5 Small Business Advertising Trends to Amplify Your Reach

Woman sitting in front of laptop with email large and open in front of her

The ideas that we’re going to discuss in this blog post have worked incredibly well for small business marketing in Kansas City. Most of these methods should be viable in helping your business grow.

However, with that being said, there is no magic bullet marketing strategy. In the end, it’s all about connecting your business’s value proposition to the correct customer base. The concept is simple but can take on many different forms.

To know which of these strategies will help you amplify your reach, you must have answers to the following questions:

  • What are the demographics of your target audience? Where do they live?
  • What places does your target audience like to congregate online?
  • What process does your target audience engage in to find products in your niche?
  • Who are the online authorities they follow when it comes to making purchasing decisions related to your product/niche?

These strategies are:

  1. Facebook Marketing
  2. Google My Business
  3. Content Marketing
  4. Social Media
  5. Email Marketing

Let’s get started with the elephant in the room – Facebook marketing!

 

1. Facebook Marketing

There is a good reason why over 2 million+ small businesses are advertising on Facebook; it’s relatively cheap and effective at marketing to almost any audience on the planet.

Facebook ads work incredibly well at advanced targeting. For example, you can target users based on their interests, sex, age, behavior online, and of course, their location.

Making a Facebook ad is very simple. All you need is a good headline, some descriptive words, an image, and a hyperlink.

Facebook Ads Manager also makes it pretty easy to test several different ad sets, which lets you discover the winning formula for yourself and become profitable, with no advanced technical skills required.

 

2. Google My Business

Ranking a Google My Business (GMB) listing is incredibly impactful for any business.

And, if you have a local business serving local clients, GMB will probably work best for you.

In many cases, when someone searches for something on Google, they will find a paid ad, followed by a few GMB listings, and then followed by the organic search results. So, as you can see, being above the organic results while not being a paid ad (which many people have learned to avoid) has plenty of potential to pull in traffic. And the best part is you won’t have to spend any money on advertising.

But just what is a Google My Business profile? Simply put, it’s a platform/central hub that combines all of your Google accounts (Google+, Google Maps, Google Reviews, data from Google Analytics/Google Insights).

Also, if your brand name is unique, you should be able to have a large display for your name in the search results.

Thanks to all of the above, your business will automatically get more visibility and credibility. If you’re a local business, getting your GMB set up should be your #1 priority.

When it comes to ranking your GMB listing, it’s really not that difficult either. It starts with making sure that your profile is optimized, and then you gather reviews and make sure to post to your GMB profile at least once a week. This helps Google see that your business is relevant and regularly updated, similar to a website.

 

3. Content Marketing

Content marketing means making and distributing good content to capture and retain your target audience, with the follow-up goal of driving profitable actions. Good content is defined as these three things: relevant, consistent, and valuable.

Content marketing emphasizes long-term results in contrast to paid advertising, which focuses on the short term. This means that the short-term payoff of content marketing tends to be lower. Still, the long-term growth of customers, visitors, and leads can make a business successful.

However, content marketing isn’t an easy thing to do, and a lot goes into it besides having a creative mind for writing content:

  • valuable content
  • topic relevance
  • SEO
  • Optimized with the target audience in mind
  • Consistency in content publishing and promotion

Content doesn’t just mean writing some blog posts and calling it a day. No, it also means videos, online classes, podcasting, and plenty of other mediums where people like to consume content.

If you’re thinking about pursuing this strategy for your business, then be sure that you have the time and money needed to keep things going with no expectations of initial ROI. Then you must actually create quality content and get it out there. Unfortunately, there’s tons of bad content out there that ends up seeing little to no payoff in both the short and long term.

 

People on smartphones with emojies around them on bus

4. Social Media

For almost any business today, having a presence on social media is pretty much mandatory.

67% of consumers get customer support from social media. And furthermore, 33% of consumers prefer to contact customer support from social media instead of through the phone. These people will look for your business on their preferred social media websites. If they can’t find you, they’ll fall into the arms of your competitors.

The question isn’t whether or not your business should be on social media. Nowadays, the important question is what platforms should you focus on, and how much money and time should you be putting into them?

For example, you may want to spend a lot on organic social media growth, depending on your business.

However, for any business, it’s key to first discover where your customers like to hang out online. Then, you should know how they want to be approached. For example, does a pushy approach work, or is a more subtle approach required? Do they follow influencers, or like being a part of a community?

 

5. Email Marketing

Email marketing still works as a reliable way of getting leads, contact information and nurturing those leads over time. This is one of the best ways to sell products, hands down, which is why it’s among the best marketing channels for conversions.

Terms that you should be familiar with if you’re into email marketing are “marketing funnel” and “lead magnet.” The marketing funnel is your email marketing process. The lead magnet is a compelling offer that the visitor will receive in exchange for their email address. Some options for lead magnets are free trials, free downloads, website membership, coupons, webinar “seats,” and so much more.

 

 

5 Key Tips for Effective Newspaper Advertising

Newspapers lined up colorful print on sides

Print media advertising, especially in newspapers, has both its pros and cons. On the one hand, you can generate a lot of leads and exposure with newspaper advertising. But on the other hand, the response rate you get can be less impressive than with online advertising, for example.

But of course, when you’re just starting a brand new business or looking to make your current business even better, you should try out every advertising method. Print media advertising is still very effective for many small businesses, and it might work well for you. The key thing to remember is not going all out in one form of advertising until you’ve tested it first with a smaller investment of money.

