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Well, the cheapest is free. There are many kinds of free advertising. Of course, nothing is totally free--it takes time. So, what is the best free advertisig for your time. I think it's PR, but that is assuming you can find something that makes your business news worthy. Have you donated at products to a good cause? Does your website feature any interesting articles? Can you start doing any of these if you haven't already? You might try PR with Good Housekeeping and the like and local resources.
Start blogging on about anything, but something involving your product would help.
advertising is expense in the yellow pages, SCORE is FREE.
Score has FREE advertising and Marketing Courses.
Know how the customer makes money.
Learn the customers decision making process.
Build relationships with the customer (not just sales).
Focus on the customers business needs.
Show how your product or service meets customers needs.
SW, I think Luckiest's answer is on the mark. Get more information on advertising.
There is no one "magic bullet" when it comes to advertising, no one medium that will reach everyone for every business. It depends on who your customers are, what they like, how they spend their time, how much education they have, how much money they make, etc. You have to get a better understanding of who you are talking to.
I have always believed the best approach is a blend of media (print, direct mail, internet, TV, radio, point of purchase, outdoor and guerilla) to match the trends of your customers. Once you develop this blend, you tweak it as you get feedback and results. Leaning too heavily on one form of adverting can mean a business owner is risking missing potential customers.
Luckiest, this is what I meant in my post - too many folks (who say they provide adverting services) are out here not providing small business owners with helpful advice, they're too busy trying to push their services. It misrepresent what small businesses should be getting from adverting folks, and it hurts the client's business. Sorry, I am on my soap box again. My bad.
I agree 100%
best thing to do is go to the most popular sites that have a following for the genre you want to sell to and negotiate an ad buy on those sites.
press release is great too.
need a solid, functional website as well.
Here is an overview of what the general marketing industry says:
Datran Media recently released the results of its second annual survey of over
2000 online marketing professionals, finding that 82 percent of the marketers
surveyed indicated that they plan to increase their use of email marketing in
2008, and 55 percent of the respondents cite that they expect ROI from email to
be higher than any other channel. The reports says that the survey results are
consistent with the Direct Marketing Association's recent report, which found
that email ROI will hit $45.65 for every dollar spent in 2008, more than twice
the ROI of other mediums including search and display. In addition to increased
use of email as a media and lead generation channel, the Datran Media survey
- 80 \\ percent of respondents indicated email was the strongest performing media buy \\ ahead of search and display.
- Search \\ is the favored channel for complementing the email channel.
- More \\ than 80 percent of marketers send targeted email campaigns.
Company Email plans for 2008, compared to 2007:
- 82.4% \\ to increase use of email marketing
- 15.3% \\ to stay the same
- 2.4% \\ to decrease email marketing expenditures
Media, January 2008 Expectations for company's Email marketing ROI in 2008:
- 55.3% \\ say higher than other channels
- 25.9% \\ feel ROI roughly equal
- 18.8% \\ say lower
media buys that perform strongly for your company: (multiple response OK)
- 80% \\ say eMail
- 37.6% \\ display
- 70.6% \\ say Search
- 16.5% \\ feel Print
- 10.6 \\ say Broadcast
- 7.1% \\ Cable
- 1.2% \\ think Mobile
- 2.4% \\ report RSS
- 34.7% \\ say Ad Network
- 8.2% \\ uncertain
channels that complement the eMail media channel: (multiple response OK)
- 51.8% \\ say Display
- 71.8% \\ say Search
- 24.7% \\ think Mobile
- 17.6% \\ say Broadcast
- 10.6% \\ Cable
- 41.2% \\ report Direct
plan to employ eMail, they also expect:
- 80% to \\ send newsletters
- 78.8% \\ drive sales
- 67.1% \\ will increase upsell or cross sell opportunities
- 50.6% \\ will sent transactional messages
- 52.9% \\ to reactivate dormant customers
- 70.6% \\ plan to enhance customer relationships
- 64.7% \\ expect to increase brand awareness or lift
Media, January 2008 The respondents say eMail planning includes these elements
- 74.1% \\ to conduct content or creative split testing
- 36.5% \\ will test creative across inbox devices
- 29.4% \\ to pay for eMail marketing based on CPM model
- 58.8% \\ will pay on a CPC or CPA model
- 36.5% \\ will include banner ads
- 25.9% \\ will measure effect on Brand lift
- 36.5% \\ will measure effect on customer satisfaction
- 64.7% \\ will measure eMail effect on sales
Media, January 2008 Response to... "use and/or plan on using an outside vendor
for email marketing?"
- 69.4% \\ say Yes
- 20% \\ say NO
- 10.6% \\ Not Sure
Pure Action, GREAT answer.
Suggestion, go to Members page and tell us a few words about you and your business
PureAction - great response! If more of our users took the time to give thorough answers like this, this board would be even better.
