As a small business, or virtually any business, with a tight financial situation, the idea of spending money on marketing with so many free options available doesn’t make much sense. With the advent of social media and various online channels providing free ways to connect with potential customers, why should a company advertise?
Free Channels First
Obviously if you have the time, and the desire, make use of the free channels that are available. I say this only if you plan on spending time using them as well. There’s no use setting something up because it’s free and then not using it (apart from saving the account name maybe). What I’m trying to say is, don’t half ass it.
Besides social media your website, although not entirely free, should be setup correctly. Your website will handle the traffic you refer from your other marketing efforts and will be the base for your share of organic search traffic. Once setup your website will play a major role in many more free marketing channels such as content marketing, lead generation, social media links, etc.
Related: I’ve created a checklist to help you setup your website to be ready for your online marketing click here to find out more
But why should a company advertise?
It’s really quiet simple, to reach an audience instantly that otherwise wouldn’t know you exist.
In my experience there is a misconception that once your online with your website and posting to social media that people will know your company exists and find you through searching or social media. The fact of the matter is that the internet is much to large to sit back and wait for the traffic to build on your website to a point that is starts developing leads and generating sales. The only way to “kick-start” some quality traffic to your website is to advertise.
Getting the most out of your advertising dollars
Short of getting help to spend your marketing/media budget for you there are some steps to take to get the most out of your advertising spend. The real value as to why should a company advertise is only achieved if these items are considered prior to starting your campaign.
Know your target audiences
Before you spend a cent on advertising you must know your target audiences, and know them well. The better you can identify your target audiences the more money you’ll save on advertising. It’s that simple.
Offline or online or both
Depending on your type of business and where your target audience is the choice between offline, online, or both is crucial. Obviously if your budget is relatively small, you should make a choice to start with one channel. From a pure budget perspective, online will be the cheaper option. Not in all cases but most definitely speaking from an overall required budget point of view. Ideally, you make use of some offline advertising to drive traffic online, and then use online advertising to generate more traffic (potentially use re-marketing to drive recurring visits to your site).
Be precise with your messaging
When writing your advertising content make sure to deliver a single message in the ad. So make sure to advertise a deal or promotion and drive the traffic from that advertising to a page on your website that has content specific to that message.
Advertising (online or offline) and driving people to a generic page will decrease your conversions drastically, compared to a precise related message on a single page.
Monitor and adjust
Keep an eye on your advertising. I’m mostly referring to online advertising as you can update targeting, spending, message, and more as the campaign progresses. So make sure to report and monitor on your advertising and make changes where required to maximize your spend and conversion numbers.
So why should a company advertise? The facts
To summarize the following reasons are why should a company advertise.
- You reach a new targeted audience instantly
- You drive traffic to a precise location and maximize conversion (vs general messaging and information dumping)
- You build authority by delivering brand and a perceived level of investment in marketing
- You amplify all the other marketing your doing
- You drive traffic to your website – instantly. Period.
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