Low Cost Advertising For a Small Business

May 16, 2012 by  Filed under: Advertising 

Many business-owners believe advertising needs to be expensive to be effective, and think you need to have a sizeable budget to get results. It’s true to a certain extent the more money you spend on your advertising the better your results will be, although this is only really the case if your advertising is effective, because spending money on ineffective advertising is worse than spending no money at all.

So the main thing to remember when you come to do any advertising at all is not how much it costs, but how effective it is. In short you need to concentrate on the ROI or Return on Investment. This is the only thing that matters, because once you find an advertising method, or a particular ad which gives you a good ROI, you can spend more money on it to get more back.

Cheap Advertising Methods and Strategies

One of the main principles of effective low-cost advertising is to forget the idea you need to spend a lot of money on a large ad. Many business-owners base the type of advertising they do on the ads they see run by large multinational companies in the national press. And to repeat what I said above, the size of the ad isn’t relevant, only how effective it is. Most of the large ads run by large companies are “branding” ads, which means they don’t make any kind of direct offer or ask the prospect to do something, and are there just to get the company name in front of the public.

One of the best and most profitable things a small business can do is forget about branding, and develop an advertising strategy based on lead-generation. Using this method, you give something away for free in return for the prospect’s contact details, and then you can sell to them slowly over time by using direct mail (including letters and postcards) and email.

Cutting Advertising Costs

This will cut your ad costs immediately, because in most case a lead-generation ad can be much smaller. All that’s needed is an offer of a free gift and then a coupon the prospect can cut out and send in, or a web page where the prospect can visit to provide their email address. This type of advertising also has the great benefit of being tested advertising. You’ll be able to see immediately how much response the ad gets, and know whether it’s profitable. You’ll need to know the average value of each customer, and then you’ll know how much you can spend to gain one. Once you know this, you can set your advertising budget accordingly, knowing you’re not just spending money blindly.

This technique will also cut the cost of advertising because in most cases there’ll be no need to use colour or ineffective white space, and you can just concentrate on the selling message.

You should also remember it’s usually possible to get a discount on your advertising simply by asking for one. Just ask the newspaper or magazine for a cheaper rate and there’s a good chance you’ll get it. It’s not unusual to get a 50% cut in rate, or even more, and that really does make your advertising very cheap. When you use it with the techniques above, you can be onto a real winner, and give a real boost to your business.

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