Even though you’re a small business, an overwhelming number of marketing opportunities probably come your way weekly, if you really pay attention. Think of the ads you could buy in the local newspaper, community magazines and in the program for your daughter’s upcoming recital.
There’s also affordable access to local radio and television stations, especially in smaller towns. Without too much effort a modest, as well as robust, marketing budget can quickly get away from you.
Before spending another marketing dime in print or online consider a few questions that need serious attention. Taking the time to answer them will help you maximize your budget and make it easier for you to say “no” when you need to.
Find Your People
Understanding your target market is key to identifying the best marketing opportunities for your business. In every situation you want to know:
“Who’s going to see my marketing items and are those people my target audience ?”
Of course, you can’t answer that question if you don’t know who your people are in the first place. So take the time to get clear and it’ll make it much easier to respond to any marketing opportunity as well as write the copy for your website.
You Need as Much Time as Possible
When you pay for marketing, in effort and money, you want to make sure your audience has enough time to see and respond to your message. Before that dollar leaves your wallet, ask the salesman (that’s what they are):
“How long will my marketing message/ad/banner (whatever you’re buying) be in front of your audience?”
If it’s a coffee table magazine that people tend to keep, you may get a better bang for your buck with that versus a free paper that quickly reaches the trash can or recycle bin. Remember, you want as much time as possible to get your message across.
Say the Most in the Time You Have
Print ads are limited by size. Radio and television ads are limited by time. Instead of trying to say everything in the seconds and space that you have, get your core message out. Ask yourself (and your team):
“What message does our audience need to hear in this setting and how do we need to design it in order to get the most attention?”
Decide the one thing that you want your target audience to do, and then focus on promoting that message in that particular ad. Saying everything at one time can be overwhelming and result in your audience hearing nothing but noise.
Loud and Clear  Photo via Shutterstock