Do you currently advertise your business? Put an advertisement in the paper or a glossy magazine? Here is why you need to stop doing this IMMEDIATELY!
People don’t like ads
Gone are the days where people trust ads and are happy to be advertised at. People are more skeptical of ads now and therefore don’t read them with the same level of interest or trust.
2. Results are difficult to measure
In order to determine whether the advertisement has been a success you need to be able to measure the results. Even with a strong and compelling call to action it can be difficult to measure the true results. Therefore advertising in publications, radio or even TV should be seen as a branding exercise. However, this is a costly branding activity.
3. Repetition, repetition, repetition!
Repetition also plays a big part in the success of your advertising campaign. If you can only afford to do one advertisement then it isn’t going to be effective.
4. Entertain me!
With the popularity of social media comes a generation of consumers that want to be entertained and engaged. They want to follow your brand, understand your values and even like you – well before they are prepared to buy from you. Hence the movement of content marketing – where you develop a range of content and information that will educate and entertain your audience.
So what can you do about this? There are a number of clever ways to engaging with your target market that don’t involve costly advertising, and it can be far more effective!
That glossy magazine or trade publication that you were going to pay to put an advertisement in will often accept editorial content for free! Write an interesting article that is packed with information and advice and your expert opinion on a topic. While you can’t overtly promote yourself or your services in the article they usually allow for a short bio at the end of the article. This is often a more persuasive method because readers trust the article and your authority more than reading an advertisement.
2. Social Media
Social media allows you to build a strong following over time. Social media posts should be focused on showing followers your values as an organisation. For Generation Y & Z they want to interact with brands that they feel connected to based on their shared values. A strong social media following will promote you through sharing of your posts, and providing you with testimonials and reviews.
3. Cross promotion
Finding other businesses (that aren’t competitors) but have a similar target market to you offers a great opportunity for cross promotion. You can both agree to cross promote each other in your email marketing, social media or even directly to your customers. This opens up a new potential database of clients to both of you. Clients are more likely to use the other persons services if they have been recommended by someone that they trust.
However, don’t share your actual database or personal information of clients – just promote the other business yourself to your list.
Don’t get me wrong, advertising has its place, but for small businesses with finite resources there are some more effective ways!