The digital age has changed advertising, which means that now there are numerous channels to promote your small business. That’s amazing, right? Well, not everybody would agree with this statement. This abundance of advertising and marketing channels can do wonders for your company, but on the other hand, it can be difficult to select the best media for reaching your target audience. One of the reasons for this is that many small businesses operate on a shoestring budget, which leaves much to be desired in their marketing efforts. Another significant reason is that SME managements are usually inexperienced when it comes to advertising. Let’s examine the options and see their pros and cons.
This old school channel is still very much alive and kicking. It’s true that it belongs to somewhat obsolete and outdated outbound marketing, but it can efficiently reach certain demographics. Traditional print media includes newspapers, magazines, or print directories. Ads in newspapers are affordable and they involve short timelines. However, their disadvantage is that your reach is limited as only a certain number of readers belong to your target audience. Magazines, on the other hand, have a more complex and expensive ad production, but they can be great for building brand awareness, especially if you target a niche-specific magazine.
Radio and, especially, TV are popular marketing channels, although they’re not as effective as they used to be before the rise of social media marketing. Ads aired on the radio can be very cost-effective, but they have to be strategically placed during prime time. However, airtime on top stations is expensive, so you need to do research and see whether this kind of advertising fits your goals. TV does have great potential for conveying your promotional message to broad audiences, but, its power is fading away, too. Services such as TiVo are diminishing its influence as viewers can fast forward advertisements. Advertising on TV is a costly business. This statement can be corroborated by the fact that a 30-second commercial during the Super Bowl LI cost a whopping $5 million.
Advertising in digital media is a very broad concept, and each segment has its own rules and practices. SEO has become increasingly popular because of its high conversion rates, as it can specifically target audiences interested in particular products or services. Its ROI can easily be measured, and it’s one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies. A video is the new darling of online advertising and has taken the marketing world by storm. Statistics say that using video results in a 157% increase in organic traffic from search engines, and if we bear in mind that nowadays video technology is available and affordable, it’s clear why this marketing method should be high on your list of priorities. Digital media offers you plenty of ways to engage your audience and boost the popularity of your brand. Make sure to take advantage of hosting webinars, creating how-tos, and all kinds of helpful guides as they can get you lots of new prospects. These indirect marketing methods are highly beneficial for small businesses as they’re affordable, and they can establish you as an authority in your niche. Finally, email marketing is the absolute champion of digital media advertising as it generates the highest ROI of all marketing methods by producing $44 for every $1 spent.
Social networking channels are the new WOMM. There’s no better way to spread the word or reach your target audience than to use Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. According to Nielsen, 83% of people from more than 60 countries around the world say that they are most likely to trust recommendations from their friends and family. This statistic accurately illustrates the power of social media, as likes, shares, retweets, and mentions can skyrocket your brand awareness. These advertising channels can also provide valuable insight into how your target audience perceives your company. Organizing various polls and online surveys can increase engagement, and you can at the same time get feedback from your customers. Don’t forget that people love freebies, so contests and giveaways can be a great opportunity to offer your audience some affordable but useful promotional products.Swag delivers a high ROI, so your initial investment will soon pay off.
Each of these channels has its good and bad sides, so it can be tough to decide which one is the best for your business. That’s why your first step should be identifying your target audience and ideal buyer persona, and do research to find out more about their channel preferences.
Emma Miller is a Sydney based writer with a degree in marketing. Her interests are digital marketing, social media, start-ups, and the latest trends. She is also a contributor at Bizzmark blog