This is a great answer. Can anyone figure out how to reward someone for a good answer. I can't seem to figure out how to use the compliment features of the site
I would have to say what I have seen is that a person will spend $300 a week for a good newspaper ad for 6 weeks straight and see 2-3 new faces a week. Then I see people buy a website for $400-$1000. This drives in 2-3 new faces a week, but never has to be touched again.
I say if you are going run a newspaper campaign, you should also do a good website with a lot of information; so when you do decide to do a newspaper that is one more tool to ad to your ad. Your web address can be a powerful tool on a flyer, a newspaper ad and even your business card. Give it a thought. A good way to find out how much your site might cost visit the non-profit company http://www.websitequote.org/.
I have seen online (pay per click) advertising be incredibly effective but it has to be done correctly. Honestly when most people try to do this themselves they end up making having far too few keywords that are way too broad. For most businesses very targeted geographic regions are the way to go. Feel free to email me at info at lauraroeder.com for specific suggestions for your site, I run adwords campaigns for my clients.
When I needed some flooring work done, I looked in a section of my local newspaper that had business card listing and also in the services section. These ads are much cheaper that full blown ads.
Another thing to remember is that you are advertising to many people but only a select few are your customer market and only a few from there will select you. To me the question is how to find the few that are in your target and leaser in on those people with your advertising budget.
I know my customer demographics and the only places I advertise is where they are.
Internet Marketing or Newspaper Marketing are good. Internet can be more specific I feel. Email marketing seems harder but with Google putting ads on the side of a Gmail page, ads can be more specific. I just think for the cost, the internet is better for advertsing. I would even say a billboard ads is better than a newspaper because when people are driving they are not distracted as they are with a newspaper and have time to poner the ad as well as see it on the freeway 2-3 times where as that issue of the newspaper gets thrown out the next day.
2 go 2 Marketing
Traditional signage on the exterior of your physical location can account for about 49% of your new customers. Not FREE, but let me relate a story to you about a yacht company in southern Indiana. About 3 years ago we installed 7 large framed printed banners on the front of their two corugated steel buildings. Go to my website at www.signhereltd.com and see the before and afters. This company had been in business for 42 years. Within 18 months their investment had paid off. A local, 1/2 mile down the road, barge management company executive drove by and saw the picture of a Yodiac, can in and purchase 66 of them with a follow on order of 44. I know that they are very happy with their ROI!
As a fellow sign maker I have to agree with Bemore. Another excellent way to get noticed is with vehicle graphics. While it isn't free hundreds of people will see your message daily.
I've had people call me who were literally right behind me as I drove down the street.
A vehilce in my area will get approximately 30,000 impressions daily. And as stated, not Free, but cheap compared to a 1/4 page ad in the yellow pages.
I've just started a flooring company myself. I've gotten good results mailing personalized letters to new home buyers in the area. I get the names from the free local paper. I usually get ~4 new potential clients a month with ~50 letter. 50 x .41 = $20.50
LostBoy, wow, 8 percent conversion on an unsolicited direct mail piece is FANTASTIC -- congratulations! May I ask, did you write the letter yourself or have it professionally developed?
I developed the letter with my business partner. Basicly it says congratulations on buying a house, let us help you make it feel more like a home. I offer them a special discount.
To make it even more personalized I print a map from their house to my showroom.
I didn't think that was a very good response rate though. It is definatly is better than advertizing in the local paper. $90+/month with no response. I have stopped advertizing in the newspaper because of budget but will continue for the exposure and brand recongnition.
It gets decent traffic.
LostBoy, thanks for the additional info. From the studies and actual examples I've seen on a "typical" unsolicited mailing of 100 pieces for your type of business, 80 are never read, and of the 20 that are, only 2 convert to sales. So there was something about your letter (and the offer you included with it) that caused more people to actually read it, or that caused more people to respond to it, or both. I'd consider it a good result, though!
My carpentry business has faced the same issue. At the end of the day, what has really helped us get sales back on track is setting up partnerships with others. So, now we have a builder, a bunch of real estate companies, painting companies and some others with whom we have referral programs. I wonder if something similar could work for your business
Are you a member of your local building association ? They are a great organization for business and referrals. Local service ads were mentioned in an earlier post and are a good idea.Also very inexpensive. Make friendly calls on your local builders, offer them a special discount to try your services.Face to face is the best way.I have set up at my local flea market, county fairs,and other events,and handed out cards and brochures.Build an impressive website, and advertise it everywhere. It is much cheaper to advertise a few lines promoting your site than a huge ad.
express-press-release.com has done well by me.You can submit as many free press releases as you want or pay $ 29.00 , which gets you onto many more media sites.Check them out.They are awesome and affordable.They also post to all major search engines, which helps your website.
Hope this helps.
Why don't you try the business campaigning idee. It works for greenpeace and for business purpose as well. I had very god experiences with peter metzinger. try this: balmangroup (dot) com