In order for any business to grow it must advertise its goods and services. Whether it’s a sign in a shop window, a small ad in the Yellow Pages, a two-minute television commercial or a full page spread in the Brisbane Times, businesses of all types and sizes benefit from advertising. But at what cost?
You may already know that advertising through traditional media, such as television, newspapers and magazines is expensive. Television advertisements can cost millions and the price of a full-size magazine or newspaper ad can exceed even that. What’s more, these ads can often be inefficient or ineffective at reaching the targeted audience.
In the current digital era, online advertising is a popular choice. However, some forms of online advertising can quickly become as expensive as those types offline. Popular and simple pay-per-click programs such as Google AdWords, which are designed to assist you in bringing your ad to the forefront of various websites, can be costly for those without a budget. We’ve seen some competitive keywords cost around $70 per click. This will quickly add up.
Effective digital advertising doesn’t need to cost you per click, in fact it doesn’t need to cost you at all. By utilising online tools such social media, blogging platforms, local directories and establishing strategic partnerships you can reach your target audience effectively. Here’s how:
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin are used by millions of people everyday to share stories, ideas and photos. You too can use social media to share your products and services by creating an online profile for your business. Here, you can provide information, photos and even videos and allow potential clients to link to your website and contact details quickly and easily.
Furthermore, you can network and find new clients, customers and even business partners by exploring the profiles of others. Successful, cheap and effective online advertising is about leveraging and manipulating resources that already exist and are highly accessible, such as social media.
As well as social media, blogging and vlogging (video blogging) sites such as Blogger, YouTube, Local Smile and Medium are also free and businesses can benefit from creating an online presence through these platforms. Blogging and vlogging allow users to get intimate and honest with readers and viewers. Both can be conversational, and it is here that businesses can take their readers and viewers through the finer details of their products and services.
Although considered somewhat old-fashioned since the inception of the Internet, local directories remain a popular and efficient way for local consumer to find your business. Online directories in particular, such as Yelp, TrueLocal and Yellow Pages, can be free and give users the option to browse services in their local area. This could mean less competition for your advertisement. What’s more, an online ad in a local directory provides a quick link to your contact details and website.
Strategic partnerships and PR (public relations)
Forming a short or long term alliance with another company or individual can also help strengthen your marketing presence. By approaching an influential or trend-setting writer, blogger, vlogger, Facebook user or a popular company you may be able to spread the marketing load and gain attention from a new consumer base. Why not send a sample of your product or service to an influential figure and have them introduce it or even review it for their followers? This might attract new clients to your business.
You can also attract interest in your business by approaching local newspapers, news websites and magazines with newsworthy information about your business and what you offer. Have you recently helped out a local charity, school or participated in an event for a cause? Approach the media and tell them about it! Also, if you’re an expert in your field, why not voice your opinion by contributing quotes, statistics or information to a news story?
These four simple and free marketing strategies can help any business attract more clients while minimising ad spend. If you have any great free tips feel free to share them below! If you would like more help with marketing your business, please contact the team at Studio Culture.
Joe Fox is Studio Culture’s Business and Development Director.