We have all had those promotional opportunities presented to us – whether it be by a sales person of a newspaper/magazine, a joint promotion offer, or anything in between. They come packaged as “great opportunities” but beware, it is probably time to dig a little deeper before signing on. Some advertising campaigns are definitely worth the investment, whereas others are an unsolicited waste of money disguised as an opportunity. It is important to consider what kind of opportunity is in front of you and if it is going to be a worthwhile investment before diving in.
What To Consider With An Advertising Campaign:
When you are dealing with advertising, price should actually be one of the last factors in your decision. These are the real things you should be considering before you even look at the price tag:
Is It What It Says It Is
Amazing, you just got offered a radio commercial spot. How exciting, you will get your business in front of thousands of active listeners on their commute to work. Except in the fine print it tells you that the commercial will air at 3am when all those commuters are sleeping!
Make sure you read the fine print of any advertising campaign to see that you are actually getting what you are paying for, and beware of those hidden costs (is there a production, talent or art cost involved too?). Yes, it would be great to get your business in the radio, but it is almost 100% certain that 3am radio advertising is not going to bring in a large amount of leads.
Consider the medium of advertising. Some methods are becoming increasingly hard to reach people through. In an age where you can fast forward the TV ads, listen to the radio through an ad-free app, selectively read newspapers and magazines online, and block the ads on webpages, it is easy for people to remove advertisements from their lives.
There is no point investing in advertising on Facebook if your audience is on Twitter. The advertising method that you choose needs to get you in front of the right people at the right time. If you aren’t going to reach the people that are interested in your brand then you should look for a more appropriate opportunity instead. You need to be where your ideal clients are, with the right messages.
Tracking Return On Investment
When selling you advertising, some people will tell you all the things you want to hear just to make a sale. But will you be able to track the return on your investment and check if it was a worthwhile purchase? It might be cheap to place an advertisement in the classified section of your local paper, but how will you know if anyone has actually read it? And of the people that do read it, are they people that are interested and ready to buy? Make sure you have a method of tracking conversions from these mediums.
Digital advertising is a much more transparent way to advertise. Analytics allow you to see how many times an advertisement is viewed, if people engaged with it, if they clicked through, and if it resulted in a sale. Make sure that you utilise these methods in order to understand your return on investment.
The fantastic thing about analytics is that you can use the information gathered for other purposes too. You can learn a lot about your audience – when are they online, what kind of content do they like to see, where are they located, what are their interests, and who are they following. Once you have that information, you can use it to create valuable content they want to read, and sharpen your next advertising campaign.
Not All Advertising Opportunities Are Equal
Yes your business can probably benefit from an advertising campaign, and yes advertising can bring in great sales. But, you need to make sure it is the right advertising opportunity for your business. Most small businesses only have a small budget for advertising, so you need to spend your money wisely. Even if it sounds like a great opportunity, you need to quantify that it is worth it, before signing up.
Ask to see statistics that will help you make your decision. Things like page views, what kind of audience they target, audience size, ask to speak to current advertisers, and where your advertising will appear, are all things to consider.
Advertising Does Not Have To Cost
There are plenty of free ways to get your business out there, you don’t always have to pay for your exposure. Encourage referrals with loyalty and incentive programs, and word of mouth methods by getting your biggest fans to leave reviews or testimonials for you. Guest blogging is a great way to reach a whole new audience. Or you could even try collaborative sharing with a complementary business, you share a piece of their content and they share a piece of yours. Even build a positive reputation in online business groups and forums. If you don’t have money to spend on expensive advertising, then get creative instead, do not get pulled into any waste of money advertising that comes dressed in “Opportunity”.
Know when to recognise great opportunities for your business by having a solid marketing strategy which will centre any marketing decisions and activity. This will allow you to quickly establish if there is any REAL opportunity for your business and if it aligns with your intentional, effective marketing plan.