 

1. Consider How Advertising Costs Are Calculated

How the advertising costs are calculated will influence your decision of where to advertise. For example, in newspapers, ad space is sold by the column inch. The rate you pay for that inch can also vary depending on the specific ad classification. For instance, if you’re advertising in a service directory, that should cost less per column inch than an ad in a regular editorial section.

Another thing to keep in mind is that pretty much every newspaper gives discounts for contracted advertisers. The specific discount depends on how much ad space and volume they commit to for the specified contract year.

 

2. Select the Best Newspapers

It’s usually expensive to invest in national and regional print media advertising. On the other hand, community and local newspapers are less costly. In addition, they might allow you to take a more focused approach to your advertising.

After all, if you offer a local service, then it’s definitely more logical to focus on the local community and their newspaper. That’s because the people in that community will be more likely to read their local paper than a national publication.

While many people read national print media, it’s not worth investing in unless you have a bigger budget, it’s your target audience, and you know what you’re doing.

That isn’t to say that reaching out to a large number of people is a bad thing. On the contrary, metropolitan print media advertising can work well if your product or service is exceptional enough to stand out and pull in people from that particular metro area.

 

3. Look at What Your Competition Is Doing

Your competitors are likely spending their money on some form of print media advertising. If they are also in your local newspaper, that means your advertising efforts could potentially be diminished. You’ll be competing with them for your customers’ “mind share.”

The lesson here is this: don’t put all of your advertising eggs in one basket. Instead, diversify your advertising efforts, i.e., have a presence on both print media and online. You should also have a backup plan for when the space you’re in becomes too crowded and/or less profitable.

 

4. Learn to Write Effective Copy

Now that we’ve talked about the key tips for getting started, we’ll discuss the specifics of how to create an effective ad. Of course, there’s a lot to cover in this subject, and copywriting is a skill in itself (which is why good copywriters get paid well). First, however, we’ll go over the basics here. But make no mistake, these points are crucial for success in print media advertising.

 

The Headline

The first thing to do is create an attention-grabbing headline. It could be a carefully crafted headline for what you offer or simply an eye-catching phrase. However, if you want to use phrases, avoid slang and controversial terms. And keep your headline short and sweet. A long headline will seldom grab anyone’s attention.

 

The Body Text

Now for the actual copy (body text) – it will need to be long enough to support your message, but no more than that. How do you know how long to make it? Consider what kind of business you are or the specific product that you’re offering. Suppose it’s a business product or a technical product. In that case, a longer copy works better because it will come across as more informative.

Now, the advantage of shorter copy is that it creates more room for images and graphics. This combo works well for industries involving fashion, lifestyle products, and home décor.

 

Your Messaging

This is the nitty-gritty of what your messaging will actually contain. A powerful technique that works in print media advertising is using comparative advertising phrases. These are phrases like “You’ve experienced the rest. Now try the best!” However, you need a solid product or service to back up a statement like this. Your offering should include obvious advantages over your competition (some of whom might be advertising in that very same column or section).

 

Benefits, Benefits, Benefits

Next, you need to highlight the benefits of your product or service offering. Why should they buy it now? List your reasons or product/service benefits in the body of the copy. Put the emphasis on the customer and not yourself. For example, use “you” instead of “we.” Use bullet points to mention the key attributes.

 

Get The Sale!

And now for the closing section. This simply needs to include the essential information that’s necessary for you to get the sale. I.e., your contact information, business address, phone number, website name or URL, etc. You want to make it as easy as possible for your customer to act on their purchasing decision.

 

5. Consider Free Newspaper Advertising

Finally, we’d like to wrap this up with a few closing tips.

If your product or service offering is more downscale and low-cost, then consider just advertising in a free newspaper to start out. However, if your offering is more upscale, then stick with paid print media advertising.

Even if you fit into the latter situation, you should still stick with a lower budget for your first advertising campaign. Test things out, see the results firsthand, and you’ll get a better sense of how effective your advertising actually is. If you’re inexperienced, the last thing you want to do is recklessly blow all of your ad dollars. 

 

Why Local Newspaper Advertising is Important in 2021

Man sitting on a bus smiling and wearing sunglasses while reading the newspaper

Advertising is an important factor in any type of business. A good advertisement can mean the difference between making a profit or experiencing losses. Many business owners understand that one of the most difficult parts of starting a new business is making your product known to the public.

Today, advertising is done in different media. It can be on online websites, social media applications, television and radio commercials, and many more mediums. Due to the latest technological advancements, most companies are looking to various forms of digital media for their advertising projects. Still, some invest in printed advertisements.

When the newspapers were still the main news source about current events, businesses took advantage of this and printed their advertisements in newspapers.

Today, this is still a relevant medium for advertising as newspapers can sell up to a million copies in a single day! It may be an unconventional advertising method in this era. Still, without the big companies hogging all the prints’ space, it gives new and small business owners a chance to advertise their products.

 

The Advantages of Advertising Through Local Newspapers

There are many benefits to using local newspaper advertising in 2021. Let’s go over them here. 

 

Cost

First, it is relatively cheaper than other forms of advertising, such as making a television commercial.

Local newspaper advertising will only cost you the charge the publishing company will require. There would be only a design cost if you had it made by an illustrator, which can be waived if you can make the design yourself.

