Advertising has a litany of benefits such as reminding current customers, and informing potential customers, of a product or service. Investing in advertising can also create and uphold a distinct identity and brand for the company while bolstering a favorable reputation. It's a wonderful tool for businesses, but it's not a guaranteed way to increase sales or quantity of customers. It must be done well to have an impact.
Outline steps to success
The Small Business Administration suggests starting by determining an overarching goal for an advertising campaign. Set long-range goals, then decide how marketing would help the business get to that point. It's important to set measurable objectives along the way to evaluate progress and make adjustments if necessary.
Some potential intents of advertising may be reaching new demographics, boosting sales or reducing current inventory. Next, look at the existing budget to find out how much money the company can afford to invest in advertising. It may be helpful to consider the following year's finances as well to have a better idea of how advertising costs will affect the future.
Why do people need this product or service?
Customers are going to want to know what the business has to offer in comparison to others. Having an answer to that question is key. Figure out what audience the company wants to reach with advertisements. Get as specific as possible when nailing down a demographic. The target customer may determine what advertising venue is best.
Other firms in the industry also must be taken into account, including their strengths and weaknesses. The SBA says this information shows business owners why they have something special and how their products and services can be more unique. The process of looking at pros and cons of competitors may even help a company find its niche in the marketplace.
In that same vein, research on the industry and market will provide a company with a more guided vision for an advertising campaign. The SBA recommends looking at government materials from the Census Bureau and Department of Congress. Additionally, there may be valuable information to glean from trade publications or professional organizations.
Use this information to form a plan for advertising
According to the SBA, there must be a common theme throughout advertisements that represents the company's personality. The theme may also highlight particular benefits of the product or service being offered. A catchy tag line can enhance a brand's advertising campaign, especially on custom promotional products.
"The number of promotional tools used to deliver your message and repeat your name is limited only by your imagination and your budget," according to the SBA.
A great place to start is custom pens. There are endless styles and designs to choose from that can be tailored to a specific business or industry. They are easy to distribute in the workplace, at trade shows or even with online order shipments. For restaurants and other companies in the food industry, consider personalizing coasters or bottle openers to promote the business. Manufacturing firms may be more interested in customizing Personalized Magnetic Screwdrivers or 3-in-1 Digital Tire Gauges.
Once there are promotional products on hand, look into co-sponsorships with nonprofits. Charity events like races, walks and bike-a-thons often have rows of tables where companies can distribute giveaways. There are more nonprofits than most people would ever imagine, so there will likely be one that fits with the business nicely. It may also be beneficial to cross-promote with related local businesses. Put promotional products in each other's stores or hand out business cards to customers who buy an applicable product. This is just the tip of the iceberg on ways to get big returns on a small business.