Small Business Advertising For Entrepreneurs

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Advertising in a small business is an art that no one should underestimate. Many companies today often misunderstand its potential in how it can affect a small business largely. Some think that it is irrelevant to start advertising thinking that during this stage it is impossible to compete with larger brands. A lot of people take this for granted but small business advertising, if understood correctly by its laws, can reap huge rewards for the company as well as the business owner.

The Small Business Administration states that according to its statistics, there should be a 5% budget for advertising in the total sales of every entrepreneur. Many people argue that 5% is too small for a business that competes in terms of advertising. A company that dedicated only 5% of its finances to its advertising can be done only if the entrepreneur understands the proven laws of small business advertising.

Here are some of the laws of advertising in a small business in order for it to become successful:

1. Utilizing only one message. Keep your advertisements simple, conveying only a single message so that it will stay in the minds of people whenever they come up with a problem that requires your expertise or products. The core of your message should penetrate your target market in no more than 3 seconds.

2. Include credibility in your ads. Distrusting common advertisements have become a human nature among many families that have been tricked into purchasing fraud products. In order to get around this, you should state a claim in your advertisement that will erase the doubt in your prospects. Make an advertisement that will be seen as a trusted brand every time a new person sees it.

3. Put your advertising to the test. There are many large companies out there that waste a lot of money because they have not tested their advertisements. In the case of small businesses, they do not have the luxury to do so. That is why a good alternative to this is to use coupons and special promos to measure the headline, placement and timing of your ads. It is advisable to test one product at a time and through one medium. Testing can be easy and simple such as asking one customer a week what they think of your brand.

4. Advertise with accuracy. A successful business can only be achieved if their advertising focused on only one target market. Focus your message to one target group because in this way, you are able to take advantage of focusing in one aspect.

Having a poor response in your target market is not the fault of the medium you are using. Most of the time, there is a problem with your message and how you deliver it to your prospects. Remember that small business advertising is not a quick solution but it requires planning, exposure and testing in order to make an impact in your business. If done correctly, this can be a winning strategy for your small business.

Local Small Business Advertising - Effective Marketing To Reach Your Target Audience

In today's economic atmosphere it is becoming increasingly difficult for any business survive. It seems that prices for all goods and services are on the rise and local small business advertising is no exception.

When the costs of essential business needs keep going up, but the amount of buying customers are going down. How are local business entrepreneurs supposed survive. How to you get more costumers through the door.

Print advertisement is one avenue many businesses are considering these days. But do these print ads or articles really drive you more customers? How can an advertisement company guarantee you traffic from an advertisement buy? There really isn't any way for these companies to track whether or not the customer you are trying to target is reading your advertisement.

Sure they can tell you how many households they are being distributed to in a defined area. However, there is no guarantee that your target consumer will ever read that advertisement. So when you buy that ad, How do you know you're getting your moneys worth?

Radio is another medium that many businesses try to use to increase their local customer traffic. But with more people downloading music and the obvious rise of the iPod generation, radio advertising has become a small business frustration. The increased cost of radio with no guaranteed return on investment has threatened many small businesses bottom lines.

Newspaper print ads, television, radio and the yellow pages are becoming more and more unreliable when it comes to driving targeted traffic to your business. Many small businesses are on a limited advertising budget as well.

Focused local businesses advertising ideas are what most businesses are searching for these days. That is driving many of these local businessmen to the internet.

Almost all families have access to the internet these days and the majority of all local searches are done through major search engines on the internet. If you want to find a reliable pest control man or maybe you're searching for the best carpet cleaner in town. Almost everyone is using the internet for these searches. Think about it, when was the last time you picked up the yellow pages. I'll bet half the people you talk to can't find them in their house or they've been thrown away.

So most business people are turning to the internet for their small business marketing. But this great advertising means involves more than just building a website or having someone build it for you. It involves being able to have that website effectively optimized for search engine traffic. You need to have done the proper keyword research for the content on your website. You also should have the proper L SI keyword phrases inserted into that text as well.

Small Business Advertising in the Digital Age

With the ability for you to leverage the power of the internet and the social media technology, you now have the tools to take your small business advertising to the next level. As with any business whether it be a small business, a big business, a brick and mortar offline business, or online, you need to do proper advertising to not only keep your current customers but also obtain new ones. For small business advertising, it really is no different than some of the really large companies except for the return on investment you are looking for. With the majority of most advertising going online, I am going to share with you some free and low cost small business advertising strategies. If implemented correctly, these strategies will drive an enormous amount of traffic to your business.

I am going to start with a couple free to low cost advertising strategies that will give you some traffic but not as much as others I will cover further into this article.

Have You Own Website

With so many people using computers and over 4 billion people online, you hear about people not reading the newspaper any longer, magazine subscriptions are way down and hear how online is the future. If you are considering getting any type of online presence with your small business, your own website is the first opportunity that you will want to tackle. While this may sound very cumbersome and technical, it can be really easy or it can be a complete nightmare, depending on how in depth you want your website. I know for a fact you can get your own website set up for free through many different sites online. For great results like I have had, many of my websites have cost me fewer than twenty five dollars, which I have complete control over and am able to add content or products at my leisure.

Along with your website, you could have an area on your site that would allow someone to download a "free newsletter", a "free how to video" or even a "free eBook" that is relevant to your products or services. When they insert their name and email into the form you then have captured their information and can market directly to them of new products you are selling, new promotions or just information to enhance their life.

Writing Articles Drives Eyes to Your Website

As mentioned above, it is very important to have your own website, but if you do not and do not feel that you can set one up, not all is lost; you could either not have a website or outsource the work to someone that does that for a living. With article marketing it is one of the advertising strategies that I use most often and have had great success with this particular strategy. Article marketing involves you writing a small article similar to this one, in 500-1000 words, with valuable information with the ability for the reader to learn more by either clicking on a link or your company information at the end. Article marketing is actually quite easy, does not cost you and money but does have a time factor involved.

