It can be incredibly tough for a small business owner or start-up company to know how best to advertise and develop a marketing strategy accordingly. A small business means that there might be fewer than five people on the team, all of them already struggling with their day-to-day tasks. You might even be a one-person show! So just how should a small business that is watching the pennies and working all available hours market their company? We take a look at effective advertising for small businesses… that won’t break the bank!
Advertising For Small Businesses: Step By Step Guide
Step 1: Devise a strategy
The unfortunate truth is that there is no hard and fast rule when it comes to small business advertising. What works for one small business may not work for another simply because what they sell does not lend itself to a generic advertising strategy. However, there is one rule that cannot be denied: if a company does not advertise, it will not sell because no one knows about it.
At the beginning, marketing strategies will be a case of trial and error. To really make a dent right at the start, small businesses will need to take a blanket approach, which means utilising both online and offline advertising.
Create a comprehensive plan of the methods that you want to focus on, and track your ROI at weekly intervals. This will give you a better idea of what is working, and what isn’t.
Step 2: Online advertising
When it comes to advertising for small businesses, online is presence is essential in the digital age. Online naturally involves the setting up of a professional-looking website. There are many companies offering free WYSIWYG or What You See Is What You Get websites, which are just a click and drag template.
These are great for small businesses that have no web design personnel and do not want to spend a fortune on outsourcing this task. However, it may be worth spending money on getting a copywriter to write the web content to make sure the wording is tight and optimised for keywords.
Other online channels include the use of social media, such as Twitter and Facebook. These are often trumpeted as essential for business marketing, but while they can be invaluable to certain companies, others may find the dedication they demand a waste of time, time that can be more valuably spent.
There is also Pay Per Click (PPC) online advertising, but for the small business, these are probably an unnecessary expense. Take a look at a specific targeted PPC campaign: for example, if you’re an oven cleaning business in Bournemouth try focusing on a long-tail keyphrase like ‘good oven cleaning in Bournemouth’. Try to take over the niche in the market.
Step 3: Offline advertising
Tradition or offline marketing can often be the best approach for advertising for small businesses. People still read posters, pick up flyers and flick through brochures when it comes to shopping for goods or services, so it makes sense for a small business to invest in creating such literature. Just remember some simple design rules – keep wording direct and to a minimum. Do not use more than three different colours and include only essential contact information.
Offline marketing, such as flyers and posters, should contain a single message, i.e. a special introductory offer, or a simple breakdown of what the business provides. Always include a website address on this type of literature, so that if a potential customer wants to find out more, they know where to head.
For a small business trying to get off the ground, a marketing strategy that makes use of both offline and online channels works best, and will enable them to develop more targeted strategies in the future.
Should you need any assistance with any of your printed offline marketing materials, don’t hesitate to get in touch today.