 

Easy Retention

In 2021 when there is more “noise” than ever online, print advertising becomes even more useful. By noise, we mean the several links, calls to action, pop-ups, etc., that can bombard the average internet user.

In a sense, a physical newspaper or magazine can provide a sort of quiet refuge while satiating the reader’s appetite for knowledge or entertainment. Furthermore, as people must move physically through your ads in the paper, they’ll more easily recall your ad later on.

Also, you are assured that the readers who will see your advertisement will be attentive people who are really looking for information. Most people scrolling on social media are less attentive to ads since this is not what they were looking for online.

 

Your Print Ad Will Last Longer

Your ad will stay with the prospect for as long as the magazine or newspaper stays on their desk. Whereas with digital ads, they will only stay with the prospect as long as they’re remaining on that particular web page.

Also, when someone puts a digital advertisement in their recycle bin (pdfs, images, etc.), it won’t be seen by anyone. But with a physical ad, there’s the chance that it can be passed along to someone else’s desk, and the audience reach for your ad can end up being greater (likely at least two weeks).

 

Purchasing Power

People who purchase and read newspapers may be serious buyers or investors looking for products in the advertisement section. The age group of people buying newspapers is also mostly adults, so it will be easier to reach people who have spending money.

 

Authoritative Source

According to a Marketing Sherpa survey of 1200 Americans in 2016, it was found that consumers trust print ads more than any other advertising medium.

Another factor that makes local newspaper advertising better than digital advertising is that readers are more likely to trust advertisements printed in the newspapers. Sketchy pop-up ads randomly appearing on websites, on the other hand, garner far less trust. The pop-up ads usually lead to scam offers and other websites of a similar nature.

Also, online advertisements are mostly considered noise these days, so they will be more likely to be ignored.

The lesson should be this: placing your ad in a newspaper or magazine will more than likely add credibility to your service offering. At the same time, putting pop-up ads online will possibly reduce your credibility.

 

Form New Business Relationships

Newspaper advertisements serve as a great avenue for business partnership among business people in a similar field. The advertisements can help them find businesses that are just starting out or going out of business. They can form partnerships that can help both parties elevate their positions. Some advertisements are also very helpful when making such deals. Contact numbers and persons to contact are usually listed in the advertisements.

While there are many advantages of newspaper advertising in 2021, is it really worth your money compared to the other advertising options out there?

 

Man reading newspaper and woman reading news on smartphone at table

How Effective is Newspaper Advertising in 2021?

When your brand is exploring the various options for spending money on advertising, the question of whether print advertising in 2021 is worth it will inevitably come up. After all, why should we continue to invest in print ads when there are so many excellent digital options these days?

While it’s true that digital advertising has some irrefutable strengths, print ads still come with other huge advantages.

Yes, digital ad campaigns can be easily measured. You can see the exact number of people who viewed your ad, clicked it, and converted. Print ads can’t give you that kind of information.

However, advertising in a reputable magazine with an established audience carries massive benefits, which we will discuss here.

 

Print Engagement vs Digital Engagement

In print media, ads are not an interruption; ads are part of the experience. For most people to read magazines or newspapers, they must be subscribed. This means that they are willing to accept the entire experience, including the ads.

Therefore, most print media subscribers don’t mind ads, and some of them actually want to read the ads.

On the other hand, digital ads are often intrusive because they aren’t relevant to what a person is pursuing at that moment. You might have been searching for pet food on Amazon, which will pop up later as an ad on a computer gaming website. Probably not what you’d be interested in seeing at that moment.

 

Is Newspaper Advertising Worth Your Money?

Investing in printed advertising may be old-fashioned, but many small businesses get a lot of push from this. Other big companies still maintain some form of printed advertising, showing that this form of media can still connect with their customers. It is cheap, shows credibility, and directly targets specific consumers. Printed advertising is definitely worth your time and money, so start thinking about it if you are just starting your own business.

 

Conclusion

As you can see, print advertising in 2021 still holds several significant advantages over digital advertising. Digital ads can work great if you’re just looking for quick results with lots of data. However, if you want to crack open the shell of your target market, then there’s no better way to do it than with print advertising.

 

 

Why Print Advertising is Still Important in the Digital Age

Two men sitting on a bench, one with a newspaper the other on their smartphone

The rise of technology has undoubtedly transformed the world of advertising. With so many digital avenues out there, there are now endless ways for brands to tell their stories. But with this digital shift, can we say that print advertising is dead? Surprisingly, the answer to this is no. With the right strategy, a combination of print and digital advertisement can be the most effective marketing campaign.

Here are some reasons that will convince you of the unbeatable power of print.

 

People Recall Print Better

Print mediums foster a more emotional connection with prospective customers. According to a study, paper-based marketing activates significant parts of the brain more than its digital counterpart. Print media can convey vivid images with tactile stimuli, making it crucial for brand associations and recollection. It allows you to highlight visual attributes such as font, colors, texture, and images.

Moreover, people spend more time reading print copies of newspapers and magazines than when reading them online. It accounts for the lesser distraction print media gives than online, where you can switch through websites at once. There are also technical issues online such as a slow loading time that can make people abandon reading advertisements.

Thus, it’s likely for people not to finish reading an advertisement online that they would normally spend time focusing on in print.