Article marketing gives you the ability to write one specific article; let's say you have quilt making company and you write an article different types of quilts, you can then submit this article to hundreds of different sites for no cost. When you have a reader that likes your article and then wants to learn more, they then can contact you and possibly you will sell one or more quilts. There are also some sites that allow you to submit articles to that allow those readers can take your article and put it on their site or anywhere else as long as they keep your links and information intact.

Video Marketing is Powerful Beyond Words

A very powerful but yet very low cost small business advertising strategy is using video. I have had many conversations with small business owners that have used some ideas I have given them for their business on how to incorporate videos and they have seen outstanding results. Video is a powerful advertising strategy that uses sight, sound and connection (believe it or not). With the largest video sharing site in the world (YouTube) being owned by the largest search engine in the world (Google), the two powerhouses are providing great results for many people.

Videos can help promote you and your business as an expert in a specific field or around a specific product, a great way to obtain and retain loyal customers is to make a short "how to video" on something in your business at least once every couple weeks and put on your website. This not only keeps fresh and updated information on your site but also shows your customers you wide breadth of knowledge and dedication to providing them with answers.

Finally the Highest Traffic Generating Strategy

When I was new and green to the internet marketing arena and was being taught by some of the greatest marketing minds online, someone started teaching me about Pay-Per-Click; to be honest I thought they said Paper-Clip. I immediately started thinking what does paperclips have to do with advertising, but I was quickly educated that it is Pay-Per-Click; which is a highly targeted advertising strategy that you are only charged for your advertising when someone clicks on your advertisement. This strategy will drive the most traffic to your business out of all the other marketing strategies but can cost you some very pretty pennies; I strongly advise having someone teach you how to do this that has done this before.

Pay-Per-Click is not for the light hearted, nor the fearful. This advertising could cost dollars a day up to thousands a day, depending on how you set your campaign up and how and who you target.

I hope this helps you with your small business advertising and if you would like to learn more about some or all of these strategies, watch the short video provided below and request more information.

Small Business Advertising and Marketing Ideas

As a small business owner, it can be a challenge to get your business recognized in the industry. Unless you have something that absolutely no one else has, you must fight to market your business. The challenges that a small business has is the need to stick to a budget, yet at the same time be able to do things that make your company recognizable and attractive to the world. Often times this budget is extremely small and will not get you anywhere marketing using traditional methods and techniques.This is why the Internet has become such a powerful and vast market place. It's because on the Internet you have the ability to market your small business with little to no money and can be just as successful as a big company that dishes out millions on advertising and marketing.

One of the most powerful ways to market and advertise when you are a small business, is to use social websites as your media. Twitter and Facebook have a very large audience and following and they are free tools. Here you can make announcements about events and products that you are advertising as well as keep in touch with existing customers and attract new customers. Twitter is very powerful in this regard for small business advertising because it stays in your budget, does not take up a lot of your time and has the possibility to reach many customers. Another powerful small business advertising idea is to have a blog. Here you can post new and interesting topics about your business, about your industry, or about your products and product lines. When you write a blog it will attract people to read it that are interested in what you are selling and from there you can point them in the direction of how to make a purchase. Online video directories like YouTube are very powerful because the videos are seen by a large audience and it also throws a personal touch in with your advertising. Sort of like a free commercial for your business.

Of course the common theme with all of these small business advertising ideas is that they are free tools and they are all tools that are used on the Internet. Therefore, in order for any of these to be successful, your small business must have a presence on the Internet. Meaning this can be a website that they actually purchase products or services from, or an informational website that allows them to get in contact with you if they are interested in what you have to offer. The ultimate goal is to get people to contact you for your services and to sell the product. So assuming they make contact with you after seeing your advertisements, you have been successful. The rest is sales and that is another topic.

There are many more methods and techniques to advertising your small business and many of them should be taken advantage of if you have the opportunity and budget. However, the fact of the matter is that most small business owners do not have a large budget and therefore must advertise using the little money they have. This is why these small business advertising ideas offer high traffic ads at the lowest cost possible. If you are not using these methods to market and advertise events and services offered by your company, then you are missing out on a massive market that has many followers. This could be the difference between success and failure on a tight budget.

How to Generate Small Business Advertising Ideas Fast!

Adverting in fact is very necessary for the success of any company. Without effective advertising you can not reach your wide audience. That apart, you can not even aim to familiarize the target market with your product if you don't have an advertising strategy to back your product or service. Advertising brings in customers apart from creating awareness. Hence, advertising is necessary.

However, the problem with the small business is that of finance. They are usually very tight on their budgets and have a negligibly smaller advertising budget. In this case, these companies often look for small business advertising ideas that can help them put in least money and advertise their product or service simultaneously.

There are many small business advertising ideas that can prove beneficial for your small scale business. Listed below are some of the best strategies that you can adopt to make sure you get the most out of your advertising campaign.

Always choose your advertising medium after careful analysis. Whether print, web, radio or television, before you decide your medium for advertising your product or idea, it is better you check your budget first. Never ever over-step your budget while advertising and hence, chose the medium only that you can afford and depending on the audience you want to reach out to.

Local newspapers are the best advertising media for your small businesses. Small business advertising ideas include advertising in these daily newspapers and other print material that has a wide audience. You can easily reach your target audience if you advertise in these regular mediums. Advertise repeatedly for sometime.

This has a dual benefit. One it can get you discounts on regular advertising and secondly, it keeps the readers informed by repetition. This prompts your target audience to action.

Local Yellow Pages and telephone directories are also the cheap and quality methods to reach a wide audience. Large number of people depends on advertising in these two medium for a reliable service or company offering a product of their need. Hence, it lends a certain amount of credibility to your product or company.

Advertising through direct emailing is another one of the cheap and best small business advertising ideas. Emailing requires just a customer database. Through emailing you can spread your message to your audience all free of cost and it also lends a personalized touch to it.

