The Different Types of Advertising Methods Available to Your Small Business
For an entrepreneur who has taken his/her first step into the business world, expanding the client base is the foremost target. The task of discovering more and more customers and clients is very key because if they do not grow, no business person can afford to survive the distance. However, when it comes to expanding the customer base for a nascent business, you need to focus on local people as potential customers. A localized strategy is something that pays off the best for a new entrepreneur. And that strategy can be best facilitated through advertising. There are several methods of advertising a small business owner can follow to boost his/her venture through an expanded client base and higher earnings.
In the late 1980s, Ananta Gopal Chowdhury started a small accessories shop in a small town in India. He had so much cash crunch that he could not afford even a medium-sized shop to sell his products that were always qualitatively good. For raw materials, he had to convince people to sell him on credit. In the pre-liberalization days and with little technological advantage, Chowdhury had a real struggle to make his venture run. But he could not afford to give up his business since it was the only way he could earn for his family of four. Chowdhury, who could not afford to continue his study beyond the fifth standard because of poverty, had one thing clear in his head. He knew his small business could only survive and if possible, thrive, if he had a good advertising campaign. It was not that the man had thought of a campaign as in the corporate sense but a continuous process which will spread knowledge about his business.
Chowdhury came up with a unique advertising strategy. He made some small but prominent hand-written leaflets about his venture and pasted them on the back of local vehicles and even grazing cattle -- so the more they moved, the more people came to know about his products. In this way, Chowdhury made his name a known one in not only his own locality but the entire town where he lived. As the business passed on from Chowdhury to his sons and grandsons, they kept on capitalizing on advertising methods to ensure that it remained a strong venture. With the advancement in technology that linked towns with the world's prominent financial hubs, more advertising opportunities opened for the small business that enabled them to compete with the more established ones.
Here are some advertising methods that small businesses can follow to make it big:
Social media advertising
If you are looking for a quick way to see your small business thrive, social media advertising has no alternative. It is not only free (or may charge a moderate charge) but also has a massive penetration power. You can also choose the audience you are targeting to reach to sell your products. If you own a retail store, you can use ad options to narrow down the audience so that only a certain demographic section located closer to your store get to see your ads more. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn can be really handy for promoting your business for they are not only popular, they are also used by a massive young population and also feature a huge number of professional users.
Mobile phones are becoming more and more used and the advertising industry considers them a lethal tool. Why, as an entrepreneur, would you miss the opportunity? Mobile advertising is a kind of digital advertising in which the ads are served only on mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets. By mobile advertising, one can mean mobile search ads, mobile videos, mobile display ads, social media ads served on mobile devices, etc. Internet users currently spend more than two-thirds of their digital media time on smartphones and other mobile devices and that means people shop online more using these devices. This is something that will only get bigger with time and as a business owner, you should be feeling elated.
If you face a financial constraint in advertising, then the best thing is to go for advertising in particular times of the year, like for example, in times when the weather is good and more people come out or in seasons when your business has a higher potential to thrive. It all depends on what kind of venture you are running. If it is related to tourism, seasons of holidaying are when your advertising will bring better returns. If you are in the retail business, December holidays are the time when your business has the biggest potential.
Advertising through direct mail
This is a traditional yet effective way of advertising, especially for small businesses. It includes all forms of ads that are delivered to a person’s home address through email. It could be done through sales letters, newsletters, brochures, etc. In the age of digital advertising, direct mail is a less popular method of advertising but it offers a big scope for being creative and effective in reaching out to people. Another advantage of this method is that it enables you to have a one-on-one connection with your consumers, something that allows you to grow a personalized bond.
Advertising through popular media
Local advertising can also be done through newspapers, televisions and radios. Local newspapers provide a good opportunity for advertising for your business even though in these times of shrinking space of the print media, it might not have as big a reach as it was earlier. Besides, the cost of such advertising is also high. But it is a good way of reaching out to older customers who engage less with social media. Besides, TV and radio could also offer a good advertising opportunity. If you have a local TV or radio station in your area of operation, you can go for putting your ads on air although it could be expensive.