As a result, we place a higher value on products and services we’ve seen in print in our subconscious. This then ultimately leads to more effective customer conversion. Thus, we can conclude that print offers more significant buying decisions for consumers than digital advertisements.

Boosts Demographic Targeting

Do you have a specific customer base that you want to target? One of the most effective ways to reach out to your target audience is through print ads. You can do this by placing print ads in publications often bought by the demographics you’re targeting. Or, you can also do so by strategically placing poster advertisements in places they frequent.

For example, if you’re offering fitness products for women, you can place advertisements in women’s fitness magazines. Another example is if you’re offering tutorial services, you can distribute posters near schools to reach students.

This strategy helps you narrow down and target prospective customers specifically instead of random email and post blasts. Thus, you can boost the number of potential touchpoints your prospects have with your brand.

 

Print Builds Trust

Many consumers are wary and skeptical of fake advertisements and misleading marketing campaigns online. Because of this questionable reputation, many people lean towards print advertisements as a more trustworthy marketing information source than digital.

Print advertising has a straightforward method of promoting products and services. They don’t incorporate questionable pop-up screens that often happen with digital advertising. Thus, print has a more credible reputation that establishes trust among prospective customers.

In fact, according to the Direct Marketing Association, 79% of consumers act on direct mail more promptly. This percentage is far from the 45% of consumers who do the same with electronic mail.

 

Close up of person reading newspaper at table with hand on coffee mug

It Bridges the Gap Between the Online and Offline World

As surprising as it may be, there are people who don’t use the Internet and are detached from technology. It seems impossible in this day and age, but it still holds for many, especially older people. While these people do not have a digital footprint, they are still consumers that you need to reach out to. Otherwise, you could be missing out on a great number of potential customers.

For instance, local newspaper advertising remains a powerful advertising strategy today. In fact, according to the Newspaper Association of America, newspaper advertising is the leading medium in making purchase decisions among consumers.

 

Use the Lesser Competition in Print Advertising to Your Advantage

Many businesses today rely solely on the Internet and digital media for their advertising needs. Thus, you can use the lesser competition in print publications to your advantage. When done correctly, it will help your product or service make a greater impact on your prospects than competitors. It will allow your ad to shine, and you’ll even pay less for the ad space.

 

Print Complements Digital Advertising

Additional advertising never hurts. The reasons stated above do not mean that you should completely abandon digital advertising. We all know the advantages and benefits of using digital advertising today, including accessibility, customization, targeting, etc.

But the thing is, entrepreneurs must learn how to take advantage of the unique properties of both print and digital. It’s not advisable to choose one over the other since they complement each other and make the other one more effective if done correctly. To illustrate this, it’s crucial to determine the unique strengths of the two forms of advertising.

Here are the different strengths of print advertising:

  • Maximizes sensory appeal
  • More effective in comprehensive information
  • Can help relay information to people who aren’t digitally savvy
  • Lesser competition

Here are the different strengths of digital advertising:

  • Designed to avoid information overload to consumers
  • It costs less and offers flexibility on the platforms to advertise on
  • More advanced features on targeting customers

Implementing both print and digital advertising can help strengthen your marketing campaigns and make them more resilient. In many cases, learning how to complement the two can help you generate higher customer conversion rates.

 

Ways to Integrate Print and Digital Advertising

There are many various types of print advertisements you can experiment with. So the notion that print is a static medium is a myth. Especially today, you can integrate technology into your print advertisements.

To help you get started, here are two ways to integrate your print and digital advertisement:

  1. QR Codes. One of the easiest and most effective ways to lead people to your website is through QR codes. You can integrate it into your local newspaper advertising or posters to help people learn more about your offer.
  2. Social Media. For this, you can put your social media icons along with the tags in your printed materials to boost brand awareness. To complement this, it’s important to post engaging content on your online platforms regularly.

 

Print as a Medium Isn’t Dead

As you’ve seen, there are various reasons why print is still effective in the digital age. There are endless ways that print can work synergistically with other advertising strategies. The key is to be creative and really get in touch with your target audience. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll start seeing more valuable results for your brand.

 

7 Tips for Creating Attractive Print Ads

Man sitting on couch reading the newspaper

Every business needs promotion and advertisements. Even though we are in the digital era, we still need to invest in print advertisements. Why? Because it can guarantee that you are at the top of people’s minds when you reinforce digital and physical platforms. Through these ads, the audience can quickly remember your brand.

If you decide to integrate creating attractive print ads into your marketing, we’ve got you covered. Here’s our ultimate guide to kickstarting your print ads.

 

Effective Tips and Tricks: How to Create Attractive Print Ads

The top priority in creating ads is how you can capture their attention in a limited time. So how do you develop compelling and attention-grabbing content? Here are some design and content tips you can follow.

 

1. Create an Impactful Headline

Before the audience continues to read the content, they look for the headlines first. Is it interesting? Is it something that resonates with them? Is it worth reading?

Compared to a digital platform, print advertising is less saturated. You need to note that you need to capture the reader’s attention in any advertisement and persuade them to read your content. How can you do this?

  •     Make your headline concise and short.
  •     Create curiosity or include benefits.
  •     Use simple words that the readers can easily understand.
  •     Specify a pain point and let them know how you can help them.
  •     Integrate emotional adjectives.
  •     Utilize your brand or target audience’s language.

Make sure that your headlines are catchy enough to keep your readers entertained or interested. It will be more helpful if the headlines are easy to comprehend. Moreover, it should reflect your brand’s image.

