by Liz Jones
For small business, advertising is the key to drawing in customers. There are several different ways to go about it. Using only one form of advertising is not always effective. Using multiple types of advertising venues reaches a broader audience, and therefore, more potential customers.
Knowing some demographics about clientele is helpful in discovering what types of advertising will reach the. There are several ways to find out preference and background on present customers.
Conduct surveys with cards at cashiers counter or send them out with the mail on delivery orders. There are several online programs that can calculate demographics of those visiting a business’ website. These statistics can be used to streamline marketing and advertising strategies.
A business can cater marketing strategies towards its clients. If most of them are married adults without children, for example, a buy-one-get- one free coupon online might be successful. A local radio spot might also be efficient. Radio stations know their demographics, so, statistics can be mated to certain stations and commercial air times.
Where and how a customer conducts business is key to reaching them in marketing strategies. If they rarely go online, the best pay-per-click advertising campaign is not going to reach them. If they never read the newspaper, classified ads will not help. Using both methods of advertising, however, will reach both clientele.
The type of online advertising used affects how a potential customer discovers a business, especially a small local one. If a business does not have a website it will be difficult for people to find them online. These businesses must use advertising online though social media websites or piggyback off of other websites such as the local Chamber of Commerce or a review site. Small businesses that are offline may also need to cater to an audience that is offline. Strategies might include flyer distribution, newspaper advertising, radio and television campaigns, direct mail and outdoor billboards.
The least expensive advertising with the greatest return on investment is always the best strategy. Some forms of local advertising cost very little. For example, writing a company blog is one way to advertise online at a cost of paying a professional or doing it in-house. Running coupons and flyers costs little and the method of distribution could also be low. However, if no one pays attention the cost won’t matter. If spending $3,000 on advertising online or through a radio campaign brings in $6,000 in customer sales, it is probably worth the investment.