Marketing Strategies for First-Time Advertisers

Advertise your small business on your vehicle.
Advertise your small business on your vehicle. | Source

Finding Advertising That Fits Your Needs

When deciding what type of advertising to do, there are many things to consider. Foremostly, you will need to determine how much money you can allocate for advertising. Which type of advertising will be most effective for your type of business? Below is a variety of advertising strategies that range from free to more costly. Some require very little effort, while others require more time and a lot of effort. It is often beneficial to combine a few advertising ideas and form a plan of action, to get your advertising efforts started.

Smart Ways to Advertise Your Business

  • Word of Mouth and Business Cards: Always carry business cards with you. Hand these out at appropriate moments. The business cards should be appealing, contain your business name, slogan, business phone number, fax number, email address, hours of operation, and website. On the back, you could place a coupon that might furthur entice a potential customer to visit your place of business. Another idea, is to put something useful on the back, such as a calendar, so that the person you hand it to is less likely to throw it away.
  • Welcome Wagon: According to WelcomeWagon.com, each year businesses can lose up to 20% of their customers because of relocation. Their stance is that new homeowners have no existing loyalties in the communities, so they are seeking products and services, making them powerful spenders for small businesses. According to them, "New homeowners spend more in their first 6 months, than established homeowners spend in 5 years." The Welcome Wagon connects businesses to new homeowners through direct mail, utilizing a professionally produced welcome book advertising businesses directly to them.
  • Trade-off with other Small Businesses: Visit a business that compliments yours. For example, if you own a nail salon, visit a hair salon. Ask if they would be willing to display your business cards, flyers, or coupons, and tell them that in return, you will do the same for them. Both businesses benefit and it is free.
  • Mailbox Flyers: Flyers are the perfect form of advertising for residents that are near a business. They are easy to create and deliver. Flyers can give general information or provide news about an upcoming event. Either way, flyers are a free form of advertising.
  • Postcards: Postcards can be useful with existing customers. They can keep customers coming back, by offering special discounts and coupons, keeping current customers happy. Postcards cost less to mail as well.
  • Vehicle Magnet or Decal: Putting a magnet or decal on your vehicle is one of the least expensive forms of advertising, as there is no cost other than the initial cost of the magnet or decal. These can cost as little as $20 and can easily be removed if needed. Signazon offers a wealth of choices and designs at very competitive pricing.
  • Signage: If your business is not visible from the road, or is in a hard-to-find location, than signage is crucial. Always check local ordinances to be sure you can place signs in places that are acceptable.
  • Valpak: Offering coupons through a direct mail service is more costly than other forms of advertising. However, it requires little time and effort on your part and can be very effective. Valpak offers coupons through mail, computer, and mobile devices, helping you to reach more people. According to Valpak, "Almost everyone checks his or her mailbox daily, and studies show 79% of households either read or skim advertising mail sent to their home." Source: 2010 DMA Statistical Fact Book.

  • Small Business Website: Having a small business website is essential to advertising any business effectively. A website gives your business a face for potential customers to connect to. It is an opportunity to get information out to customers about what makes your business unique. It gives customers a way to find you and a reason to come back. According to BlueHost.com, "With over 2.2 billion people online...... For businesses, a web presence has become a fundamental part of success." Learn how to use Vista Print to create your own website: How To Build a Website Easily Using Vistaprint.
  • Grocery Store Receipts: With the current trend of consumers eating out less and eating in more, they are also buying more food at the grocery store. This means they are taking more receipts home and probably looking at the back of them to see what coupons are there. More businesses are using this local form of advertising with grocery stores in their areas.
  • Facebook: Facebook advertising is a fantastic tool right at your fingertips. You are in control of the time frame, amount of money spent, and choosing your target market. All you need is a facebook account and you are ready to go. Facebook lets you choose your market based on location, interests, gender, age, and more. To learn exactly how to create an ad on Facebook, visit Tips For Advertising on Facebook.
  • Email Advertising: Email advertising is a great way to keep existing customers coming back. It is also useful in reconnecting with customers you haven't seen in a while. If you have software that allows you to determine characteristics about consumer purchases, you can also send specific coupons and special offers to clients based upon past data. In addition to website services, Vistaprint also offers email advertising that is easy to use.

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