 

2. Discuss the Benefits

Advertising is a way of promoting or introducing your brand, product, or service to the market. Of course, you need to share how your products or services can help the audience’s problems through the print ads. Besides explaining the features, it will be easier for them to understand if you share its benefits.

For example, you are selling a cellphone with competitive battery life.

  •     Feature: Battery Life
  •     Benefits: Long-lasting usability and no frequent charging

 

3. Incorporate an Eye-Catching Graphic

Excellent graphic design can help you in conveying your message or campaign. Plain text does not excite the audience to continue reading your content. Through the graphics, you can communicate with your audience and display your products or services. What’s in store for them?

Help your potential clients understand your offer through a high-quality graphic. Make sure that the images are relevant and accurate to boost brand recognition.

 

Woman sitting on bed flipping through magazine

 

4. Provide a Compelling Offer and Create Urgency

Besides creating high-quality content, emphasize your promotion. If you have an ongoing sales campaign or special deal, make sure to showcase it. Also, highlight what they can gain from reading your ads. Apart from the information, what are the benefits they will get? Will they have a reader’s discount?

 

After they read the ads, what will happen? It would be best if you create an urgency where they need to take action after reading. Here’s how you can develop a sense of urgency for your potential clients.

  •     Season or Event Offers
  •     Time-Limited Offers
  •     Clearance Sales

 

5. Think About the Call to Action

Remember that your print ads should include how customers can take action after reading the advertisement. Most customers don’t know what they should do if you don’t guide them. Moreover, you will waste your money on ads if you don’t integrate an excellent call to action wherein they can reach out to you.

You can tell your potential clients to give you a call, email, or message you, visit the website, or get a special offer. There are different ways to tell them to connect with your business. Also, you want your clients to move towards your business and get in touch with you. Here are some of the best CTAs you can use:

  •     Talk to Us or Contact Us
  •     Join Now
  •     Get a Free Trial
  •     Sign Up or Subscribe
  •     Learn More

 

6. Utilize a Simple Layout

The advertisement layout helps the readers understand your message and provides supporting ideas about the ad. Conversely, the copy encourages the potential clients to take action.

In advertising, avoid clutter and providing too much information to prevent readers from skipping your ad. Make it short, simple, and concise.

In creating an advertisement layout, take note of the following:

  •     Color Scheme
  •     Clarity of Message, Concept, or Idea
  •     Font Style and Size
  •     Relevant Graphics or Images

 

7. Embrace Your Brand’s Uniqueness

With all the advertisements available on digital and physical platforms, always think about standing out from the competition. Answer these questions:

  •     What products and services can you offer to the public?
  •     How can your business help your customers?
  •     What’s unique about your business branding?

Most brand owners or entrepreneurs try to copy other owner’s ways of advertising. But to succeed in the competition, you need to establish your business branding and goals. People will remember your business through effective and credible print ads.

Are you looking for Kansas City advertising to ensure that your business is easily noticeable? We’re here to help you get started. Apart from knowing that your products and services are one-of-a-kinds, make sure to connect to your target market by being authentic and relevant with your print ads.

 

Start Creating!

This might be the perfect opportunity to start with print advertising. While some think that print ads aren’t trendy, take advantage of print ads to be a more credible business. You can boost your response and conversion rates through actionable print advertisements. 

Although digital campaigns help you with projection, conversion, and engagement, we can’t deny that printing an attractive ad in a highly reputable magazine is also beneficial. You can easily target your audience and deliver to them in a specific period or location.

On top of that, you can gain trust from the public through reliable printing ads. If you opt to display your content through print ads, more people will be confident with your brand’s credibility. If you are looking for Kansas City advertising, take action now and start creating your print ads. Hopefully, our tips will help you in navigating the print advertisement industry.

 

9 Affordable Advertising Ideas for Your Small Business

Woman sitting on couch with laptop in front of her looking at a letter she received in the mail

Are you looking for affordable small business advertising ideas? If not, then you should be – there are always intelligent and cost-effective ways to advertise. But can a small-sized business get its message across in a world that has so much advertising spam and clutter? Big companies seemingly dominate when it comes to messaging. However, there are still numerous free and low-cost methods for promoting a small business. All it takes is some imagination and hustling, and you can achieve fantastic results from affordable small business advertising.

 

9 Affordable Small Business Advertising Ideas

 

 1. Get Covered for Free

There’s nothing cheaper than “free.” Therefore, one of the best ways to advertise your business is through “earned media” – aka “publicity” or “covered in the media.” This method is about getting local media, business bloggers, and news media to do stories about your business. While there isn’t really a straightforward way to make this happen (you can’t just say to them, “please come write about my business!”), you can make it happen using some subtlety and creativity.

It starts with finding a news angle that a key story from your business could fit into. For instance, let’s say that the holidays are coming soon. You could offer to appear as a guest expert who explains how small businesses are preparing for the new holiday shopping season. Another way to get free coverage is to capitalize fully on your business successes. Write up a press release covering one of your latest success stories and send it to your local news reporters or journalists who cover your industry.

 

 2. Direct Mail

Here at Coffee News, we’re big fans of print advertising methods, and direct mail fits nicely here as an affordable advertising method.

