One of the things that I have notices about small businesses in located in small cities and communities throughout the USA is that many of them have very small marketing budgets and may be in need of some low cost advertising methods. Some small businesses are unsure how to advertise correctly or what to do. The problem is and they might not realize is that advertising is not an expense… It is an investment.
When you spend or invest money in advertising then you should be looking for a nice return on your investment.
In this post we will briefly go over some low cost advertising methods for small businesses and entrepreneurs. This is good for those of you who offer a service or sell products. This is also good for those who get new customers, clients or patients by getting an appointment.
Think of advertising this way… (With a proven ad or sales funnel)
For example… if I could spend $50 in ads and make a gross profit of $100, I would do it all day long.
However, the opposite could be true and $50 is spent on an advertisement and there are no returns. In the beginning this will probably true until you find an ad that constantly pulls in results. This is referred to as ‘testing’ or testing ads until you find a winner. But knowing the importance of adverting and not just rely on referrals is a great start.
If you are not interested in testing advertisements, then you could do some research on how to create an advertisement, display ad, postcard, Google Adwords ads or flyer which could increase your chance of success sooner.
Another way to feel more confident when advertising would be to hire a professional ad copywriter who has a verifiable history of successfully written ads. The drawback to this option is that these guys can be expensive.
Also look at what your competitors are doing to get some ideas.
When I started my first business, I took the time to learn as much as I could about advertising so I was able to create my own. A formula I found that increased my response rate was; A I D A
If your small business is low on funds to purchase advertisements and is in need of low cost advertising solutions, then below are some free and low cost methods to help you get started.
Use the internet like posting to craigslist.org Find the most relevant category and post to it.
Facebook.com Post something on your personal profile and join some Facebook groups and get the word out about what you do.
If you are able to do so, create a flyer that can be placed on door knobs of homes and apartments. You’ll need to do at least 500 to 1000 to start. Be sure to check local ordinance first to make sure handbill distribution/solicitation is permitted. I get better responses using a phone and not my website address.
You can also try advertising regularly in the classified ads section of small town newspapers if its cheap. You could be surprised how well these could do. Again it is a matter of testing and generally is affordable.
Do you know of someone in your community that sends out a large amount of mail, like bills for example? Ask them if they will allow you to insert a flyer too and offer to split the cost of the mailing or you can offer a fee. Just make sure who the mail to would be an audience that would be interested in your offer.
Ask your current customers or clients to post a positive testimonial about your business to their personal Facebook account and other social media outlets.
These are a few of the very affordable way to some cheap advertising. Nothing in this list is complicated to do.
The first step is to decide to try something and see how it goes. You’ll also get a quick and valuable education in marketing by seeing what works and what doesn’t. Again run with those ads that are winners and get more customers for your business! I hope that this topic of low cost advertising methods for small businesses is helpful.