The importance of advertising for small businesses (even with a small budget)

Advertising

Advertising – it’s all around us. Wherever you go, you can (almost) certainly count on seeing it in one form or another. It’s OK for big businesses – they can afford to splash out on campaigns…but what if you’re a small business? Can advertising work for you, too?

 

We’re going to explain why advertising is just as important for small businesses and why you don’t need a big budget for it to be effective.

 

Advertising gets your products and services out there

Advertising – “The activity of making products or services known about and persuading people to buy them”. (Source: Cambridge Dictionary.)

 

It’s essential to promote your products and services so people are aware of what you do and how you can solve their problem. But you don’t need a big budget or flashy campaign to do it. There are plenty of cost-effective options to explore for small businesses, particularly if you’re trying to attract a local audience – our monthly business directory is one example!

 

Advertising allows you to be targeted

The key is knowing who your audience is and where they hang out – avoiding a scattergun approach at all costs. You can then create targeted content, delivering the right message to the right audience. By reaching the right audience you’ll generate valuable and genuine leads. If you haven’t got a big budget it forces you to be even more savvy with your spending (never a bad thing) to make sure you get maximum return for your investment.

 

Advertising helps to build brand awareness

Have you come across the Marketing Rule of 7?

“The Rule of 7 is a marketing principle that states that your prospects need to come across your offer at least seven times before they really notice it and start to take action.” (Source: The Balance Small Business).

 

So, it takes a while for prospects to really notice your brand. That’s the daunting part. But that’s even more reason to advertise – what an opportunity! It provides another platform you can use to build awareness of your company and will complement your other marketing activities (website, social media, etc.). Familiarity of your brand leads to trust, and trust leads to a loyal customer base.

 

Advertising reminds existing customers you’re still there

It’s like giving your customers or prospects a little nudge and saying, ‘Hi – remember us? We can help with your problem!” Even if they don’t need your product or service right now it keeps you firmly top of mind for the future. There’s no hard sell involved, either.

 

Advertising helps you stand out against competitors

It goes back to what we were saying about building brand awareness. If you’re advertising but your competitor isn’t, who is the consumer more likely to remember? Even if your competitors are advertising, it keeps you current and aware of the market so you’re always providing the best offering to your prospects and customers.

 

Advertising works hard, even when you’re not

Advertising has the power to reach a wide audience 24/7. For example, our business directories are delivered to more than 40,000 homes in Northamptonshire. Not only are directories an ideal way to reach your target customer – they also have a long shelf life. Even if people aren’t looking for a service right now, they can refer back to the directory whenever they need a particular product or service.

 

To finish, here are a few of thoughts to keep in mind to help you get the most from your advertising:

  1. Don’t expect results overnight – remember the Marketing Rule of 7. It’ll take time to build brand awareness
  2. Set targets and measure success whenever you do any form of advertising – review along the way
  3. Always ask new enquirers how they found out about your business – that way you can build an accurate picture of your marketing efforts

 

Based in or around Northamptonshire and looking to reach a local audience? Get in touch for more information about our cost-effective business directories.