According to recent research from the Direct Mail Association, direct mail gets a higher response rate at 4.4 percent than email does at just 0.12 percent. Furthermore, direct mail marketing cost at $51.40 per order/lead is less than that of email at $55.25 and PPC at $52.58.

As you can see, this tried and true method of advertising can still achieve significant results in this digital marketing era. The best part is that it can always be cost-effective. Just consider the fact that these days, most people’s email inboxes are more cluttered than their actual mailboxes outside! Consequently, these people may respond better to a direct mail letter, brochure, or postcard rather than just another email advertisement.

 

 3. Put Your Business Information in Clever Places

Some people can get overwhelmed with the number of business cards they receive and toss them out. So, including your business information outside of a coffee mug, for example, will ensure that your potential customers frequently see your name.

 

 4. Thank-You Cards

Another great and inexpensive way to use print advertising is to send thank-you notes to your favorite clients. It’s well worth spending a bit of money to create some printed postcards or color-filled photo cards that include your photograph, business logo, or other photos from your business. That way, your thank you notes will be personalized and let people know that you are a real person they’re buying from, which will help them connect with you on a human level. This strategy is also great for creating brand loyalty!

 

 5. Customer Loyalty Programs

And speaking of loyalty, there are plenty of sophisticated online tools that offer inexpensive customer loyalty tracking programs to help you reward deserving customers. You may wonder if it’s worth the effort. It’s absolutely worth it, especially considering that existing customers are usually a great source of repeat business that is often more efficient than trying to get brand new customers.

 

 6. Referrals

After you’ve built up a solid relationship with one of your customer’s you can further capitalize on this by getting them to refer/send new customers your way. You can do a referral program in whatever way you’d like. Whether it’s informal and on an as-needed basis, or with exact targeting and scheduling.

Whichever approach you choose, be sure to put enough thought and time into it and be mindful of how you approach your customers. You don’t want to just approach anyone; after all, you’re asking them for personal information – names of their friends, family members, etc.

A referral should be rewarded nicely with an appropriate gift. Consider what a new customer is worth to you, and that will help guide you in picking a suitable reward.

 

Man on laptop with coffee in hand looking at email

 

 7. Email Marketing

Email marketing is another viable digital advertising method that doesn’t cost too much. It’s an excellent way of reaching out to existing customers as well as your fans and followers. There are plenty of great resources online for how to establish an effective email marketing strategy.

 8. Accelerate Your Efforts on Social Media

Social media is undoubtedly one of the most affordable small business advertising methods in existence currently. One reason is that posting on social media is free. While it’s true that there’s a lot of clutter on social media, there’s still plenty of methods that a business can utilize to boost their numbers on social media without needing to spend too much money.

 9. Purchase Facebook Ads

If you want to go with the “paid approach” on social media, you should consider going with Facebook ads. FB has some top-notch methods of targeting – you can focus your ads on a particular group of people (a key demographic, for example) that matches who your ideal target audience is. You could even make your ad only target certain age groups, a specific gender, location, behavior, interest, etc.; the sky’s the limit!

 

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many different affordable small business advertising ideas out there. Therefore, you should never feel like you don’t have enough funds to improve your marketing results. Regardless of the industry that you’re in – ingenuity, hard work, and some hustling can go a long way when promoting your business.

If you’re prepared to spend some money on purchasing ads or investing in direct mail advertising, then this is one of the best times to start. There are MANY advertising opportunities for any size business to scale-up that can fit your needs and budget. 

 

6 Local Business Print Advertising Factors You Need to Know

Man sitting at table with coffee reading the newspaper

Is it better to advertise your business in your local magazine or the newspaper? Find out the answers to these questions by learning about these 6 factors of local business advertising below.

It wasn’t too long ago that running ads in the local newspaper was the status quo of local business advertising. However, with printed newspaper readership on the decline, this type of advertising has begun to seem archaic compared to online marketing strategies. Print advertising still works great for local businesses, however. You just have to be aware of the key factors that are in play.

 1. Relevancy is Crucial

It’s first essential to understand what the secret ingredient is that makes print advertising work. The secret ingredient is ensuring that your ad gets in front of a targeted audience. That will ensure that they’re at least somewhat interested in seeing what you offer.

As anyone who reads a hobby-specific magazine can tell you, it takes longer to read through a magazine involving your favorite hobby than it does to read through a general-interest magazine. That’s because, in hobbyist magazines, people actually read the ads as well.

In contrast, in general-interest magazines, people usually skip through them. Why? Because in general interest magazines, ads aren’t targeted and are therefore irrelevant to most readers. Ads relevant to readers generally show useful items to its readers, i.e., golf clubs for golfers. This piques golfers’ interest because a golfer will want to know what new clubs or other tools are available to help them improve in their hobby.

But relevancy isn’t only about items; it can also be about geography or even content. Relevance can be achieved by showing your ad to a clearly defined group of people in a specific area.

 2. Solid Distribution is Essential

Does your community still have a vibrant local newspaper? Or how about one that’s distributed to a certain area of the city (or only to residents of a small town)?

If so, then you might try to get into the action as well and advertise to those people if that’s the area where most of your current customers are from.

But first, what do we mean by vibrant? This means that the newspaper isn’t just delivered locally but is also eagerly received.

For instance, picture this: in one neighborhood, a local newspaper is distributed to houses in the geographic footprint-free of charge. It’s tossed onto people’s driveways. Many homeowners in the area leave it on their driveway for a couple of days before finally tossing it out – it happens every time.

