Advertising can be tricky. There are so many different avenues to take. If you do too much you could be spending a lot of money and annoy people, if you do too little you could be ineffective and waste money. No matter the size of your marketing budget, if you implement an effective strategy you can make even a small budget have a significant impact.
The opportunities to market your business are endless. Here are a few of the millions of ways to get your name out there:
PPC advertising, social media ads and post boosting, Yelp and Google Ads, Community team/event Sponsor, billboards, newspapers, magazine, online blogs, (e) newsletters, ads on a basketball or baseball court, 5k races, charity events, fairs and festivals, mailers, flyers, word-of-mouth, B2B, etc.
Like I said, the number of creative ways you can better brand and advertise your company is literally endless. But the trick is doing it effectively. How many times have you given money to have your logo on a flyer for a fundraiser or sent out postcards to everyone in the area and not gotten any leads from it?
Making the Difference- Strategy
The difference is in the strategy and the follow-up. When you do any of the above-mentioned advertising you must have a plan put in place. Identify the following:
- Who is your demographic? Area, income, age, habits, interests, etc.
- What is the best time of year to pay for this advertising?
- Ask the detailed questions before paying:
- How many times will my logo appear?
- How many times will my company’s name be announced?
- Are there any other perks?
- How many people attend this event/read this message?
There is so much more to this but you get the picture, you must determine the rhyme and reason for everything you do in your marketing strategy. For instance, would you pay to have your logo in a monthly newsletter that goes out to the community if there are only 20 subscribers? No, that is a waste of money, that reach is so small and the likelihood of a lead is minuscule.
The Lasting Mark- Follow-Up
The second half to this is the follow-up. If you randomly choose an advertising method, I’m going to bet you didn’t do a follow up. Every step should have a follow up plan implemented. For instance, you have a booth at the local farmer’s market once a month. There is more than just showing up and trying to talk to people and sell your services. Let me paint a picture for you.
Your booth design reflects your company’s colors, logo, and website design (keeping a cohesive theme will make your image more recognizable). On the table in front of you is a jar and a stack of slips of paper. Each time someone comes up to your stand they can fill out their contact info and be entered to win a free…(a first time service or a discount for trying you). Also, before walking away you given them your business card and a flyer for your next promotion. You leave the market that day and you add all the new contact info somewhere that catalogs all your contacts. You choose the winner and contact them. They can come to the market next month or by your office to pick it up. Next week you send an email out to all your new contacts thanking them for their business and telling them more about you and your company.
This is just the first step to the follow up. Collecting contacts and following up with any event or outside promotion you are a part of will make those small advertising dollars stretch much further. This is just the tip of the ice burg, follow up should be done constantly throughout the year, not just once after an event. Customers should always be hearing from you in one form or another.