Posts Tagged ‘Advertising’

Four Free Resources For Small Business Advertising

One of the most difficult aspects of operating a small business is attempting to decrease your customer acquisition costs to improve profits and in many cases high acquisition costs are what prevent the business from being profitable at all. Most small businesses do not keep track of acquisition statistics so they are unsure of how much it costs for them to acquire each new customer. Without knowing this statistic, it is impossible to truly measure the effectiveness of your advertising and marketing.

One of the ways to help reduce acquisition costs is to use free advertising resources to increase your customer base. With these resources the primary cost is time, which for advertising is a relatively low price. Here are a few resources that small businesses should be taking advantage of to grow their customer base as it will definitely give you a competitive edge over your competition:

Craigslist - Craigslist.com is an online classified website that is free to post listings. Craigslists is one of the top 10 visited websites in the United States and can drive a tremendous amount of traffic to your business. Craigslist has a services section where local businesses can list the products and services that they offer for potential customers. Craigslist is organized by local geographies, therefore you have the potential to drive very local customers to your business. Total time to post an ad on Craigslist is probably about five minutes and will be less once you get the hang of it.

Google Base - Google Base is a free online classified that benefits from the large amounts of traffic generated by Google.com. A simple listing on Google Base can help to drive traffic to your website and although Google claims that it does not make a difference, it is a good bet that the more activity you have on the web properties, the better you will rank in their primary search engine.

Press Releases - The days of needing to be a professional writer to submit a press release are long gone. Now anyone that has knowledge of a product or service should submit press releases to media outlets and can be done easily with free resources. A couple of the sites that I recommend are prleap.com and prfree.com, but there are many others. These services submit your articles to the Associated Press which in many cases will be a distribution of 40,000 subscribers. If only a fraction of the subscribers pick up your article, you benefit. It first establishes you as an authority on the subject matter, but it also generates links back to your website which will increase your search engine rankings. The benefits of these free services can be massive in reducing your customer acquisition costs.

Merchant Circle - Merchantcircle.com is an online business directory that is focused on offering small business websites to promote their business. The main benefit of their service in my opinion is that their pages rank highly in the search engines, therefore, increase the ranking of your website in your local geographic ares. To set up you page only takes about ten minutes.

These are just a few examples of free resources that your business should be using. Think out of the box and do a little research to find out other free resources that will benefit your business. With only one new customer, this form of advertising pays for itself.

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Promotional Items For Small Business Advertising

Picture this: you have a small business. You need to advertise on a small budget. You've done the print ads, radio, television and online advertising and still have a little bit left in your budget. So, instead of using what you've already been doing, you decide to get some promotional items of their moving led signs. Ok, so what do you get and how do you get them out?

Pens

Pens are always a good promotional item because everyone uses them. Also, personally speaking, one of the reasons I like going to my favorite bookstore is to get the new promotional pens they always have out on the desk. I put one in my purse and every time I need a pen, I pull it out and see the name of the bookstore. Wow, that's one way to put your name in someone's head!

Magnets

We all have refrigerators, right? What is on your refrigerator? If you are like most of us, it's a collection of various magnets. Some people have decorative magnets or alphabet magnets for their children. Some people though, have magnets for businesses. Do you happen to have a magnet for a pizza place? See, they work. Not just for pizza places either, if you need the name or number of a business, it's easy to find if it's on your refrigerator.

T-shirts

T-shirts are great for promotional advertising because, well people like giveaways. If they win a t-shirt, they will probably wear it at some point. When they do, it's like a walking billboard for your establishment. Talk about getting the word out!

Mouse pads

Chances are if you are reading this, you are in front of a computer. What do most computers have? A mouse. What do most of them rest on? A mouse pad. Unless you have an optical mouse, they are recommended. If your business name is on a mouse pad that is in use daily, your name will be the first to come to mind when there is a need for what you offer.

Calendars

Everyone needs calendars. How else would we know what day it is, keep appointments, do anything? If your business were to put out a calendar, that's a whole years worth of advertising for a few dollars! Where else can you find a deal like that?

How to get these items to the public

Ok, now you that you've got your promotional items, what do you do with them? There are myriad ways to distribute these things. One way is to donate them to radio stations to be used as prizes for whatever contests they may be having. If you contact your local city council, you can get a list of any small business conventions, art conventions or any other happening in the area where you may be able to get a booth and promote your company. Another way is to get a booth at the local fair. They always have the parts you can walk through and get tons of promotional items of their open led signs.

Promotional items can be an easy and fun way to spread the word about your company and help it grow.

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An Excellent Guide to Business Advertising

Product publicity is the secret pathway to business success everyone wants. In simple terms, product publicity is a kind of advertising that costs you nothing, yet brings in the orders for you.

Regardless of what kind of business you are operating, you should want, and strive for, as much publicity for your business and your products or services, as possible, after all, its 'free advertising' that is essential to the growth of your business. However, your publicity efforts should be well thought out, and pre-planned for maximum results.

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Three Strategies For Success In Small Business Advertising

Advertising and marketing for a small business takes effort and a plan to be successful. Many small business owners become discouraged too quickly because they do not receive the windfall of customers that they expected after they ran their initial advertising campaigns. You must keep at it. Advertising is a art that takes constant monitoring and refinement and a long term plan that will lead to your success. The main reason you want to spend the time to develop a plan is that it significantly reduces costs. Running ads inconsistently and not in line with your plan is expensive because you can not get good long term rates from publications and you will not reach your customers as well as you would if they consistently seee your message. Here are three things that small business owners can do in to increase their chance of success in their advertising campaign.

1. Be Committed To Your Long Term Plan - This strategies assumes you have a long term plan. If you do not, then you need one, fast. Just like planning to open your business needed a business plan, your advertising needs a plan. This helps you to meet deadlines for publications and lay out different messages that you want to to get in front of your customers at different parts of the year. You should at a minimum have a six month advertising plan, but really it should be a year. This will help to establish longer term contracts with advertisers which helps to bring the price down of each advertisement.

2. Add Shock Value - As a small business you are competing with major corporations for your customers. You have to be different. Speak to what your customer needs and how you can provide, but you have to make a scene. Just being average and boring when competing with small and large businesses will be very frustrating as you will not get the returns from your advertising that you expect. By being different you have a great opportunity to acquire those customers who usually would not have paid you much attention. If you think of many of the people who have been really successful at building the brand of their business, you will see that most of them were able to create a small hysteria about their product and service that set them apart from others in their market. This does not mean do something that is demeaning or causes you to compromise your morals and ethical beliefs. Just out of the box thinking that triggers a response from your customers.

3. Take Advantage Of Free Services - The most common free service that small businesses fail to take advantage of is press releases. If you have a new product or service or just an interesting tidbit about your industry that you think your customers should know about, write a press release. A quick Google search will give you dozens of free press release services. You can also send them to your local papers individually. There is no guarantee that they will be printed, but if they do, this is a lot of free advertising that only cost you a little bit of your time. Something to consider: How long will it take you to write a 250-300 word article about your business? Not long I bet. This should done right away.

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