Local Small Business Advertising Ideas - Where to Get Them

Local small business owners spend a great deal of money on advertising. Most of us never know if the advertising is paying off. Most never know if their advertising or marketing is any good at all. The problem is, we ask the wrong people their opinion. We ask our co-workers if an advertisement looks good. The CEO asks the treasurer what she thinks. The problem is that most of us are not experts in advertising. At most, we know what we like in graphic design.

So, where do we get great advertising ideas? Most of us never look outside our doors for advertising or marketing ideas. The smarter small business owners look outside their doors to other, more successful, business the same business. That a smart way to look for ideas. Copy what works. It's the franchise method. Test an idea, copy it, and deploy it to the vendors.

Te problem with his idea is that everyone in your business has access to these ideas. They aren't new. Soon you are copying the copier. You are playing "follow the follower". My mentor Dan Kennedy calls this "Marketing Incest".

Most tested and proven small business advertising and marketing ideas are found completely outside of your core business. These ideas can then be tested and translated into any business you like. For example, I own a retail store and sell vacuum cleaners. But of the 42 separate marketing and advertising methods I employ, only one idea came from the retail industry. One out of forty two. In fact, the most profitable ideas I use come from the restaurant, medical, and insurance fields.

The idea is simple. Find businesses that are actually owned by someone. Not major corporation, but businesses that have a leader calling the shots. Most successful companies have articles written about them and their CEO. In fact, there are hundreds of books out there on that hold all the marketing and advertising secrets these leaders used to grow their company. These ideas are plentiful, easy to find, and books are cheap.

You can read a book about an entrepreneur, and I see what made them successful. Then you just have to imagine how that idea, at least the core of it, could be applied to your business. Most great advertising and marketing ideas are similar or even identical across all industries. A few tweeks is all it usually takers to generate a profitable new idea for your business.

You can go to the library and take a day doing this; Look up magazines where there are direct mail ads running. Direct mail meaning that you can actually buy something from the ad, or at least request information. These are not brand building ads. Now find the same magazine from a year ago. Look at the ads. Which ads are the same from a year ago? Those ads are profitable. These are the ads to study. What do they have in common? A few hours of studying these ads will show you a pattern that great ads use. Now look at the ads that are there a year ago, but are not there now. What do they have in common? These are unsuccessful ads. What are the differences between a dozen of these unsuccessful ads, and the ones that are repeated for at least a year?

Now imagine that these successful repeated ads were used to sell your product (or at least get a request for information). A few simple changes are all that's needed for most ads.

I know this is boring work. I know it isn't exciting, and won't make for a great story when you tell your friends about it. But if you want to know the most profitable way to get advertising and marketing ideas for your local small business or retail store, this is it.

Small Business Advertising Ideas - Free Advertising

Here's a handful of small business advertising ideas that you can use to get free advertising for your business. Today's tough economic climate has made us all pull in our belts and trim the fat, especially from our advertising budgets. The money saved this way can be put to better use in your business.

There are a number of ways to bring buyers in without having to spend a lot.

The classifieds

The local classified section usually has a section for free ads. This is a bonus to the small business, as hundreds of potential buyers see your ad. Use as many free classified ads but keep a record of sales from them. Once you find which works best you can gradually cut down on the ones not bringing in the business and only use the sales generating ones. This tracking of ads takes some time at first but it'll be well worth it at the end.

Message boards and local shops

Most malls and larger shops, even some small ones have a message board for customers to post messages. If you regularly use certain shops, ask the owner or sales person if you could leave some flyers or business cards on the counter, put up a flyer on the board, a small message/notice in his window, and you could advertise his business in the same way if he is not a competitor.

Any public and social venue you attend, leave your business cards for the public. Especially if the social gathering is related to your line of business, is an industry event, or in a public building. One person I know leaves cards in public restrooms on the counters, and within minutes (not hours) they are gone.


This one is not entirely free but it is a small price to pay for the exposure it gets your business. Offer a local charity, fire department, police station, or any public service a new product or related service of yours, then let your local paper know about it as an item of interest for their readers. You might be pleasantly surprised by the response and interest of the public. This is a good way to advertise and it's free.

Word of mouth

This is the very best and most effective free advertising any business can have. If your service/product is great, people will talk about it. Networking at social events can work wonders. If you are an "online person", Twitter can create buzz for your business. Make lots of friends on Facebook and tell them about your business, but don't spam or give them a sales pitch. Join in discussions on forums and give other members value first before discussing your business. Blogs are great for giving and getting feedback. Also, writing or paying someone for an ezine article about your product/service (discussing or reviewing your product) can lead to sales as long as you don't hard-sell.

There you have it. These small business advertising ideas can save you some hard earned money and boost your business at the same time. Almost forgot: consider creating your own blog about your business.

The 4 Elements of Direct Response Small Business Advertising You Must Get Right

There are a lot of businesses out there who are putting a lot of time, money and effort into their advertising and marketing efforts but ending up with nothing to show for it.

Is it that they have a substandard product or service? It's possible - no advertising campaign, no matter how effective can sell something no one wants. However, what is much more likely the case is that these businesses don't know how to create an effective direct response campaign.

What is direct response advertising?

To put it simply, a direct response ad is one which is designed to lead to a sale immediately; while there are other uses for direct response campaigns (such as lead generation), most direct response advertisements are meant to connect with their audience in such a way that they'll want to do business with the advertiser right away.

What does a good direct response ad look like?

Effective direct response advertisements can take on many forms; the common thread running through all good ads of this sort is that they make sales, plain and simple. That is the most important and actually, the only important function of a direct response campaign. If it's driving sales, then it's good, no matter what anyone else thinks.

If you read this and apply what you learn to your own small business advertising, you may be surprised by just how much potential your business actually has. Even if you're already doing well, you could dramatically increase sales (and of course, your profits) by using direct response ads which are well written, targeted towards the right audience and using the right media, you can create the strong emotional response needed to close the deal fast.