Now picture another scenario: in another neighborhood across that same town, a different version of that same newspaper (created by the same parent company) is delivered right into their mailboxes. Afterward, they end up in people’s living rooms and kitchens. They end up getting read, and neighbors share what they read with each other.

Now you understand why it pays to know how many people receive print media AND how they end up receiving it.

 3. Content > Ads

First, do your research into whether the publication you’re considering putting ads into actually has active readers. A good indicator is if there’s any actual content in the publication besides ads. Publications that are little more than miniature coupon books have little perceived value among consumers and often get thrown out before even being given a good look. It’s basically the same as when people fast forward past commercials on TV.

In short, if the publication has no content, then we wouldn’t usually recommend you to advertise in it.

 

Senior man sitting on bench outside reading the newspaper

 4. Relevancy + Activities for Readers

Let’s go ahead and take ads to another level. Take Coffee News KC for example. We publish 10 area editions of our paper that are focused on specific neighborhoods in towns and cities across the KC area. The writing focuses on the particular neighborhoods and content relevant to the people in those neighborhoods. In fact, many of the articles are written by people who actually live in those same neighborhoods.

Not only that, but these papers offer readers another carrot: neighborhood-specific activities that they can engage in. Every month, the paper features special events for people in the community to join in, including advertisers. It could be a movie night or a special dinner at a local restaurant. These personal events give print advertising that extra “kick” it needs to work better.

 

 5. Implement a CTA to Help Measure Success

Frequently a local business will put out an ad in the local magazine or newspaper to raise brand awareness. The issue with this approach is there’s no means of finding out if it produced the desired effect. It’s much better to create a specific CTA instead.

What you can do is announce an event on a certain day, require an RSVP (or give a unique discount that expires on a specific date). That way, you’ll be able to measure precisely what response you received from the dollars you spent on the ad.

For instance, a country club that wants to increase its number of winter diners in their restaurant could do the following. They could start by putting out ads at the beginning of fall, advertising a “Harvest Festival Dinner” or “Holiday Brunch.”

It should be made clear in the ad that reservations are required and that only a specific number of reservations can be accepted. However, placing reservations should be simple for everyone  – both phone reservations and online reservations should be taken.

And finally, always include a deadline for your CTAs.

 6. Repetition Matters!

It isn’t just a simple sales tactic being done by these publication companies; it’s a tried and true print advertising factor. Repetition of ads works to get better results. Create a series of advertisements that repeat over time for optimal results with print advertising. They can be similar but remember to change them up every so often. People will still be aware it’s advertising but will give them a look because the ads are slightly different.

Great examples of print media advertising and why they worked

Using print media to advertise your business these days might seem very challenging. After all, a print ad today must compete with memes.

Some think that this task is impossible.

Not us.

We’re here to tell you that, fortunately, there’s a lot that print advertisers can learn from memes.

print-media-advertising

A meme is just the right combination of words and images. There are many layers to both, which you will see in these great examples of using print media to advertise your business:

  1. The beer cooling ad

How many beer drinkers have wished they could speed up the cooling process? Probably like 99.9%.

Well, this ingenious ad lets you wrap the ad itself around the bottle after soaking the ad in water first. You then put the bottle in the freezer.

(the print ad was formed with salt particles which reduces the freezing point of the water.)

  1. A unique ad

This ad was soo good that it won the Mobile Grand Prix at Cannes in 2014.

The ad includes a wristband that you can put on your child as well as a set distance limit that alerts your app when he crosses it.

Unique concept in an ad = a win.

  1. Proof is in the pudding…

This is an engineering and tech university that had the goal of recruiting more students.

Instead of doing the standard billboard of smiling graduates, it demonstrated a “proof is in the pudding” concept and infused their technology into their print billboard.

Their billboard absorbed the water from humidity to create enough water for hundreds of families in Lima, Peru, which gets very little rainfall.

  1. Phone Chameleon?

They worked with Wire to promote their phone’s customization options. By simply pushing a button, they could change the phone’s color.

  1. Car ad comes to life

This creative print ad from Peugot features a page with the interior of a car, followed by a second page.

When you hit the first page, the second page will have the replica of the very same airbag pop up out of the page.

Yes, we aren’t kidding about that.

  1. Having children can be a scary thing…

Safe sex is, of course not a fun topic for children. However, DDB Mozambique managed to pull it off in a humorously terrifying ad. Or terrifyingly humorous? Whichever works.

It features two creepy kids from famous horror stories like The Shining. The product being advertised? Lirandzo condoms.

Genius.

  1. You eat what they eat

This ad strikes at the heart of an issue: throwing plastic into the ocean. When you look at the ad, it speaks for itself.

The ad was created by a German advertising company named Ogilvy for their client, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, an international non-profit marine wildlife conservation organization.

  1. Open for business!

Whether you like McDs or not, their advertising is right on point. In this ad, the M stands boldly in the dark background, sending a clear message that they are open for business at all hours. Also, their blurry ad campaign is effective too, for several different reasons.

  1. EDM and “fresh” sounds

The studio Ethos made a simple concept into something remarkable. Promoting an all-day EDM festival, they used fresh fruits and bright poppy colors in the same print advert together.

The fruits represent “fresh sounds.” The objects in the ad were also thoughtfully created, as they represented real-life objects that were hand-painted bright colors.

