Is your business getting limited results from advertising? One place to look when this happens is how widely your advertising message is spread. Many businesses who face this problem tend to focus on only one form of advertising, therefore limiting their reach.
While it’s not recommended that you have a large target audience, it is still important to have more than one form or venue for your advertising in order to reach your target market in multiple ways. The fact is that many businesses fail, in part, because they avoid widening their view and stay only with one type of advertising.
A lot of advertisers think that the medium on which their advertising is, in fact, just as important if not more important than the message they are promoting. So when you say that you restrict your advertising to Google AdWords, you are missing an entire population of prospects who are not looking for you there.
Let’s talk a little bit about why you don’t want to focus on only one form about advertising. Let’s say you are focusing on billboards only or bus ads only or the newspaper display ads only… you don’t get the attention of the people who aren’t looking in those places. If your billboard ads are on three major highways and you will have the potential to reach an audience that never drives down those highways, well you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. So you want to diversify the ways and the places in which you were doing your marketing in order to reach more people.
Small business owners, of course, are not typically marketing experts, and most of us rely on advertising salespeople to guide us through the best choices for where to advertise. The problem is, of course, that salespeople have a bias toward their medium and their platform. And so, lots of small, local businesses find themselves restricting their reach and only getting their message out to a limited audience.
These days consumers have so much competition for their attention that it now takes somewhere between three and twelve impressions of an advertising message before a prospect even remember seeing an ad. So putting an ad in that monthly paper 12 times a year, and nowhere else, is simply a waste of money for an advertiser. It’s simply not the right investment unless you are running those ads as part a broader marketing and advertising plan on multiple platforms.
So what sorts of platforms should you consider? Rule number one is to go where your prospects are… so if you are marketing a retirement community, you, obviously, don’t want to be taking out ads in children’s magazines.
Here are a few possible platforms to think about:
• The Yellow Pages – Clearly nobody is going to the phone book any more, and most publishers have moved their services online. In some markets they provide valuable services and a great reach, but in others, they get very little traffic to their online properties. So do your homework before committing to this type of advertising.
• Direct mail and postcards can still be a highly effective way to market, but it depends on your goal, your budget, the type of targeting you’re trying to do, and the offer you are making. Ultimately, postcards require repeat impressions, which mean you need to be mailing to the same address multiple times before you can expect a reasonable response.
• Online advertising can be far more cost effective than direct mail, and, on any platforms, like Google, Bing, and Facebook, you can target a very specific audience who is already looking for or has demonstrated interest in what you are promoting. In addition, online display advertising, or contextual advertising can be very effective at reaching a local audience interested in a particular topic. For example, a financial planner can advertise to people within a 15 mile radius around her office who are reading an article about retirement planning on the Wall Street Journal’s website.
The point is that there are multiple ways to promote a brand, a service, and an offer, and the more places you are seen (repeatedly) the more success you will have at getting prospects to take action on your ads.
Small, local business advertising is easy to do when you have a st