Once you understand how to create direct response advertising and use it to its best advantage, it can be one of the most powerful tools in your marketing arsenal. If you're interested in building a customer base and growing your business into the successful venture you've always envisioned, then keep reading - you're about to learn how it's done.

An Introduction to Direct Response Marketing

Not all marketing efforts are intended to make a sale immediately. There are advertisements and other promotional strategies which are designed to build or enhance brand image, or raise and maintain consumer awareness of a given company product or service... But those are methods best used by big businesses...

The kind of advertising and marketing that works best for small business is the kind designed to get an immediate response and generate sales - and that's what we're going to be addressing here.

Direct response marketing may take many forms, from short-form advertising copy (such as print ads, contextual PPC advertising, radio spots, TV commercials and the like) to longer marketing messages like full page, text-heavy ads, advertorials and the Robert Collier-style sales letter.

All are valid, and which medium you use to get your message across depends on what you're selling and who you're trying to sell it to; that much you probably know, if you've spent more than ten minutes in marketing - but when you reach your audience with your message matters just as much as everything else.

The 4 Parts of Effective Advertising

In every ad, you need to accomplish each of the following 4 things:

The Right Message to the Right Market in the Right Media at the Right Time

All four of these factors are important to the success of any direct response marketing campaign - and we'll briefly cover all four below:

  • Message: It doesn't matter how great your product or service is if you can't effectively communicate its advantages over what the competition is offering - you won't get many, if any sales. You need to appeal to people on several levels, especially on an emotional level if you want to spur them to action immediately. We'll cover more about how to craft an attention getting message that closes the deal later.
  • Market: Again, it doesn't matter what your product or service is or how great it may be or even how compelling your message is if you're trying to sell to the wrong audience. In other words, don't try to sell sand in the desert. You should already know who your target market is before you begin trying to craft a direct response message to reach them - and if you don't, it's time to go back to the drawing board and start over with some in-depth market research. If you don't know who you're selling to, you'll never be able to put together an effective direct response message.
  • Media: The media you choose to convey your message to your target audience depends a great deal on the demographics of this group; and again, this is where market research comes into play. Depending on who your target market is, different media channels will be more - or less - effective in reaching them. Some groups will be more receptive to direct mail, others to print advertising and still others to email marketing, banner ads and other online marketing strategies. Just as if you were preparing to give a speech, you have to know your audience in order to create a message and select a media which will allow you to make the greatest possible impact.
  • Moment: It's not just about reaching the right audience with the right message through the right media; you also have to make sure that your message reaches them at the right time. What's the right time, you ask? The answer is: when your target market is ready to buy, not when you're ready to sell to them. You're always ready to sell, at least if you're in the least bit suited for business - but you need to remember that not every person out there is ready to make a purchase, even if they're decidedly part of your target market.
There are a few ways of being there when your prospect is ready to buy. You can keep in touch with prospective and current customers via a series of email messages using autoresponder software. Or, if your target market is more likely to respond to offline methods, then you can make sure that your marketing message reaches them when they're ready to buy by running regular advertisements in the media channels which have the greatest market penetration in this demographic - or by using lead generation advertising.

And remember that you can send a series of snail mail letters almost as easily as you can send a series of emails.

Making sure that your message reaches the right people; people who are ready and willing to do business with you right now, involves a combination of all 4 factors; message, market, media and moment. All are important parts of a small business advertising direct response campaign that genuinely produces results and provides you with a good return on investment.

Why Competing on Price is Killing Your Small Business Advertising

As a result of the current recession, small businesses have suffered a lot. There's an ever growing amount of competition, and a shrinking amount of resources. Without backup plans and the funds to undertake those plans like big businesses have, small businesses are closing their doors for good. A lot of novice entrepreneurs try lowering their prices thinking that it will increase the number of customers coming in. But only 5% of customers base their choices on pricing. So in lowering their prices a small business inevitably cuts back costs in the form of lesser wages, cutting down on marketing costs and often compromising on quality as a result. Customers that make up the other 95% base their decisions on quality, service, and advertising, but they're ignored by a business that only focuses on price. Because small businesses usually don't handle the vast amount of customer flow that large corporations do, they can't benefit from a price drop in the same way.

Also keep in mind that effective advertising is what gets price based shoppers to your store, so by reducing what you put into your small business advertising, you end up losing customers. To ensure steady profit a small business needs to show that it's a specialty, and not just show that it can lower prices. In other words it needs effective small business advertising. First you need to stand out from your competition. Better customer support, unique services, error free orders, etc. are just a few ways to show off your business' special niche. You can actually demand better prices for your company, and still attract more and more customers because your unique advertising should have told them that you're company dares to be different. Your small business advertising plays probably the biggest role in gaining your customer's trust and loyalty. It should be able to tell them why you're the ideal choice towards their needs, and should focus on your company's unique and special service

Small retailers are on shaky ground when they compete on price. There can only be one price leader, and this position is usually taken by large chain stores that operate on wholesale rates like Wal-Mart. You can never beat such chains at price, so instead of cutting down on prices and compromising your product's value, you should instead focus on building brand loyalty rather than price loyalty. Small business advertising should never sacrifice pricing, because in the end it's the value you put into your advertising that builds consumer loyalty and keeps them coming back.

Tips to Improve Your Low Budget, Small Business Advertising Campaigns

During your small business advertising campaign using pay-per-click advertising, how many times have you uttered something like this phrase? "What?? I don't understand how the keyphrase "cheap online advertising" has such a low relevancy on a page about cheap online advertising! It doesn't make any sense!"

Believe me, I've been there too, numerous times, wasting money. Buying books and trying to trying to implement their small business advertising strategies to get my Click Through Rates higher and my keyword relevancy up didn't seem to help either, so I just ended up wasting more money. Does this sound familiar? Are you stuck in this rut too, trying to advertise your small business but just spinning your wheels?