  1. A Better Job is Out There Waiting

Made by Joe Public United, this ad campaign focused on an image of a person sitting at a computer at work, while mold and disgusting spiders were crawling all over his body.

A simple concept that gets pushed to extremes for a very big emotional impact.

  1. Lickin’ Chicken

Anyone who has tried KFC knows that it lives up to the marketing as finger-licking good.

KFC has acknowledged this truth in their advertising by illustrating mouths popping up on everyday objects to lick your fingers. Creepy yet hilarious as well. It takes meming to a whole other level. Props to KFC.

  1. Kiss with Pride

Absolut partnered with LGBTQ organizations to create a firestorm of an ad. It features two homosexual couples kissing with the bottle in the middle.

Also, notice the colors around the bottle – those that represent gay pride. That’s one way to get your message across, and it’s bound to get attention. Mission accomplished.

print-ads-newspaper-advertising

  1. Flame Grilled Since 1954

How many of you love Burger King? I certainly do, especially their flame-grilled burgers.

Well, even though we suspected all along that they cooked their burgers in a special way, BKs latest ad campaign brilliantly confirms this fact.

BK has famously had many restaurants burn down thanks to their flame used in cooking their burgers.

You know what they say, never let a good tragedy go to waste… As you can see here.

  1. FCK

For a time in the UK, this was put on their chicken buckets. No, we’re not trolling.

This was due to KFC running out of chicken thanks to a disagreement they had with a distributor.

KFC handled it like a champ though and wrote a decent apology on the ad.

  1. Just Because

The brand Chambord, which likes to encourage women to do as they please without feeling pressured by societal norms, added a random cabbage in their ad. Just because. And that’s it. A lesson that even the most seemingly random ad can create massive success.

newspaper-ad-media

Conclusion

All these print ads required companies to think outside the box. That’s the key to creating an emotionally compelling print ad in the age of abundant memes and digital media.

newspaper-ad-media

Here’s what we saw that worked:

  • It’s worthwhile to partner with outside groups and causes to create a print advert that speaks to your target audience.
  • There’s also a lesson in seizing on past failures to create future successes.
  • Creatively using colors also helps get the messaging across.
  • Using print ads in public apologies works wonders.
  • Popular culture can be used in print ads.
  • Meme-ifying your ads works too.
  • Disgust works surprisingly well in many kinds of ads

What are your takeaways from this list?

How do you think you should start using print media to advertise your business?

We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Is it Worth it to Advertise Your Small Business in Your Local Newspaper?

Deciding how to spend your small business’s advertising budget can be one of the hardest things to figure out. Ad sellers offer hosts of reasons on why their venues are right for you, but where is your money going? How can you ensure that you are going to get the returns that you need to succeed?

Is it worth it to advertise in your local newspaper?

The answer is: It depends on what you are selling and how you define your “local” newspaper.

It used to be that on Sunday morning, newspapers would head to subscribers’ homes filled with coupons and ads showing potential consumers all the deals for the upcoming week or month.

Changing Consumer Trends

Is it Worth it to Advertise Your Small Business in Your Local Newspaper?

A small business could easily advertise alongside the big box store and get exposure to those consumers who would clip the coupons and look for deals. They would often clip coupons for deals that they may not specifically have been in the market for, but that caught their eye while they were looking at coupons from other businesses. This was a successful partnership that was used by companies for years.

However, now, readership is in a downward trend for print media, and ad sales are declining even more sharply. A decline like this has been attributed to shifts in reader habits — a daily overload of information that is causing many consumers to bypass ads altogether.

Readers have been known to throw local advertisements into the recycling bin without even a glance. This leaves the small business that is trying to gain notice with little to no value in using large market newspapers to advertise in.

Where Does That Leave Your Business?

With the large newspaper market dwindling, small businesses, especially those catering to consumers, have compensated by shifting their ad spend to alternatives.

These alternatives include using

  • daily deal coupons
  • location-aware services like Foursquare
  • hyperlocal newspapers, like Coffee News
  • local news websites

Many have also taken to finding advertising space in online sites where the ads can be cheap and where they have access to a much larger market. However, using an online ad platform like this can make it even harder to determine the effectiveness of your ad money spent.

Positive Returns with Newspaper Advertising

Is it Worth it to Advertise Your Small Business in Your Local Newspaper?

For small businesses, positive returns are found when advertising with hyperlocal newspapers because these papers publish specific news about their community and the local events in that community.

By association, your small business ad can find its way into the hands of the very consumer you need to reach.

Hyperlocal newspapers market and distribute their papers in a different way, which enables them to reach the audience you most need to connect with. As an added plus, the ad rates in those hyperlocal papers run on the cheaper side.

Small community newspapers are growing, while their larger counterparts are struggling to maintain readership.

Another thing to consider is if the hyperlocal paper has a local website, then that may also offer you a viable spot for some online advertising.

Is it worth it?

For many small businesses that sell to consumers, the answer is – Yes. It is as long as you think of your local newspaper as being a local community or suburban newspaper and not a major-metro newspaper.

In your local community paper, the ad rates are lower, and the staff is motivated to place your marketing message with more of a thought to where it would be of most benefit rather than just where they had space to fill.

Taking this into account, your small business advertising dollars can go a long way to helping your business succeed if you use not just the right ad, but if you place that ad in a local community paper where it has the best chance of getting into the hands of the specific consumer you are most wanting to reach.