When a small business like a bakery or a sandwich shop gets up and running, it can’t afford all the high-tech options available to a big chain company with a huge marketing budget. Yet that doesn’t mean a small operation should opt out of a solid advertising campaign. In fact, if you’re a small business serving your local community, a traditional marketing campaign can be a cost-effective means of spreading the word about what you have to offer. Hiring the services of a printing company to handle professional-looking advertisements such as flyers and door hangars is a great way of targeting those most likely to show up at your door.
Affordable alternatives to Online Advertising
A recent Boston Consulting Group survey of small-business owners found that only three cents of every dollar spent on advertising was allocated to Internet ads. Small organizations spend the bulk of their ad budget on printed materials such as mailers and coupon inserts in the local paper. Such a strategy gives small businesses instant feedback and measurable conversion rates with each redeemed coupon.
Promoting your Small Business
Competing with a large competitor can be difficult, but a small business has an opportunity to build a loyal customer base by providing a more personal connection than a giant box store, as well as better service. If you have a limited budget, get creative and define your brand and style. Then design some print ads and work with a printing service that can help you reach customers successfully.
Printed Materials that Work
- Coupons: Although using a two-for-one coupon on date night might be a bad move, people are always trying to save money. A well-placed coupon in the local paper or in a small community publication can draw consumers from your immediate area to your store or business.
- Calendars: A sharp-looking calendar is a perfect way to keep your company’s name in your customer’s mind all year long. A calendar allows you plenty of space to include your company name, logo, location, phone number and website address. You can go with a monthly or annual wall calendar, or a smaller desktop version. To be sure that people will keep it, make sure the calendar is eye-catching and printed on high-quality paper stock.
- Flyers: When you need to advertise a sale or special event, a flyer is the way to go. They’re most effective when distributed a few days before the actual sale or event. They’re also inexpensive to print and can be handed out in high-traffic areas or posted in public places.
- Doorknob hangars: When people see something hanging on their doorknob, they’ll immediately be curious. You can draw their attention by presenting an attractive offer or sale. Bright colors and great graphics also won’t hurt in conjunction with relevant information.
When spending constraints are an issue and high-tech marketing campaigns aren’t practical, you have to think more creatively about how to connect with customers. Using printed materials and focusing on your most likely clients are the best ways for small businesses to advertise and increase sales. Take advantage of the opportunity to connect with a local audience and develop a grassroots approach to your advertising campaign. A traditional path can be effective if done with some thought and effort.