5 Advertising Tips for Small Business Owners

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Image by: Public Domain Pictures
By Dexter Lunde

It is 2014. There have been some mighty big advances in technology. With the ability to reach millions of people through the internet (especially through social media), what other types of advertising and marketing do you really need?

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#1) Print Ads? In 2014?

Print ads are still as relevant as ever. It’s a bit surprising to hear in such a digital age, right? Well, when you put up banners and pop-up ads on the internet, it is difficult to really catch the attention of the internet user because they are already distracted in the first place. They may just find it annoying and click “close” before they really even look at it.

Full page print ads are the best because when the reader flips to that page, all they see is your ad. Their attention isn’t divided by other text or images.

When it comes to print ads, it is my belief that funny ads are more powerful because (1) your business will be associated with a positive image that makes them laugh or smile and (2) funny ads stay in our minds longer because of the specific emotion that is involved.

Of course, this is also dependent on what kind of business you have. If you have a serious business or one which is naturally darker (like a mortuary), it is a bit on the inappropriate side to create funny ads.

If you need some examples or something to spark your creativity, check out this list of 18 Hilarious and Clever Print Ads from Business Insider.

#2) Inbound Marketing Strategies

Your “About You” This is such an important section that normally gets pushed aside or “copy and pasted”. Really put some thought into your “About You” section because it highlights you, your brand, and your business.

Entertaining blogs or informative blogs? Personally, I believe in a mixture of the two. If you give them knowledgeable information, it shows them that you know what you’re talking about and that you’re with the latest trends. If you give them funny posts, it shows that you are a human being and not just some robot.

#3) Get Them When They’re Already There

Okay, so you got some people to stop into your store. That’s great. New customers are wonderful. Now how do you get those people to visit your website? When it comes to getting offline customers to become online customers, you have to get them when they’re already there.

That’s when e-mail newsletters come in handy. Offer the customers a discount when they first subscribe to your e-mail newsletter. When you send them newsletters, get them to your site by offering them special deals on the items that are related to the ones that they bought from your store. Did he buy a new fishing pole? Awesome, send him a personalized link to the lures that are on sale on your website.

Send specialized newsletters to specific customers depending on what they bought. It’s easier than it may seem.

#4) Where Are They Going?

When it comes to where you spend your advertising budget, it should all depend on where you market is headed. If you’re selling medical equipment for senior citizens, I would spend more money on TV ads during daytime television and radio ads than, say, ads on Facebook.

#5) But What’s the Best?

You can spend hundreds of money plastering your ads all over Facebook and other social media sites but those aren’t the best way to advertise. The biggest, most productive form of advertisement is still “word-of-mouth” AKA customer referrals. It makes sense when you think about it. Are you going to go to a website or a storefront because you saw an ad on Facebook or because your college buddies or coworkers say that it is a great place to shop?

You trust these peoples’ opinions because you know them personally. That’s why “word-of-mouth” is the best advertising tool out there. So how do you cash in on this? Customer service, that’s how. When your customers tell their friends what a great experience they had in your store, their friends will want to come see what all the hubbub is about. This will be the best source of new customers for you.

Now it’s your turn. What do you do to hype up your customers? What tips do you have to give your customers excellent customer service? Do you use print ads? What kind of print ads do you use for your business? What has been the most effective print ad that you’ve seen lately? What about digital ads? What do you do with Facebook ads? Do you normally click on them or just ignore them? Share your thoughts and ideas with the other readers by placing them in the comment section below.