Advertising is often perceived as being too expensive and too hard or that it is more the domain of much larger organisations.
This isn’t necessarily the case. There are many opportunities where paid advertising may be the best promotion option. Certainly one that should be considered as part of the marketing mix.
When embarking on an advertising program, it’s important to set an advertising budget and be aware that success in advertising depends on two things: reach and frequency.
You will be trying to reach as many of your target audience as possible and as often as possible. Research has shown that people have to see or hear a message two or three times before it reaches into their consciousness. And do make sure you know exactly who you need to reach before you investigate how to reach them.
Let’s look at the potentially realistic advertising mediums that are appropriate for SMEs. In this article, we are only looking at “paying for space” related advertising.
The traditional vehicles are usually via newspapers, magazines, directories, newsletters and catalogues. Rates are reduced if you book multiple issues. If you can’t afford a full or half page, a quarter or eighth of a page may be within your means.
Website advertising is usually in the form of banner ads that come in various shapes, sizes and duration. Sometimes they can be on rotation with another advertisement. If you can, make it animated with two or more frames. I would recommend no more than five frames per ad so that your complete message is seen by the viewer.
Everyone likes to receive e-newsletters on subjects that relate to them, whether it is business focussed or contains information about their hobby or other personal interests. Nearly every organisation does them, so it’s just a matter of finding the one/s that will carry your messages most effectively.
Electronic Direct Mail or Email Blasts are offered by media/publications to their legitimate subscribers. While it may not be to their full list, as some subscribers have opted out of receiving third party material, usually thousands of potential customers will receive your offer. Analytics can track how many people opened the email and clicked through to the website.
Believe it or not you can get some good deals outside prime viewing time and on the non mainstream channels, including Foxtel. For example, our client Thermofilm manufactures and markets Heatstrip outdoor heaters and is running ads on the Lifestyle Channel’s Grand Designs and Selling Houses Australia.
Also, some TV advertising can be paid for by way of product; this is available for a Lifestyle Channel on Foxtel.
If you like radio but can’t afford the morning current affairs show, think about evenings, weekends and night time spots. There are often other sweeteners that radio stations are prepared to give you if you advertise, so ask for them. For example, promotion on their website, an on-air interview, etc.
If Facebook reaches your target market then a sponsored linked on Facebook is cost effective. One of our clients has used this medium to reach out to thousands of new ‘eyeballs’. You can also run ads.
LinkedIn also offers sponsored content and ads that can feature text, images or video. Useful information can be found here: http://partner.linkedin.com/ads/info/Ads_bestpractices_en_US.html
Retargeting (Follow me ads)
If you keep seeing the same ads every time you visit a website, you are being tracked through retargeting. To learn more click here: https://retargeter.com/blog/retargeting/a-brief-introduction
Selecting the right medium requires considerable investigation. This information will help you on the way, but it’s no way definitive. You want your valuable dollars to be used in the most effective way. Equally as important is ensuring the best advertisement is written and designed for the space, but that’s a huge subject that can be the topic for another article and blog. But just a Quick Tip: it’s not all about you. It’s about developing messages that focus on solutions to problems that are experienced by your customers.
With more than 20 years experience operating within Australia’s media environment, WMC Public Relations can conduct these investigations and create an effective and engaging advertisement on your behalf.
T: 0421 364 665