Five ways to stretch your advertising budget
If you are just starting out and on a tight budget, follow these tips to make your advertising dollar go further.
1. Go digital
Use Google Adwords and social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter or other networks to advertise and offer expert tips, insights or other content.
2. Community involvement
Sponsor a local team, hold a contest, sausage sizzle or event day for customers, post flyers and/or discount vouchers, donate your products/service as a prize in school or charity auctions, take a booth at fetes or community days and offer to give free talks, demonstrations or how-to sessions for community groups.
Join your local business group, Chamber of Commerce and use community noticeboards.
3. Word of mouth
Do a little extra for the customer, be professional and respectful, offer specials for loyalty or referrals and ensure that your staff are on the same page. If you have a special deal, all staff should be knowledgeable and helpful.
Send press releases to local media but use them sparingly and only when you have something to say.
Follow world, national and community events or issues to make timely statements or offer easy-to-follow advice to customers. A guttering or roofing company might offer “how to prepare for storm season in five easy steps” to a local newspaper or community radio, while a florist could offer regular short articles on in-season blooms.
Where appropriate, offer yourself to local media as a short-notice spokeperson on your area of expertise.
For an accountant, this might be tips on organising paperwork at tax-time; for a café it might be making the most of local seasonal produce. Buy ads in media that carry your content.
5. Get branded
Put your business logo on your work vehicle, invest in branded pens, mugs, caps, balloons, fridge magnets and more. Look online for inspired, low-cost merchandise that suits your business.