Small business advertising is both a trial and an art. You will be competing against companies who can advertise wider and harder than you and it will be difficult to keep your business on the radar at all in the midst of the endless resources and adverts on in the internet. There are a number of fundamental rules for the advertising of small businesses that will enable you to get ahead and market properly. Small businesses should really reserve around 5% of their income for the purposes of advertisement, but this will only help if you understand the basic rules of advertisement:
1. Use one message
Before you start advertising you need to develop a single message and you need to be certain that it reflects your business properly. If you unroll a new marketing strategy every 5 minutes then your customers will not connect them together and will treat it as spam. You need to send out a message which is responsible and continuous on everything from your business cards to your website.
2. Create credibility
It has become a part of the human psyche to mistrust the advertisements that are thrust in front of our faces every day. Creating an element of credibility in your advertisements will do far more for you than making wild claims about the ‘fact’ that you are the best. A good example is the claim that something is 99.44% pure. This is a far more believable statement than 100% pure. Just be honest.
3. Test everything
Large companies have the ability to chuck money at advertising departments and watch results come pouring in. You do not have this luxury as a small business. To run advertising best, focus on one element at a time and check how much of a response you get. There is no point spending your entire budget on one medium, only to find out that your customers don’t engage with it.
4. Be easy to contact
Large businesses have call centres which are always available. Whilst this puts you at a disadvantage, it can also give you an advantage because a call to you will be more personal. It is important that you are always ready to answer the phone to customers and it is also important that you are easy to find in other places. Assess your online marketing regularly to be sure that your website is easy to find through search engines.
5. Speak to one target at a time
Your advertising should not seek to talk to your entire potential audience at once. All advertising should be focused on the people that you want to reach because a wide reaching ad will probably miss the target completely.
6. Generate curiosity
Your adverts should not seek to sell an item. Instead they should seek to create curiosity about an idea, principal or service. Curiosity will make customers take an interest and look up the company, but a sales pitch will more likely put them off. The most successful adverts are those which talk to people emotionally and create a connection.
Note from the Editor: This is a guest post.