As a small business owner, you may not have a lot of money in the budget for promotion, marketing, and advertising, so you want to make sure you spend what you do have wisely. Different advertising channels can provide wildly varying returns on investment for different types of businesses. Choosing the right advertising channels for your business becomes key to making your target audience aware of your products and services.
Focusing on Your Target Audience
One of the key elements in choosing the right advertising channels for your business is honing in on your target audience. Part of this involves understanding basic demographic information such as age, profession, location, and the like. For example, if you are targeting high-level executives in a business-to-business situation, it’s unlikely that you’ll find them spending their business hours on social media. In addition, you want to target the people who actually pay for your products or services. If you’re selling toys or providing musical instrument lessons, for example, you need to reach the parents of the children who actually consume what your business offers.
Understanding the Different Advertising Channels Available
You have many different advertising channels available. Because different target audiences respond positively to some channels and not to others, you need to consider your options carefully.
- Print Media. Print media is one of the most traditional advertising channels. It’s typically inexpensive and flexible, making it an attractive means of promotion. Whether you buy newspaper ads or print leaflets to be handed out, one drawback of print media is that it reaches a broad audience rather than the specific, targeted customers you want to aim at.
- Outdoor Marketing. Another type of advertising with a broad reach is outdoor marketing, which includes billboards as well as signage around your business. This advertising method can be very effective if you’re trying to direct prospective customers to your brick-and-mortar store. Choosing a location is key, as is providing excellent design work. One drawback to outdoor advertising is the inability to calculate ROI.
- Broadcast Ads. Advertising via TV and radio ads is often out of the financial reach of many small businesses. If you want to give it a try, make sure your ad is professionally produced, and choose the right station and time to reach your target audience.
- Digital Advertising. Advertising on digital media can be much less costly than advertising on TV or radio, and it can produce excellent results because of the ability to target audience segments precisely. Include videos in your online advertising, since they’re typically quite effective, and pay attention to SEO to make sure your website is showing up well in search results.
- Social Media Marketing. While you’re creating your online advertising strategy, don’t forget about social media. The reach of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can’t be underestimated, and the ability to target audiences is incredibly finely honed.
Choosing the Best Advertising Channels
As you consider your advertising options, start by setting an advertising budget, and see what you can get for your available funds on each of the channels you’re considering. Research to figure out how valuable your options are at reaching your target audience. A lot of data is available about the effectiveness of online channels in particular, including display ads and social media, so you can make an informed decision.
By researching all the advertising channels available to you, you can make fiscally smart decisions and get your business’s products and services in front of your target audience.