As an advertising agency specializing in small market businesses, we run into a lot of businesses that don’t have much money for advertising. Most of them try to do a lot on their own. Some are successful. Many are not. So here are some thoughts based on what I have seen and experienced working with businesses with small advertising budgets.
Avoid Most Traditional Media
With the rare exception, getting people to respond to advertising takes time. If you refer to the famous Curve of Forgetting and Curve of Remembering, you can see people need to be exposed to a message 20 times to remember 60 percent and 80 times to remember 100%. At the same time people forget 90% of the message after just two days. With $500. It would be difficult to run enough frequency on Radio, TV or the Newspaper for your message to be remembered. A rare exception might be a sign or a billboard (if you can find one for $500 a month) placed just right, with the right message.
Look For Non-traditional Methods For Your Advertising
There are many creative methods to advertise that cost little or no money to speak of. You can see some ideas here. Of course a lot of things you can do on the internet do not cost money either. So if you can take the time to learn how to do some of these things, your only cost is your time.
Best Cheap Internet Advertising Methods
Email is still strong. The challenge here is to build a good mailing list and keep your subscribers. The successful email marketers are the ones that don’t give up. It takes time and effort to build a good email list. Get more tips on email marketing or what is also known as eblasts here.
Facebook is still a great way to reach out to new potential customers as well as keeping your customer base engaged. However, Facebook is not as easy as it was. Until this year, Facebook offered some great ways to build Likes and used to make sure a good number of your Fans saw your posts. Before, on average 16% of your fans would see your posts. Then Facebook lowered the average to 2%. You used to be able to build Likes (Fans) by using sweepstakes that required someone liking your page before they could enter. You can no longer do that.
But there are ways to get higher percentages of Fans to see your posts if you learn how to create posts that get more of your Fans to engage with your posts. You can learn more about how to get more people to engage with your posts here. Plus you can boost posts relatively cheaply and get tremendous exposure to either your Fans and their friends, or to people who may not be your Fans by targeting Facebook users by their Facebook profiles.
Pay Per Click Advertising
You’ve probably heard a lot about Pay Per Click (PPC) or Cost Per Click (CPC). Maybe you even tried it when Google sent you an offer for free advertising on Google Adwords. However, Most business people who tried running their own Google Adwords did not get good results because they did not know enough about how to build a PPC campaign. Also, in recent years Goolge has significantly improved their Adwords system.
Today, PPC is one of the most powerful ways to advertise. While you can do it yourself, you do pay Google for click results. But depending on the click rate (click rates are based on a bidding system) you could possibly get a ton of exposure very cheap.
However, Google Adwords (The other major search engines also offers PPC. But Google has 80% of the market.) is very complicated and if you are not Certified in Google Adwords and a Google Partner, you may not get very good results. So you should consider finding a small advertising company that is certified in Google Adwords to manage your PPC advertising. PPC can be done effectively on a small budget. We recommend you budget at least $300. for Google charges if you are advertising in your local market.
PPC is a huge subject, and what I believe is becoming an industry of its own. So if you would like to know more about PPC advertising, I recommend you spend some time reading about it on the internet or contact a Google Certified professional.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Some business people are still paying firms to do monthly SEO. This is a total waste of money for small market businesses. The truth is if you do a good job with SEO when you first build your website, any changes you make from month to month will make little or no perceptible difference in the traffic to your site or your business. If you would like to know more on this subject, click here.
Direct Mail Is Back
Direct mail had been fading away for years because of the high cost and lack of reliability of the Post Office to deliver the mail quickly. But a couple of years ago the Post Office started a new program called Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM). With EDDM you can send bulk mail for just 18.5 cents a piece. Then you can either print your mailers or have them professionally printed for very little money and you can send out as much as 1,000 mailers a month for under $500. A month. One caveat of course is you have to do the sorting and bring the mailers to the P.O. ready to hand to the mail carrier. Learn More about EDDM here
If you have any questions or would like to know more about any of the subject matter in this article, do not hesitate to contact us.