The good news is, your small business doesn't have to burn through advertising dollars, paying way too much for pay-per-click ads. I'll discuss those options in a minute. While we're on the subject, however, when you're on a penny-pinching budget, who can afford $8 to $10 per click when you're trying to keep your small business afloat or at least get it off the ground? Advertising and internet marketing books will tell you that the ultimate lifetime value of a customer will outweigh the cost of that click. While in some cases that may be true, if your small business is selling a product that a person might buy once every few years, it could take a while to recoup your expenses. Especially if your Click Through Rates and keyword relevancy scores are low and your cost per click is higher. For example, say the market for selling baseball gloves is extremely competitive, your CTR and keyword scores are low and you've tried every SEO trick in the book to get them up, but you're still paying $8 per click. I'm just throwing out random figures, but let's suppose it takes you 25 clicks to finally sell a $30 baseball glove. That's $200-$30. You've just paid $170 to get one customer. If your customer comes back in 3-5 years when his glove wears out to buy another one, now you're only down $130. Supposing he stays a lifetime customer, you could break even in about 20 years. That's not so bad, right?

You'll have to forgive my sarcasm there. I will openly admit being biased, but I just don't feel it's fair that the major internet advertising players, particularly a few search engine giants, tell small business owners that they can advertise on a level playing field. If your daily advertising budget is in the single digits because that's all you can afford, that's not the same playing field as a business that can afford hundreds or thousand of dollars per month, or even per day!

Your best bet for low budget online advertising is to make use of social networking sites that are highly affordable or even free, like Twitter and Facebook. Both are excellent ways to promote your site on a budget. Plus, in all likelihood, social networking is the future of advertising (if it's not already) in an increasingly competitive internet market that's trying to capture the short attention span of its users. Strive to make personal connections with your potential customers. They're more likely to remain customers of your small business if they're dealing with someone they know on a personal basis, instead of some faceless corporation.

It's a bit of a misnomer since we're talking about dealing with people over the internet where anonymity reigns, but try to focus on human interactions. Your small business advertising campaign might just involve making friends, instead of wasting money on pay-per-click ads. Wouldn't you rather make a new friend than stress out over Click Through Rates or keyword relevancy?

How to Avoid Failure in Your Small Business Advertising

Small business advertising shouldn't be done like most of the advertising you see on T.V. ... or hear on the radio. There ARE exceptions, of course. But for the most part, small businesses shouldn't do much of the following:

1) Institutional advertising (a.k.a. "Madison Avenue" type advertising).

2) Public relations or simply publicity seeking.

3) Any type of response advertising that's non-measurable.

The kind of advertising you SHOULD be doing is measurable. By this I mean you can ...

a) ... control costs.

b) ... measure results.

Small business advertising that doesn't fit these criteria is mostly like throwing money down a hole. (Like I said, there are exceptions. But if you try to promote your business using public relations you'd better have a business that can benefit from that get the help of a professional who specializes in it.)

Institutional ... Madison Avenue type stuff ... doesn't work in small business advertising any more than it effectively works for big companies using it. It's just that big companies typically have big budgets they can spend on bad advertising without going under financially.

That's a luxury most of us don't have.

Direct marketing is different. You can control its costs. Taylor it to your ad budget. And measure its effectiveness based on response to the offer in the ad or sales letter.

Examples of response triggers used in effective small business advertising include:

* Phone calls asking for a direct response ... like a sales appointment ... or a purchase ... or an invitation to come into the store with a certain customer "code" one can use to receive a gift or purchase discount.

* A TV or radio commercial that asks for a direct response ... like having the customer write or call in and tell what station they heard the ad on to get a free gift or special discount.

* Any type of media that asks for a direct response ... like redeemable coupons sent through the mail ... a sales letter send through the post or Email, with an invitation attached for a special "after hours" sale ... a postcard offering a 2 for 1 restaurant special ... or an invitation to call in and ask for free information.

Your small business advertising is going to be very wasteful unless you make the right offers to the right people. Being in tune with the needs, desires and motivations of your potential customers is crucial.

For example ... if Jack's Sporting Goods store advertises a 30% discount sale on all golf equipment by sending 5,000 brochures through the mail to nearby residents the waste-factor is going to be extremely high.

After all, how many of those residents are golfers? Probably only a small percentage. And of those who are golfers, how many of them will come in for Jack's sale?

In this case, most of his small business advertising dollars are wasted.

However ... if Jack takes that same offer ... and sends it directly to 500 golfers in his area the response will be much higher. He's able to get the names and addresses of likely golfers from a list broker by renting the names of people in his area who receive golf magazines.

See the difference?

Jack doesn't even have to mail out all 500 letters at once. If his budget is a little tight, he can stagger his mailing over a period of days. Or even limit the sale to those bringing in a coupon received through his mailing to test the effectiveness of his direct mail campaign.

Any small business advertising failing to ...

* offer a free gift(s)

* give a time limit on the offer so buyers will be motivated to act quickly

* award a bonus or premium of some sort just for coming into the store

* present a sale or discounted pricing

* announce something new (i.e., product, service, price)

... should be avoided. As a matter of fact ... the more of these elements in your advertising the better.

An ad containing each of the above ingredients ... targeting prospects known to be interested in the product/service... stands a very good chance of being a winner.

Your small business advertising doesn't have to fail. Once you learn the key ingredients you'll never again worry about throwing advertising dollars away.

Small Business Advertising Secrets For Business Owners Who Want Success

When it comes to marketing their business, most small business owners rely on newspaper advertising as the main way of pulling in the customers. It's such an accepted thing to do that many small business owners are surprised when they find it doesn't actually work too well. They spend money, but don't get much, if anything, back in return. The thing they don't realise is the advertising isn't working NOT because advertising doesn't work as a medium, but that the advertising is being done in the wrong way. Most business owners copy advertising techniques from other businesses, and those businesses are copying from them, so everything goes round in one big ineffective circle.

Successful small business advertising

It is a fact though, small business advertising does work very well, but only if you do it in the right way and use the right techniques. And here is how to get it right and make sure your advertising is doing a good job.

