company or advertise with a call to action where you invite customers into the store, to the website or to get in touch with you for more information. While building brand awareness is always good, a call to action can be a quicker way of getting your prospective customers to take the next step. A call to action is especially good if you can gather some information about your customer and use that to advertise to them directly in the future through email, sms or direct mail.
Should You Invest in Online Advertising?
Do you invest in online advertising? Yellow pages are dwindling, a recent study suggests that yellow pages are losing their impact and that in the next 5 years will be used primarily by people 50+. Search engine and social media advertising has evolved to a point where you can now advertise directly to anyone in a specific location (Regina Saskatchewan) in a certain age range (25-35) who are interested in a specified subject (garden gnomes). So your home landscaping business can place an ad that will appear with a call to action directly in front of your target market. For this to be effective you will need to invest in a website. Which brings us to the next step.
Do You Need a Website?
For online advertising to work whether pay per click, banner ads, social media advertising on facebook or myspace, or search engine advertising you need a website. A presence on the web provides you with 24-7 advertising and can supply your customers with 24-7 support in many cases. In the next 5 years it is estimated that 89% of Canadians will be turning solely to the internet for information on who they should hire or buy from. It’s a fact that if you don’t have a website that you are losing business to your competitors who do. A website isn’t just some information about your business up on the internet, it is a reflection of your business as a whole. Talk about judging a book by it’s cover, the majority of potential customers searching for your product or service online will decide whether or not to use you based on the look of your website. A website that looks like it wasn’t created by a professional says something to your customers that a professional and easy to navigate website doesn’t.
A typical brochure website costs around $2500 and a good website design company will design a website so that it will be easy to maintain into the future and should remain current for more than 3 years, costing your advertising budget about $833 per year. When compared to radio, print or newspaper advertising which can easily cost up to $1000 per week, a website is a budget conscious form of advertising that can reach your target market 24 hours a day. When combined properly with search engine advertising and social media advertising your website will allow you to track customers, the time spent on your site, what they are interested in and how you can advertise to them again in the future.