When you're running a small business, it's hard to beat the power of word of mouth advertising. How do you get a positive buzz started when your business is brand new, though? Promoting a new business demands decisive action on your part. Check this list to make sure you're taking advantage of all the marketing tools available to you.
1) The Yellow Pages
While it's true that the printed yellow pages have are reaching fewer people today than they used to, there are still consumers who rely on them for finding businesses and services. Make a little space in your budget for buying a display ad in the business listings. You should also consider paying for a little exposure in the online version of the yellow pages.
2) POS Products
Using point of sale products is a useful way to reach out to new customers and incite impulse purchases. Using things like pavement signs, snap frames, leaflet holders and poster frames is a lot more favorable than some other direct marketing options. And the best thing is, it’s very affordable to purchase leaflet holders, chalkboards or A boards.
3) Magazine Ads
Magazine advertising is an excellent way to zero in on customers that might be especially interested in your business. Do your research and find the publications (either in print or online) that are most favored by your ideal customers.
4) Newspaper Ads
Your local newspaper has a lot of different advertising options to give you. Besides ad inserts and box ads, it may also run special features that showcase a paying business. All of these opportunities can do a lot for your business. Check around for special-interest newspapers that target your ideal customers, too - ads in these outlets can be highly productive.
5) Business Cards
Yes, the cards you hand out to customers and potential business partners count as a form of advertising. Make space in your ad budget to get plenty of cards and don't be shy about spreading them around.
6) Join Professional Organizations
Every sort of commercial association has advertising resources to offer its members. You might be able to take advantage of anything from special website ads to discounts on advertising in specific sections of the newspaper. The connections you make with other businesses in your industry and/or community can help get the word out about your business, too.
7) Vehicle Ads
If you keep your eyes open on the roads you'll realize that it seems like practically every small business in your community has a branded vehicle out there. This isn't just a marketing trend; vehicle advertising works. If you're not ready to invest in a full vehicle wrap or a rooftop "quad" sign, you can start out with a magnetic door sign that comes off when you don't feel like advertising.
8) Turn Invoices Into Promotions
There's no better form of advertising than encouraging first-time customers to come back again and again. Adding some compelling advertising material to your invoices can do just that. Entice brand new customers to come in too by creating "bring-a-friend" promotional offers.
9) Cable TV Ads
Television advertising can cost incredible amounts of money if you want to buy a nationwide reach. You can make TV ads affordable by constraining yourself to the confines of your local community. A carefully-timed infomercial or an ad on the listings channel may deliver great results on a modest budget.
10) Radio Ads
File this opportunity under the "affordable and surprisingly effective" category. Check with your local radio stations to find out about the costs involved.
11) Transit Stop Advertising
If your target customers make use of mass transit, why not reach out to them on their daily commute? Benches, shelters, bus stops, and buses themselves are all fertile fields for use in local business advertising.
12) Internet Listings
Even if you're not ready to invest in a full-on digital marketing campaign, take the time to check your business's listings on local directories. Confirm that your contact information is correct so that potential customers will be able to reach you using online references.