First, make sure you test and track every single piece of advertising you do. That way you'll be able to see exactly which pieces of advertising bring in the money. If any of your advertising is not bringing in money, stop it immediately. It's just wasting money, and your time. The fact is, every single ad you run should get you a return, and if it isn't you should stop it immediately.

Take aim carefully

One of the best things you can learn is the importance of targeted advertising. Just because an ad is seen by hundreds of thousands of people doesn't mean it's a great way to advertise. For many small businesses, the local newspaper is a good medium, but for things like business-to-business advertising it can be useless. For instance, I once spoke with a business owner who was perplexed that her ad in the local paper had "not received a single response". After learning a bit about her business, I could see why. Her service was aimed at a small group of prospects, and most of the people reading the local newspaper wouldn't have had the slightest interest in it. Much better in her case would have been an ad in a specialist magazine or one placed on a specialist website or forum. The circulation might have been smaller, but it would have been far more effective.

Learn the basics of successful advertising

Most ads you see are completely useless at generating response because they use "branding", which usually means a pretty picture with a slogan. This is the type of advertising used by the big companies, and so small business owners follow it just because they think it must be right, when actually it usually doesn't work at all.

The solution is simple, though, and that's to follow a simple formula for writing your ads. Forget the idea that people won't read ads with lots of words. People read the newspaper articles, and they'll read your ad if you make it interesting. The way to make sure people read your ad is to put a headline on it, just like a newspaper article. The best headlines tell the reader exactly what you offer.

In the ad itself you should do four things:

Tell them what you have to sell. Choose one thing you sell and advertise that. Don't make general offers or tell them about your business. Choose a product, and tell them all about that one thing.

Tell them what the product does. Explain what the product does in detail and why it's such a good thing to have.

Tell them why you think they should buy it. Tell them all about the benefits of what you're selling. Tell them what it does in simple terms and why their life will be better once they have it.

Tell them what to do. Give them clear instructions on how to get the thing you're selling. Tell them to come into the store by a certain date. Or tell them to pick up the phone, or visit a website. Whatever you do, don't leave them wondering how to order your stuff.

The conclusion you can take away from all this is that small business advertising works very well, if it's done in the right way. The good news is that most business owners can't be bothered to learn how to do it properly, and so those that do can wipe the floor with the competition. Even better, learning how to market yourself is not difficult. All it needs is the decision to do it, and then put it into action.

Small Business Advertising Ideas in Under an Hour

Before we get into all these small business advertising ideas, we would like to say that the best advertising that you could ever have for your small business is word of mouth, but for those of you just starting out this could be more helpful. If you want to skyrocket your business in a very short amount of time, doing a little advertising will drive eyeballs to your website and footsteps into your door.

The following list of small business advertising ideas are brought to you with the knowledge that some are better than others, some cost money, some provide better results and some are free except for what we like to call sweat equity. As with any marketing, the best suggestion is that you keep an open mind and know that advertising can and attract paying customers, as long as you target the right audience.

There are many more advertising ideas out there, we focus on what is working now and what is going to work years into the future as the internet evolves and becomes the dominate place to advertise any product or service.

Pay Per Click Advertising:

Pay Per Click Advertising is the method you would consider if you have a budget of $500 or more marketing budget and are looking to drive instant traffic to a website in a very small amount of time. This advertising method gives you the ability to place a small ad, a video ad or a banner advertisement that you are only charged a small fee when someone clicks on your advertisement. A small ad or banner advertising is a way someone can read an ad or see a small banner that when they click on the link or the banner they are redirected to the site you are actually promoting. Most fees for this method run anywhere from.05 cents up to $50.00 per click, depending on your target market and your keywords that you may be targeting.

Article Marketing:

Article Marketing is a way that allows you to write or pay someone to write short articles (very similar to what you are reading now) and submit them to many different sites all over the internet for no charge. With this method you will want to figure out the right keywords that you want to target, write an article or have one written that is roughly 500-750 words and submit to article submission sites and have a good call to action at the end of the article with a link to a site for the reader to learn more. As you start writing more articles or start submitting more articles you will find new tips and tricks that will allow your articles to be on page one of any search engine within a matter of days. Article marketing is a one of the small business advertising ideas that we suggest to start getting a little traffic and build upon it every few days which drives more and more traffic to your site. We suggest submitting at least one article a day to the top ten article submission sites and then leverage a paid tool to submit to the other thousands of sites on the internet to get out in front of other readers. We do not recommend automating the entire process for hard lessons many businesses have learnt before.

Video Marketing:

Video Marketing is a very powerful tool to market your small business, people love watching videos and if you can make the video fun, interesting and offer a solution to a person's problems you will be able to drive a great deal of traffic to your business. Video marketing uses sight and sound and really pulls on people's emotions if done properly and can have outstanding results in a very short amount of time, but like all marketing, this is not a put one video up and watch thousands of people start flooding your business. Our suggestion is that you shoot one or two videos a week for three months and keep all the videos on the same subject and focusing on offering solutions and a way that the person watching your video can get back into touch with you.

As with any marketing, a little paid advertising, a couple articles, a video or two is not going to provide you with the results you are looking to obtain. Our suggestion is to pick one or two of the following provided small business advertising ideas and maintain the methods described above to get a good indication on whether your actions are providing the results you are looking for.

For more traffic generating ideas and a 30 minute free consultation on your business and how to generate more traffic follow visit our site at Best Small Business Advertising

Identifying and Leveraging the Most Disruptive Forces In Small Business Advertising

While still relatively young and adolescent, the Internet has proliferated exponentially, bringing the world's borders just a little closer to each other; it's allowed for a blue ocean that global entrepreneurs have made billions off of, and arguably just as radically, it's changed American small business advertisement and the way a company interacts with consumers forever.

