Discover information, articles, news, and public/private organizations that can help in the area of advertising.
Start by determining how many people you’d like to reach with your advertising. Mass marketing tries to raise awareness of your business by targeting the largest possible audience. Niche marketing focuses on a smaller group, but one that is more closely aligned with what your company offers.
There are numerous ways you can advertise your business, including:
- Media channels, including newspapers, radio, TV, and podcasts
- Pay-per-click online advertisements
- Social media advertising
- Direct mailing campaigns
- E-mail marketing campaigns
- Becoming an event sponsor
Further reading: What is More Effective: Mass or Niche Marketing
Timing is an important consideration when starting your advertising efforts. Starting your advertising efforts while you’re still in the process of setting up your company or finalizing your products or services may not be the best strategy. If early customers are not satisfied, their negative feedback can easily influence early perceptions of your business.
Once you’ve built up your business to the point where you have some paying customers, have a mechanism for handling sales and new leads, and understand how you’ll position your company against competitors, you can consider ramping up your advertising efforts. You should also only start advertising once you know who your target audience is, what your message is, and how much you’ll be able to budget for advertising.
You can still take steps to drum up interest in your business before starting wider advertising efforts. For example, establishing social media pages and regularly updating content there and on your own website will help familiarize people with your business and generate buzz in advance of its opening.
Crafting the right messaging for your business can be a tricky process. Your messaging should appeal to customers, explain why your company is unique, and be consistent across different marketing channels.
Consider how you’re hoping to appeal to your target audience and what they’re seeking. If you’re hoping to appeal to people trying to save money, your messaging might highlight the low cost of your product or service. Messaging can focus on other benefits as well, such as how a product is easier to use than what’s currently on the market.
Messaging should complement your company’s goals and values. You can easily update messaging as your business evolves.
Conduct market research to assist you in developing your messaging. This process can help you understand what messages your competitors are using as well as what keywords and phrases appear most often in your industry.
Conducting market research allows you to identify potential users for your products or services. This process can take multiple factors into account, such as location, age, education level, income, and buying habits.
Consider your current customers and their habits. This can allow you to identify other potential markets for your company.
Companies can also follow one of two strategies to attract customers: mass marketing or niche marketing. Mass marketing brings your message to a wide audience, while niche marketing targets a select group that you believe is more likely to use your products or services.
Further reading:Which is More Effective: Mass or Niche Marketing
The U.S. Small Business Administration recommends that businesses spend 7 to 8 percent of their gross revenues on marketing if they have less than $5 million in annual sales and a net profit margin of 10 to 12 percent.
How much you spend can also be influenced by other factors, including how competitive your industry is and how much additional capacity you can handle from new customers. Businesses that are just starting may want to contribute a smaller share to advertising at first, such as 3 to 5 percent.