If you’re a small to medium scale business owner, then you’d know very well how hard finances were the past couple of years, thanks to the worldwide economic downturn. The fact that you’re still in business clearly means you did something right, though it wasn’t exactly a walk in the park. Nevertheless, what matters is that it’s business as usual for you. However, if you’re still having problems, then it may be time to rethink that marketing budget and cut down on advertising expenses.
You may be half-hearted at this thought because your business badly needs exposure. Well, your advertising strategies can be reanalyzed and redesigned to fit your dwindling budget. You don’t need a huge advertising allowance. You’re not Yahoo or e-Bay that can spend $70-$80 million on a big ad campaigns. Even Google was not too keen on using up that much money on advertising, having spent only $11 million on ads.
You see, TV advertising is like throwing money away. A 30-seconder averagely costs about $350,000. Aside from airing fees paid to TV or cable networks, you also need a production budget. Hire an advertising agency to do this and there are more fees to think about. And since you can’t have your TV commercial air only once, you need to multiply the cost to how many times in a day for several months your commercial will be aired. So, how much? Quite a lot and you’re not even guaranteed ROI.
Now let’s take a look at billboards. Billboard advertising costs about $700-$2,500 a month. And since you need to rent about 10, do the math and it’s basically just like TV advertising. Again, you’re not even sure if you reach your target market and guarantee sales. Sure it feels awesome seeing your brand name advertised along the freeway, but it’s still pricey. Also, the amount of information you can place on a billboard ad is very limited, unlike in TV or newspaper.
So what are some low cost advertising solutions that are big on recall and savings?
Internet / Company Website. The Internet is slowly moving up the advertising ladder. This year, expected revenue for TV ads is worth $59.4 billion, while for the internet, it’s $26 billion. That’s pretty close considering that the internet is a much relatively newer medium than TV.
Press Releases and Articles. Here, you can either go for the traditional print media or the internet. However, if you want longer article life and wider readership, then go for online articles and press releases.
Promotional giveaways. They last longer, can reach your target market, are very useful, and really affordable. Promo giveaways are traditional yet quite effective. For as low as $0.25 per piece, you can have your brand advertised. And since people just love free stuff, your promo items will be used and kept by the consumers, unlike the flyers which people easily throw away. Ordering promo giveaways is also very easy unlike shooting a TV commercial or designing an ad layout for a billboard. Just preorder online, submit a quality logo, and that’s it. No fuss, no hassle.
Advertising should help your business, not hurt it. An effective marketing strategy doesn’t need to cost that much. All you need is a little bit of ingenuity and resourcefulness.