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Advertising is one of the most powerful tools for reaching your target audience and growing your business. While small businesses can rely on referral and word-of-mouth, almost all businesses will need to use advertising in one form or another to reach the next level. Advertising comes in many forms, including radio advertising, online advertising, television advertising and press advertising.
What type of advertising is right for me?
Before beginning an advertising campaign it is advisable to do some market research. Market research can help you determine who the most valuable audience for you is and what type of media they consume the most of. Younger audiences, for example, spend a significant amount of time online, so social media and other forms of digital advertising can be highly cost-effective. Among other mediums, press advertising can be used to reach older audiences, and depending on the publication can be targeted to reach specific niche markets.
If market research is not in your budget currently, you can survey your existing customers to determine where you could have best reached them – your current customers are the best predictors of the type of people who are likely to become your customers in the future.
Before beginning advertising, consider the following factors:
What sort of services do I need to advertise well?
Advertising is a multi-discipline area, requiring the combined skills of many specialists. Depending on what form of advertising you choose, you may need a copywriter, a graphic designer, a web developer, an animator, a photographer or a cinematographer.
Advertising agencies exist which can put together the right team to deliver ready-to-use adverts for you, though you can also contract the individuals yourself to put together your advertising team. It’s important to provide clear briefs so that your advertising professionals can achieve your goals.
Once your team is established, you will be an important part of developing and creating the best materials – but it's important to listen carefully and respect the professional opinions you are given. In some instances, the best approach may be counter-intuitive, but supported by marketing research. Often it is less important that the business owner finds an advert visually appealing or compelling, and more important that your intended audience is going to respond well. If you disagree with or do not understand a design or copy decision, discuss it openly with your consultant to learn the considerations which lead to it.
What should I consider when choosing an advertising agency or professional?