Online ads have taken many shapes and forms and will continue to innovate in new ways we haven't yet seen, and millions of even the smallest companies are on board. Nearly $30 billion will be spent this year and that figure is expected to increase nearly 30 fold by the year 2013 to more than $42 billion. The universal advertising model for business is simple: the advertiser pays cash to be seen and "clicked-on" within an affiliate website that drives traffic by offering free content; that's it.

But if you really want to be a forward-thinking ad-savvy small business owner, then this article is for you. Here's a small list of the most innovative advertisement tools, tips, and trends that already have - and will continue to - land into the eager paws of small business owners the world over. The list is hierarchical from the earliest ad innovations to today's merging trends and beyond.

Mobile websites

It doesn't seem all that long ago when visiting a Website from your cell phone was frustrating: slow connection and download speeds, missing banners and logos, and ugly, jumbled hyperlink text. Boy, how that has changed. With today's phones, consumer have demanded the same functionality and user ability when surfing the Web that they do when they're on a laptop, and phone makers are listening.

There's no denying the move to mobility. While we may still be behind the curve on a country-wide internet infrastructure (South Koreans are downloading an average of 14.6 Mbps compared the U.S.'s measly 3.9 Mbps), we're far ahead in smart phone design and innovation. Two of the world's biggest competitors, Google and Apple, are slugging it out on our home turf for the almighty smart phone and ad market share.

And the amount of work Americans do business using their cell phones is only going to increase along with competition among advertisers, providers, and consumers. But not everyone has a smart phone, and those that don't still want to access information on the go. Make sure that the content on your Website is compatible with most mobile phones. One surefire way to do this is to create a simple mobile Website that can be accessible from the homepage or landing page of your site.

Google AdWords/AdSense

If you're not advertising your small business on Google yet, then I have a question for you: Where are you advertising, and why? Google (could you imagine an "greatest innovations list" without them?) single-handedly made advertising across the town, state, country, and the world simple, affordable, and effective for companies of any size, especially the small ones.

With the roll out of Pay-Per-Click (PPC) years ago, Google indefinitely sealed itself as the elite advertisement platform of this century. The reason is because of its genius efficiency: businesses will only pay for an ad when it's been clicked on; converting those visitors into customers is up to the business. Prices are based on "bids" tied to "keywords" - in other words, you choose what keywords you want to pay for, and you choose how much you want to pay for them. Google's algorithm will place your ads into search queries that contain your keyword, assuming your bid is sufficient.

In case you're wondering what the big deal is, consider that in just 10 short years Google has shook up and turned an entire industry on its head with their powerful, disruptive ad model. With Google, small businesses that open can go global tomorrow, and do it at a fraction of the cost that kind of growth once required.

Online Video

Just a few years ago, a kid named Justin Beiber was probably playing kickball on an elementary schoolyard and avoiding icky girls with cooties. With the explosion in popularity of user-content generated video destination YouTube, the third most popular Website in the world, Justin put out a hit teeny-bopper record and to date his music video has clocked well over 374 million views. Just behind his video of "most watched YouTube uploads" is a home video of a toddler getting his finger bitten by his baby brother. That video has garnered over 245 million views.

Couple a sharp decrease in simple handheld video camera prices with the world's most popular video sharing Website and what you've got is an opportunity to advertise your business using a new medium anyone with an internet connection can appreciate. Creating online videos about your company, website, industry, products, or services is easier (and more valuable) than ever before. The hook for small business owners is that you don't need to be Steven Spielberg to do it, either.

The future of Internet video is already here. This month, Google began running ads on cable networks across the country for Google TV, the software built into some select LG and Sharp flat screen TV models that have already hit the shelves, allowing users to surf and download from the Internet and use their favorite Apps. The mesh between cable television and the Internet was inevitable, and so too will the changes in the way small businesses think of internet video advertising.

Smart Phones and Location-Based Services

Have you ever been nervous thinking about the notion that advertisements could one day be on your mobile phone? Don't be, because it's already here. The innovation of Apps have allowed for a tiny cottage industry of software developers to erupt into a multi-billion dollar industry that creates and distributes games, utilities, business productivity tools, and thousands of more micro-programs for your cell phone - many of which come with advertising.

So what's changing in this young industry whose sales are projected to surge past $17.5 billion by 2012? It's called location-based services, or LBS, and it's fast approaching. With LBS, programmers have found a way to add a twist to the social networking obsession of consumers; instead of users posting updates on what they're doing, LBS providers are betting users will want to post updates on where they're doing it, too.

LBS Apps are supported by GPS technology that allows users to track just about anything these days, and on the cheap: costs associated with developing GPS products have tanked as demand has soared. You can buy a "people-locater" App on the iPhone for $4.99. This kind of scale has created a niche opportunity for many small local businesses to drive traffic through their stores while driving their promotions, brand, and sales through the roof.

Small business owners can harness the power of LBS by simply getting involved with a few applications and services out there. You can post coupons and give away "points" that are redeemable for your products or services by asking customers to "share" the fact they are at they are in your store, eating your food, or reviewing your business online.

The next wave of disruptive forces in small business advertisement and global consumer trends is unforeseeable and unpredictable. But by thinking ahead, staying quick on your toes and acting early, small business owners can leverage emerging trends and technologies in advertisement and customer communications and interaction to create and contend able Web presence.

The Real Secrets to Smart Small Business Advertising

Small business advertising seems to change in some important way almost every week. As the economy remains tight, making smart choices about advertising becomes increasingly important. The rate of technological change, and the increasing affordability of electronic devices, continually alters the advertising landscape.

Smart small business advertising must weigh in the balance a number of considerations before locking into a plan. These include:

  • The struggle of print media to remain viable
  • The continuing popularity and importance of social media
  • The proliferation of new communication devices
  • The equally rapid proliferation of new ways of communicating with these devices
  • The growing importance of video
  • The shift from such traditional standards as the Yellow Pages to online search

These are only a few of the changes businesses must learn to deal with when planning marketing and sales efforts. At the very least, smart small business advertising today must include far more than traditional advertising, even if the ads are moved from print to electronic media.

