Whether you operate on a micro, small or medium to large scale, business advertising is an important aspect to running your business. Make sure you spend time and money on determining how to advertise your business. Most businesses don’t, and this can be a major downfall or risk exposure if the business simply relies on referrals. Business advertising provides you with proactive interaction with your market. Accordingly, business advertising can potentially be expenditure that will reap your business huge rewards. However, there are some important things to get right in preparing an advertising campaign.
- Use one clear message to quickly communicate your primary or core message – in basic terms ‘keep it simple stupid’. This is known as a ‘tag line’ - take time to develop it and to get it right. Be prepared to change it if your test demonstrates you missed the mark. Learn early from your mistakes, and don’t take it personally.
- Test your messages on people and clients you know, and alter it if the feedback is negative or could be improved. Trust feedback, as this gives your business a different perspective to your own. It is no good having a great product if you are the only person who can see its value!
- Match your business advertising campaigns to your market. Research your market and make sure that you actually offer a value proposition for them.
- Be honest and, where possible, include references or testimonials from your happy customers.
- Make sure any claim you make can be supported and / or delivered.
- Make your messages positive, as these are more likely to create ‘buzz’ naturally.
- Include easy to use and up to date information on the business contact details, and personalise where possible.
- Create a call to action and value, so that customers are curious about you and will seek your product or services.
- Make your business stand out. Remember there is a sea of service providers, contractors and suppliers. Brainstorm your ideas with a group of your business advisors, or small businesses you network with.
- Create business networks to share ideas. This is a key area of support and yet one often not used. Freelancers, consultants, contractors and micro business / small business owners tend to get isolated. This can be detrimental in developing and implementing your advertising campaigns and delivering your goods and services.
- Link your advertising into your Marketing Strategies, and ideally into your Marketing Plan.
- Keep monitoring what works and what does not, and change things early that don’t work.
Types of Business Advertising
There are many types of businesses advertising mediums but the key is to use methods that are effective marketing strategies. Simply, this means use business advertising campaigns that result in more sales and more profits (not just one - they go hand in hand). Advertise your business wisely.
In determining how to create a successful business advertising campaign you need to first step back and look at your current marketing strategy (assuming you have one). Look at what your business has learned by your track record in sales. Make changes where change is warranted, and don’t touch what is working! If you don’t know where to start, get some expert advice.
Make sure that your focus is on your customer needs, and not on what your business needs.
There are literally hundreds of marketing business advertising mediums, but these are the most common:
- Business advertising online. Statistics show that this medium is on an upward trend in Australia.
- Flyers can be distributed to your local community or target market, although this is significantly harder to achieve as it requires quality analysis and research. Print is the oldest form of advertising but still used frequently whether by flyer, advert in local paper or full blown brochure / booklet. Recently, you may have received a personal envelope addressed to you but containing a market flyer – the key is to get the customer to pay attention and to see the material amongst the myriad of material delivered to a door step.
- Bill boards – bus station stands – on cars and trucks.
- Word of mouth.
Stay Smart With Online Marketing and Business Advertising
In Australia, businesses and individuals are required to comply with the laws regarding SPAM. The following are suggestions on how to keep yourself and your business out of trouble. SPAM is simply the equivalent of JUNK MAIL. Officially, it is unsolicited mail and in Australia this is usually commercial advertising. SPAM includes electronic mail as well as mobile phone messaging (SMS/MMS).
If you are on the receiving end, remember that SPAM emails may also contain Trojans, viruses and worms, so set your security levels and virus protection accordingly. Businesses must be aware of their obligations under the Spam Act so as to ensure that their electronic messages sent do not breach the act or the Australian E-marketing code of Practice.
The SPAM Act prohibits the sending of spam, which is a commercial electronic message sent without the consent of the addressee via email, short message service (SMS); multimedia message (MMS) or instant messaging. To find advice on compliance with the Act see www.acma.gov.au and/or look at the many business guides available through the numerous government small business advisors or Business Enterprise Centres around Australia.