5 Cheaper Ways to Advertise Your Business
Advertising is an essential component of success for any business. Proper advertising ensures more sales, but if you choose the wrong options, it can be a very expensive proposition. Let's look at five ways you can reduce your business's advertising expenditure without affecting your results.
A referral program encourages your current customers to send their friends to your site, and to earn rewards for their efforts. It's a great way to generate low-cost advertising: your customers send visitors and earn a small percentage of every sale (or another reward), then those new customers refer their friends, who refer their friends, and so on!
Before long, you can have an army of loyal customers actively promoting your business - with every new referral, you exponentially increase the chance of getting more customers. And all for the price of a small commission on each sale or some other loyalty reward.
A joint advertising campaign works like any joint venture: you find a related business and you share the cost of the project. At the same time, you share target audiences, increasing the number of interested people who see your mutual ad campaign.
Good examples of this kind of advertising build on complementary industries. For instance, if you run a home aquarium cleaning service, you could work with a local pet shop. Together, you could offer a discount on your cleaning services, provided the customer buys their equipment (and fish) from the associated pet shop. Both businesses benefit: you get access to the pet shop's clientele, and they get a chance at more sales to people who would love an aquarium, but don't like the idea of doing their own maintenance.
Note that joint advertising is rarely an equal proposition: one party almost always pays more than the other, as they stand to gain more from the advertising or bring less to the combined project. Be flexible and ready to compromise.
Most relevant advertising medium
Choosing the most relevant advertising channel is absolutely critical in decreasing your advertising costs. You'll have to do thorough demographical research, or invest a little money in trial-and-error learning to figure out the best medium for your business.
For example, television and radio offer a massive return on investment for some companies, but if your business targets young adults who spend the majority of their time online, they may be a bad choice. You would almost certainly be better off investing in online advertising, or a social media marketing campaign.
It is often said that it is more expensive to get a new customer than to keep an existing one. For this reason, it is important that you strive to build a relationship with your customers. Answer queries quickly, make sure complaints are dealt with swiftly and always try to exceed their expectations. This will ensure that you build a positive, rewarding relationship with your clients, and allow you to decrease your advertising costs in the long run.
Don't forget the real world
Depending on your target market, "real world" advertising - as opposed to online, virtual adverts - can still be the best choice. For example, flyers and leaflets can be a very successful, yet inexpensive, form of advertising. The important thing is to ensure that your ads reach the right audience.
For example, if your target market is women, you should distribute your flyers or leaflets in areas frequented predominantly by them. Ideal areas are near beauty stores, clothes shops, hairdressers, and gymnasiums. This will help ensure that your flyers are reaching the right audience, and are therefore more effective.
Most successful businesses spend a large chunk of their money on advertising, so it is critical that you get the best possible returns. Don't just assume that throwing money at an ad campaign will make it work better: research the best medium, consider all the options, then run tests to figure out where and how to invest most effectively.