How to Get Your Small Business Noticed - Advertising is all around us. We get bombarded with commercials on TV, jingles on the radio, billboards on buildings, posters on walls, and pop-ups on websites. There is just no escaping it, short of shutting yourself in at home or leaving civilization.
All this ad saturation in just about all forms of media has made it harder for people to actually pay attention to what all these businesses are selling, much less remember what they’re saying. People now have their guards up whenever they see or hear an ad because of this.
That’s not to say that advertising is futile. It’s just a bigger challenge now, as advertising done right is still incredibly effective in persuading consumers to buy products. Here's a few tips on how to get your small business noticed through effective advertising...
Understand your brandBefore any advertising campaign launch, there needs to be a plan of attack set in place in order for it to be effective and efficient. Creating a plan begins with a couple of questions about your own business.
First, you have to ask yourself what your business is all about. What is its identity? What is its unique value proposition that sets it apart from similar businesses in the industry?
The answers to these questions are the building blocks of your business’ brand. The brand encapsulates everything about your business, giving the public a symbol that they can easily recognize and attach significance to. It’s the image that you’ll be presenting to them. Therefore, every ad campaign you start is founded on that brand.
Choose your targetWith your brand firmly in place, the next step of the plan is to find out who your target audience is. Is it the college student deep in social networking? Is it the middle-aged football mom looking to get closer to her kids? Is it the self-made international business tycoon?
Distinguishing your potential customers is also intrinsically bonded with the identity of your business. If you’re selling gaming accessories and peripherals, you’ll probably be targeting tech-savvy young adult males with disposable income.
When you’ve defined your target audience, it’ll then be a matter of knowing where they are most likely to see and pay attention to your ads. With the example above, they’ll probably be found in gaming websites and forums where they get their news and discuss their experiences.
Make a statementNow that you know who you will be directing your advertisements to, you have to be able to make those people stop whatever they’re doing and take a good hard look at what you’re ad is saying. The easiest way to accomplish this is by making a bold statement.
The statements that will get the most traction are those that directly present the benefits that the product will give to the consumer. It also helps to make them sound reasonably attainable or actionable through the use of simple but powerful verbs.
It goes without saying, but that statement that you’ll be making has to be true. Customers don’t like being lied to, and in this day and age where news flies as fast as a status message being uploaded on social media, your business will get crucified online and you can say goodbye to whatever credibility you have.
Viralize your adAs previously mentioned, practically everything travels fast on the Internet. If people find something interesting online, they will probably share it to everyone they know. Social media has made it even easier for anything to get picked up by people now that there are billions of users connected and willing to share.
Making an ad go viral, however, is not easy. There are plenty of variables in play that could make it take off or be summarily ignored. However, there is a common thread in viral content that should be present when viralizing your own ad – emotion.
Whether it’s a video of a baby and a cat doing funny things together, an inspiring photo of a kid helping out an elderly person, or an aggravating article about political controversies, they all touch the consumers’ hearts—so much so that they will want others to know about it.
Be consistentIt’s not enough that you create one compelling advertisement. You need to be constantly following it up with more ads of the same quality and consistent branding in order to keep your identity in the minds of the public. You don’t want to be a business that is only remembered for one commercial in the past.
You should be making a concerted effort to push your brand in different platforms. Partner your traditional marketing avenues such as magazines and events with online marketing channels like social media and email. That way, you will be covering all your bases for maximum exposure.
Being consistent also means staying true to your identity. You need to ensure that all your advertisements are sending the same message to reinforce what your business is all about. Do not confuse your target audience with conflicting images.
Provide updatesIf you are using online marketing to promote your business, keep in mind that you can easily update your already published advertising materials. Make use of this advantage to provide new information regarding your products so that your target audience is always up to date.
You’re also potentially bringing in new customers that might not have given your ad the time of day once you’ve got something more relevant to their interests. Highlight these changes to maximize the wider reach you’ll be having.
In a sea of advertisements promising customers the world, people latch onto strong brands that forge a connection with them through an intimate understanding of what they want and where you can engage with them. So getting their attention is all about having them identify with your business.
Advertising is not the be-all-end all in online marketing. There are other ways to get your customers and buyers to your store. Google search is where most people find products, services and a whole lot of other stuff. Businesses should take advantage of the wide reach of these search engines.