At any point in your business, you will need to turn to advertisements to build and strengthen your brand, boost your sales, and reach out to your customers and prospects. You need to employ them to get your message across a broader audience, especially those that are far and beyond your circle of friends and network.
But when one talks about advertising, it connotes paid space or air time. A business that wants to advertise has to set aside a budget for it. For this reason, you have to be strategic in the placement of your ads, the kind of medium to use, the location and the timing, if you want to get the best results out of your money’s worth.
There is a great benefit if you understand and study your target market well to know where they spend their time and resources the most. Remember, however, that there are millions of brands out there that are also competing for the same audience. Thus, your content and presentation must appeal to them and contain a huge value to sustain their interest and lead them to take action.
For small businesses, you may have limited resources to do advertising, which is why you have to carefully study the different media and see which ones can work for your brand.
Websites – Widgets, web banners and pop-ups are a few examples of internet advertising. You can find this on websites or search engines, wherein it utilises search engine marketing, generating ads based on the visits and searches of users.
Social media – Almost everyone is on social media. You’ll find creative ways of advertising in various platforms through sponsored posts, which appear as regular content. Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and other social networks allow brands to advertise on their platforms. The good thing about this is that it can go viral and can be shared or targeted.
E-mail – Opt-in e-mail advertising is a way of sending promotions and new product announcements to a list of subscribers. Getting the permission of the recipients is important so that they will welcome any communication from you. The target recipient signs up a subscription form through a website, social network or face-to-face encounter.
Text message – Through Short Message Service or SMS, you can send short promotional text messages to subscribers who sign up for such service. The length of the text is limited. The good thing is that there is a high probability that recipients will open and read your message.
Mobile apps – The advent of mobile applications, many of them are available for free, also gave way to a new era in advertising. Game apps utilise ads to allow players to get to the next level or continue with the game without cost.
Podcasts – Podcasts capture an audience that are busy individuals who thirst for learning. It incorporates web-based ads and audio ads.
Billboards – Whether traditional or digital billboards, they have become a popular mode of advertising, especially in densely populated areas. While it can attract attention, especially during heavy traffic and rush hours, a moving audience may sometimes miss it. The challenge is to put interesting content that can be captured in a split second and pique the interest of motorists and passersby.
Posters – The advantage of posters as an advertising tool is that you can put as much information as you can, such as mechanics for a promo or contest or instructions for an event or campaign. They can be placed in strategic areas and distributed to a wide range of establishments and locations.
Banners – You can spot them at street posts along the sidewalks or inside buildings or malls. Banners are used to lure prospects to a store or call a hotline or contact number.
Wraps and Automobiles – Buildings, posts and vehicles are utilised to carry brands through wraps and truck advertising. Wraps and mobile ads are huge enough to capture the attention of people in heavy traffic areas.
Guerilla advertising – Street marketing, unconventional strategies and application of creative ways are among the types of guerrilla advertising to attract the interest of the public. It can often be interactive that allows the target audience to experience the ad. Some of these ads are those seen on benches and other items like grocery carts, mall floors, elevators and escalators.
Blimps, giant balloons and skywriting – They utilise aerial space to get the attention of people. The downside is that they can only accommodate short messages and last for a brief period.
Fliers – If you want to put a lot of information in an ad, a good way to do it is by giving out fliers. However, some recipients may not be interested in the content, and the fliers end up in garbage cans.
Brochures – A brochure can have all the details about your business, product or services. You can even add a reply form that target customers can return. You can place your brochures in your place of work, bazaars or carry them with you.
Magazine – Because there are different kinds of magazines catering to various interests, you can select the kind of publication where you can place your ad. Such ads are usually very colourful and visually appealing.
Newspaper – There are varied kinds of ads in newspapers. You can place your ad within the section that corresponds closely to your message or brand.
Film – The good thing about film advertising is that you have a captured audience. You can either show a video before the movie or have your brand or product integrated within the script or scene.
Television – Television is still a popular medium for advertising because it can reach many households. But with the emergence of digital ads, TV networks come up with more creative means to present their advertisers’ messages, such as embedding the ads within their programs.
Radio – Radio ads have been in existence for many years. But with the challenges that modern technology poses to radio stations, they have to find other ways to widen their reach, such as airing their radio programs via the internet.
Events – Audience can be very targeted for events. It provides an experience to its target market. Events give high talk-value as they can utilise social media or become a news content in TV, magazines, newspapers, blogs and vlogs.
To ensure that you choose the right vehicle for your brand and message, you may consult media planners that have carefully studied the effects and target audience of each medium. If budget is a constraint, you can conduct an informal survey among your clients and prospects which media appeal to them the most.