In advertising you speak to many people that have “no budget” for advertising. This also meant they assumed they had no options for budget friendly small business advertising opportunities. As well as no real understanding of exactly what they needed or could be doing with the type of budget they actually did have. Most of them knew they had to do something but were pretty sure they couldn’t afford what they really wanted. They assumed that what they could possibly afford wasn’t worth their time. Small businesses have a lot more advertising opportunities than they have had in the past. Even if their audience is primarily local, a business can still benefit not only from online advertising but also traditional forms of media like print.
One of the biggest complaints that we hear from small businesses is that there are not many opportunities for them to advertise in their area. They are often very unsure of where to start, what it costs, and how long they have to run for. Many assume that they have to stick to word of mouth advertising. Or that more traditional forms of media just won’t work for them or are not in their budget. While in some cases this viewpoint is understandable because no one wants to throw money into the wind, there are actually quite a few things that small business owners can do. If you want to bolster their brand and their sales without eating a whole through their pocket book.
Setting your business up on all of the local businesses listings is one of the first things that small business owners can do. This will help you to make sure that they can be found online. Even if they do not have a website.
Print advertising is one of the best small business advertising opportunities that small business owners can consistently do on a limited budget. This is a great way to remind people what your services are and build some brand recognition.
Many people are very much into spending money with local businesses to keep their local community vibrant. USA Today also offers regional sections in local papers. Placing your ad in a well known paper helps. It lends your business a sense of credibility, especially when placed consistently. Despite belief that people do not read print this is actually not true. Studies show that in fact print editions of both newspaper, magazine, and books is higher that their online editions. Additional studies also show that readers are more likely to look at and remember ads they see in print. over those they view in digital.
You can participate in or contributing to local events and local charities. It is also a great way for small businesses to build camaraderie with their community. Sponsoring local teams and events is often a popular form of networking for almost any sized business. Sponsoring a local event can prove to work even more in your favor if there is some news coverage. Local papers love to write articles about what community members are doing around town.
Customer loyalty programs are also a great way to retain previous customers. A recent study done by UPS concluded that 81% of online shoppers participate in loyalty programs It gives people a way to feel too connected to your business and build brand loyalty. Offering discounts or referral programs has been known to account for as much as 20% of a businesses sales for the year.
Often small business owners are pleasantly surprised to find out that even some big name national publications like USA Today offer regional flexibility for small business owners who do not want to bite off more than they can chew. Depending on what type of budget friendly advertising opportunities a business is looking for this can also include banner advertising or an ad on the USA Today Classified Advertising website. Even though there is no minimum dollar spend it is recommended that all ads run in at least three regions. While this is not mandatory, it does help when regional opportunities are only available on a remnant basis.
While it is true that most small business advertising opportunities do require a budget of some kind it is unreachable. Much of the time it’s more about making sure that your current customers remember you and keep coming back. You don’t always have to spend a ton of money. You but just make sure your name comes up when they need you. Let your reputation do the majority of the work for you. This is the biggest boost in your business that you can make. On top of that there are several things that you can do to help bolster this. While keeping your name fresh on people’s minds.
Here is key to making your advertising work harder than you do. It is all about finding a representative who is able to help you navigate these decisions. So that you are able to benefit. “A regional ad is not a guarantee but it is a benefit to the client. The biggest benefit to the client is only reaching an audience that can respond or act on the ad. I am always on the look out for products or services that will yield better results in a local market rather than national coverage. It can be a huge benefit for a business to be more locally targeted which in return allows smaller companies to utilize their small budgets and increase frequency since each spend is lower.” ( Doug Knowles Small Business and Franchise Account Executive)
For more information on how newspaper advertising and how they can provide effective small business advertising opportunities at lower costs than many other types of advertising.