4 budget-conscious advertising strategies to give your small business a much-needed boost

What Makes Advertising Successful
Advertising is imperative to give your business a chance at success. Photo: Casanowe, Bigstock.

Many small businesses make the mistake of using leftover profits for advertising, instead of developing a strategy in the first place. First and foremost, it’s important to understand that advertising and marketing are investments and not expenses.

What Makes Advertising Successful?

Advertising for the sake of it will get you nowhere. You need to find ways to make your advertising dollars work hard for the ultimate benefit of your business. Here’s what you can do to make advertising successful.

  • Provide a consumer benefit that solves a need or problem.
  • Provide a solution desired by consumers
  • Offer products and services that result in tangible benefits

You must address these specific needs to ensure that your advertising is ultimately successful.

Strategies To Build A Successful Ad Campaign

Just because you have a small budget doesn’t mean you have to compromise on the quality of your advertising. Enhance your dollar spends by adopting these budget-conscious advertising strategies.

Find Ways To Reduce Your Traditional Advertising Spends

Traditional channels like print newspapers, magazines, radio and television are known for their big spends. But that doesn’t always have to be the case. Follow these actions to reduce your advertising spends in traditional channels:

  • Place ads during off-peak times to benefit from lower spends.
  • Consider advertising in specific locations for smaller ad spends – perfect for businesses catering to local regions.
  • Use smaller ads, instead of a single big-splash ad that consumes a significant portion of your ad budget
  • Check for discounts towards the latter end of the month on unsold ad spaces
  • Consider contra deals with the media outlet to bring down your ad spends

Bringing down your ad spends in traditional media will allow you to use your budget more effectively for the ultimate benefit of your business.

Throw Online Advertising Into The Mix

Online advertising is a great way to get your message to your target audience without the same cost of traditional channels. Here’s what you need to consider:

  • Find out which online channels are most relevant to your target audience and buy ad space
  • Consider going through social media channels to generate engagement and reach out to more customers
  • Create ads that talk directly to your audience by addressing specific needs
  • Consider email marketing as a low-cost way to reach out to your target customers

While traditional advertising should not be discarded completely, it’s important for budget-conscious small businesses to consider alternative advertising channels, which should include digital.

Build Publicity For Your Business

Publicity is a good way to get your business brand out there without having to rely solely on advertising. Getting publicity for your business could take place in the following ways:

  • Organise an interview with a local newspaper/magazine to drive home your key messages
  • Write articles/blogs that demonstrate your industry expertise
  • Highlight your products and services via specific columns in media channels
  • Canvas for speaker opportunities at local business groups, conferences and events
  • Use social media to demonstrate your expertise
  • Use press releases to get your key messages out to target media publications without a massive investment

By building publicity for your business name, products and services, you’re using alternative channels to get your messages across to your target audience.

Join Professional Business Groups To Capitalise On Networking

Joining a local chamber of commerce and other professional business groups will allow you to network with different types of businesses in your area, allowing you’ll to share best practices for the overall benefit of the business community. Here’s how you can generate value from these groups:

  • Opportunity to interact with other businesses or leaders in your industry – to find ways of collaboration
  • Speak to as many people as possible about their businesses and listen to what they have to say
  • Seek advice from fellow local businesses to optimise your product and service delivery
  • Develop new connections to increase your customer pool

While it can seem futile at the start, you’ll start to see some real business benefits by networking with different operators in your local area. Networking is ultimately about intermingling with like-minded people for mutual benefits.

At the end of the day, you don’t have to spend a fortune on advertising to get your business name out there. Some low-cost strategies can end up being just as effective for your business if you proceed in a considered manner