Why direct advertising is important for your business

Many small businesses aren’t making the most of local advertising opportunities. Here are a few tips to help you think local.

I often hear commercials on the radio when I’m driving that are advertising businesses that I’ll never use.

Sure, they may be offering a great product or service, but I’m part of the time-poor demographic of people who are finding their weekends jam-packed juggling work, family, and friends.

My time is precious – I hear these ads but despite the interest I may have in the business, I simply can’t be bothered to make the effort to drive out and visit them.

The biggest mistake businesses are making with their advertising is using expensive mediums that offer a broad reach, like radio and television, to promote their geographically targeted storefront.

In other words, rather than advertise specifically to potential customers at their doorstep, their message could be delivered to people hundreds of kilometres away.

With businesses all looking to protect their bottom line, money spent on this kind of advertising is money that could be better spent.

Learn and invest in your local market.

Now there are always exceptions to the case, but there has to be a very good reason for me to jump in the car and travel to the other side of the city when it’s more than likely there may be a similar business readily available locally.

Sure, tv and radio advertising has great reach – but you pay big bucks for it and much of it may be spent trying to convince people who just won’t be coming.

There are many ways to ensure you’re spending your advertising budget wisely.

  • Mobile billboards simply display your message in your market when you need it. They can’t be measured like other mediums – but they virtually go anywhere you want them to.
  • Local papers can be competitive, giving you a specific delivery and circulation map. More often than not, you can also bundle multiple markets for a discount.   When talking with your local paper, ensure the circulation numbers they give you are audited, accurate and especially, recent.
  • Online advertising, where you geographically target IP addresses, also deliver on a platform that is measurable and targeted where you need it. Create a landing page that speaks to people in a certain area.

Remember, advertising doesn’t always have to be paid. Involving yourself with community events and public forums are great ways to communicate with and advertise to your local customers.

Attend farmers markets, craft stalls, fetes and carboot sales.  They tend to be old fashioned and refreshingly antiquated, but you’d be surprised when talking with stall holders just the local knowledge, enthusiasm and actual entrepreneurship they have.

The key is to go to where your customers are and bring your advertising with you.

Think, act and support local.

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