Posted at Dec 23, 2019 10:05:00 AM by thatagency | Share
Are your advertising costs too high? You're not alone! This critical function often represents a significant challenge for small and medium businesses, who face a catch-22. After all, you need the advertising to keep the flow of customers steady and growing, but with budgets already tight, the last thing you need in your life is another expense.
Is there a way to reduce those ad costs and create the presence you really want? Absolutely. These ten tips can help.
1. Create a Comprehensive Program
The best first step you can take is to create a program that you can stick to. Remember, you're going to have lots of opportunities to advertise. You simply can't take every one of them and stay within budget. Instead, your best bet is to decide what your business goals are, and build a program around those.
This may take some time. Think about annual events, your busy times, and any special occasions you want to factor in, and then build your advertising budget.
2. Tighten Your Focus Even Further
Look back at all of the business you closed in 2019. Where did it come from? How many touch points influenced the close? When you have that data, make a list of the top avenues that brought in leads, which resulted in conversions, and top referral sources. Concentrate on your top 2-3 sources or influential touch points and build on them for 2020 to maximize your budget and keep advertising costs in line.
3. Create Podcast Ads
More than half of the U.S. population has listened to a podcast, and millions of us tune in regularly. Podcast ads are an effective way to reach your audience, and the cost is quite reasonable. If you find a great podcast that resonates with your target market, you can purchase ads and/or sponsor the show to broaden your appeal.
4. Use Remnant Advertising
You know how you can get a steep price cut on hotel rooms that are vacant? Remnant advertising operates along similar lines: it is ad spaces that media companies haven’t been able to sell. They don’t want to waste this finite, time-sensitive space, so they sell it at a significant discount. Yes, there are fewer options - but you can get your ads in front of as many people as possible with a limited budget.
5. Leverage Your Website More Effectively
Consumers are more savvy and informed than ever before. When they need a product or service, they do their research. They turn to social media to ask for recommendations; they look at ratings and review sites; they visit your website and see what kind of value you deliver. Your website is a vital touch point: make sure it is clear, clean, easy to navigate, and features helpful, relevant information. Your blog can help here too, especially if your blog posts are optimized to pull organic search engine traffic your way.
6. Go Old School
There are many advertising techniques that are “older” yet still effective. Let’s call them the tried and true! A few ideas:
Flyers and Handbills. These are fairly inexpensive assets, and you can use them to create buzz about your brand. Just be sure you turn to a design professional to get the right look. Use this print collateral to offer incentives or discounts for those who bring your flyer to a physical location or enter a code online.
Emails and eNewsletters. Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing techniques - dominating over even social media in terms of results. When sending emails or eNewsletters, be sure to personalize them. Adding the recipient’s name, for example, boosts open and click through rates significantly.
Radio. Millions of us still tune into our local and public radio stations. Ad space is less expensive than in the past.
7. Investigate Cooperative Advertising
If you're not familiar with the concept, cooperative advertising is one way to save some serious money when it comes to your budget. These are programs where manufacturers offer you reimbursement dollars for ads based around their products.
For example, imagine you run an online ink pen store. You carry several different brands. One of the brands you carry may have a co-op ad program that reimburses you for fifty percent of the cost if you feature their brand in your next advertisement. It's a win-win. You get a bit of extra cash, and the manufacturer enjoys higher sales numbers.
8. Use Public Relations to Your Advantage
Ads cost money, but public relations (PR) doesn't have to. If you can reach out to local papers and TV stations to promote an upcoming event or show customers a bit of news about your business, like an expansion, it's possible to get some free advertising customers may consider more reliable than your usual channels.
9. Skip TV and Air Ads on YouTube
You can reach more people and give your ads a much longer shelf life if you utilize YouTube as an advertising avenue. Posting your content is free, and you can promote it via various channels (your website, social media profiles, etc.). There are also many paid YouTube advertising opportunities to consider.
10. Talk to Your Customers
Many companies don't ever interact with their customers to learn more about their needs. Do it. Now! Speak with them in person or online. Offer surveys and other options to get a bit of input from them. These and other steps provide some free advertising along with producing insights you may not have considered.
Advertising costs will continue to rise - that’s life in the jungle, people! But with these ten methods and other creative strategies, you can achieve brand-building goals without busting the budget. For help with this, contact THAT Agency.