For small business owners, finances can be tight, especially if you are just getting your business off the ground. Growing your business will require some form of advertising beyond work of mouth, and that will require an investment of your hard earned dollars. As advertising experts like Jonathan Disegi will agree, it is very important to develop the right strategy in order to get the best returns, which means having a clear idea of what you want to accomplish. Here are some things to consider as you think about advertising your small business.
Know your audience
Ideally, you have built a profile of your typical customer, and have some idea of what it is that they like about your product or service. If you don´t, then you begin by investing some time and maybe money into developing an understanding of your customer. You can do this by actively soliciting feedback from your customers whether you are online or operate a brick and mortar shop. Build and actively maintain a social media presence and pay attention to who your followers are, what else they follow, and what sort of interaction they have with you and your product. Obviously, the point of advertising is to find and reach out to new customers – but this will require a clear understanding of who are existing customers are as well.
Develop your brand
Whereas large businesses can afford to develop campaigns specifically intended to grow brand awareness by the simple act of repetition and saturation, the small business owner needs to make do with less. Before you begin an active advertising campaign, spend some time developing a recognizable brand, whether it is a phrase, an image or a logo. You will need to live with this brand for a long time, so it is worth investing the money to hire a professional to help you with the design. Make sure that all of your promotional material, your social media, your business cards, and everything else you have carries this logo before you launch a campaign.
Make sure your advertising is working
Direct response advertising is a useful way for small businesses to know if their advertising is working. This form of advertising invites some form of response from potential customers – it may include a coupon, a number to call for a discount, a website to request a rebate, or some other form of invitation. In addition to encouraging someone to purchase your good or service, this approach also allows to gain important insights into who your customers are. When they respond, you have the opportunity to collect their information and generate a database that will come in useful as you refine your future advertising. If you are advertising online, Google and Facebook both provide extensive metrics that can help you fine tune your campaign.
With limited resources, it is crucial that you identify your audience and also your brand before you launch an extensive campaign. Direct advertising and the use of available metrics can help you to make sure you have found the right message and audience before you launch a major campaign.