What is Smart for Small Businesses Advertising Today?

In the digital age, smart small businesses' advertising must invest the time in understanding the advertising and marketing channels available today. Even more important, they must learn what makes these new channels different, how they are used differently, and which channels are most likely to reach their target customers. Then they must make choices and decisions about how to use each channel most effectively and most cost-efficiently to meet their goals. These are the critical tasks in smart advertising.

The flat space ads used in newspapers and magazines will attract only limited attention online unless it is very special. Today's ads need to move and speak and interact with potential customers. Even a banner ad on a website really needs to do more than just sit there. Small business advertising has changed in important and far-reaching ways.

Smart small business advertising must also note that a website must also be more than a three or four page brochure. Every page must be designed and written to grab the attention of the visitor in as little as 1.5 seconds, or that visitor is gone. Every page has a job to do. Moving people from page to page until they are asked to make a decision is what converts a visitor into a sales lead.

If you operate a brick-and-mortar store, you have the opportunity to take advantage of some very exciting small business advertising tactics to get people into your store, but you must figure out not only the right message and the right offer, but also the right medium, the right device and the platform used by that device. You need to be ready to use location-based email and on-the-spot coupons and special offers delivered by text message when someone is outside your store or in a place where your beverage is served.

What is smart for small business advertising today is discovering the right mix of lead generation tactics, the right amount of advertising, the right focus on providing information and benefits your target market wants, and keeping everything within the budget. When you find the people who can do each of those things for you will be ready to construct a viable advertising campaign.

Targeting Everyone With Your Small Business Advertising Actually Targets Nobody

Targeting is one of the most important parts of small business advertising. If you want to appeal to a certain audience, it is important to find a way to set yourself apart from the competition. Also you should prove that you're overly capable of providing the product or service that your audience needs. Sometimes through small business advertising, the urge to be everything to everyone comes up. Too often, the end result of this type of "one size fits all" marketing approach is that the audience you are trying to reach can't recognize that your product or service is specifically geared towards them.

Not all products or services are made for everyone equally. It's a waste of valuable advertising resources to advertise to people that aren't interested in your product. Believing that your have a larger target audience than your actually do is a big mistake that a lot of small businesses make. Instead of narrowing their advertising efforts specifically towards their niche audiences, small businesses sometimes try a brand awareness approach, in an attempt to reach customers who might be in the market for their products in the future. Small business can't possibly stand up to the large corporations that can sometimes have this work for them due to their large advertising budgets. Instead of raising brand awareness, advertising resources which could have effectively reached a targeted audience are simply diluted in their effectiveness.

When it comes to advertising, people are more interested in the direct benefits that apply to them. If they're interested in a certain product or service now, then there's a higher chance of attracting them as customers. On the other hand, those who are not interested in a product will simply ignore advertisements. And aiming your advertising towards the latter group will just end in wasted advertising money.

Finding out who your ideal customers are is the first step towards maximizing your small business advertising attempts. The ideal customer is the person who would benefit most from your products or services. They are the customers that your enjoy working for, and that bring in the most profit. Even though the majority of targeted advertising focuses on a specific niche, knowing your "ideal customer" will help you to put a face on your target audience and help you to know what method of advertising would be most appropriate.

For example, instead of advertising in all the magazines that are available, your ads should go towards specific magazines and be fine-tuned towards your audience in an area that most appeals to them. If you're wanting to use direct mail advertising, then use demographics to target households and businesses that meet certain customer criteria. And when using internet marketing, you can fine-tune your advertising by creating various landing pages that target different types of audience.

Small business advertising can be much more effective by using this target audience method. Sure you may once in a while grab someone outside of your target audience every once in a while. But there's a much bigger chance of attracting your ideal, targeted customer.

Why it is Important that Small Businesses Advertise

You may regard a business as small in regards to the small number of employees it has. In the US, small number is under 100 employees while in European Union, it's fewer than 50 employees. Yet when it comes to advertising, there is no big and small. Small and big business alike have the need to advertise.

Advertisements would come in different forms. While some businesses require a huge budget on advertising, others would require little but has to spend a lot on other things such as a team to personally sell the products and services.

However, for small businesses there's one definite path to follow in advertising. This would be to occasionally advertise their products or services on a small scale such as putting small ads in classified sections in local newspapers or most recently, in websites.

Why should small business advertise? If you were to write down the reasons why small business shouldn't advertise, chances are your paper would be blank. However, if you were to list down all the reasons why small business should advertise, you'd need a couple more pieces of paper to write them all. This simply says there are a whole lot of reasons why small business should advertise.

Here are some of them. First, people have to know that the business does exist. If even big companies can be hard to remember, how much more could it be harder for small businesses? As much as possible, small business should be visible even at a scope of a tiny district. They have to somehow inform people that they're selling this kind of products or they're offering this kind of service especially unique ones.

Second, when small business advertises they do not only attract the attention of potential customers but they are also building interest among the prospects. Consequently, by making the advertisements appealing and informative, chances are prospects would develop a desire of the product. Moreover, if advertisements are done effectively, it would demand prospects to take action in order to get hold of the product and service.

Third, it is essential that small business advertises especially if competitors are advertising. Think of the thousands of people reading that newspaper with the competitors' ads. That could mean a thousand of customers flocking to their stores. No small business could bear that thought.

And finally, advertising gets small businesses ready for a planned business expansion. If a small business would want to be the next big company such as Microsoft and General Electric then it's about time that it advertises. Going bigger is a lot of work. A bigger company equates an increase in the number of employees to get paid for. Thus, it calls forth larger expenses demanding bigger sales and bigger profits. This is where advertising gets in.

Those are indeed a lot of reasons for small businesses to ponder on why they should advertise. But all those could actually be condensed into one good reason and that is - advertising makes them sell. No one could ever argue the significance of selling in the world of business. It's what keeps business going, big or small.