Many SME businesses still believe that traditional advertising is the way for them to generate volumes of leads and customers for their business. They spend a significant chunk of their marketing budget on traditional print advertising – be that newspapers, magazines, or directories such as Yellow Pages.
But in many cases they could be getting more out of their advertising spend, or even saving money by doing other more cost effective forms of promotion for their business.
Here are some tips to help you make sure you’re not wasting money…
It’s a good discipline to keep details of where you advertised, what size advert you had, what page it appeared it and what you were promoting. That helps you to track all your activity in past years.
There’s no point spending money on advertising without knowing how effective it is. If you are running an offer, then print a code on the advert that customers have to quote to get the deal. Keep track of how many people use the code. Make sure you and your team are always in the habit of asking new customers ‘where did you hear about us’ and record how many people mention having seen your adverts.
Don’t expect that running the same advert month after month, will bring in the same level of business. You need to change your messaging and advertising concept so that you stand out from the crowd and keep your brand fresh to the readers.
It’s always a good idea to test new things when you advertise regularly. For example, if you always pay for a ¼ page in the local newspaper – you can test whether having a smaller advert lowers your response. Don’t just stick to doing what you have always done in the past.
When a newspaper or magazine is running a special feature that’s particularly relevant for your business – it’s generally a good idea to advertise there. Although you will encounter competitors there, you know that the people reading that feature are really interested in that subject and will be more responsive to your message.
You want your advert to jump out at people – so make sure the headline is engaging to your potential customers! Sounds obvious – but many companies make the mistake of talking about themselves and not what their customers might be interested in!
Just because it’s something you’ve always done; just because your competitors advertise there it doesn’t mean it’s the right thing for your business. If you find your advertising isn’t working then don’t be afraid to pull your budget and try some new ways of getting business.
If you’d like to discuss your advertising strategy and see if you could be using your budget more efficiently then drop us a line.