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Effective advertising for small businesses





advertising for your business

Good advertising puts the right marketing message in front of the right people at the right time. Advertising can increase awareness of what your business offers, find new customers and boost your sales.

The three key areas to consider are:

What do you want to achieve? Our objectives or goals focused on your target audience

Successful advertising starts with knowing your target customers. having a clear picture of who you are trying to reach is critical.

if your business has been established for a while you can use your knowledge of your customers to decide what and where to advertise and to look for similar prospects.

Your campaign needs well-defined goals. For example, you could advertise a clearance sale to make room for new stock, or you might run a series of ads to support the launch of a new product. Longer-term goals can include building awareness of your products and services or strengthening your brand.

Before deciding to advertise, however, consider other ways of marketing your business first, such as direct mail, door-to-door leafleting, email newsletters, your website and media releases (see below for other ideas).

Most importantly, make sure you are ready to respond to an increase in enquiries and orders.

How will you reach those goals? What and where will you adverrtise and what will it cost, to achieve your objectives.

If you follow a few key rules, writing an effective advertisement is straightforward.

Bear in mind that timing can be an important part of a successful advertising campaign. You usually need to repeat your ads regularly to achieve long-term objectives such as raising awareness of your company.

How do you measure results? How do you determine whether you have accomplished what you set out to achieve

Make sure you measure the effectiveness of your advertising. When you get an enquiry or make a sale, ask the customer how they heard of you. Keep track of the responses each advertisement generates - a campaign that yields a small number of high-value sales is far more cost-effective than one that prompts lots of enquiries that come to nothing. Understanding which messages and which media work best will help you ensure that your next advertising campaign is even more successful.

Low cost advertising ideas

This is a short list of some low cost advertising ideas which can be developed into a very effective local advertising campaign which could produce a flow of new business:

  • Posters in windows and on notice boards, and in staff rooms of local businesses.
  • Using leaflets or business cards in dispensers where local people sit and wait or queue or gather such as doctors, dentists, vets, church rooms, tourist information office, outpatients, library, nurseries, mini-cab offices, launderettes, post offices, hairdressers, takeaways, cafes, pubs and restaurants, golf clubs etc.
  • Reciprocal referral arrangements with other local suppliers.
  • A stall or leaflets at a local relevant gathering or event.
  • Offering existing customers an incentive (gift of some sort, or money off your next supply) for introducing a friend as a new customer for you.
  • Regularly providing news and interesting pictures about your work to your local newspaper, or perhaps even writing a regular column relating to your speciality in the local newspaper.
  • Door-to-door leaflet distribution through NZ Post or by using school kids.
  • Speaking at local networking/business events.
  • Speaking at the local school - many now run gardening groups or grow gardens with the children (which gives you publicity and builds your reputation).
  • Targeting special offers at local larger employers, through their HR or social activities.

What next? If yu'd like some help with advertising, give us a call on 04 212 6160.

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