The Cheapest and Best Local Advertising Tip

Before we get down to the nitty gritty here, let us define the term ‘local advertising.’ When I mention that term in this article, I specifically mean area specific business that serve a specific town, county, zip code or zone. Often, (but not always) these businesses are service related, such as hair salons, pest control services, sales professionals or brick and mortar stores. The term ‘local advertising’ refers to these small businesses looking to expand their current clients base.

OK, so where does a local business start?

To begin with, start with your current customers. They will be your best source of not only repeat business, but new business referrals also. Your cheapest, most effective local advertising method is to pick up the phone and start calling current customers. Often, just reminding them that you appreciate their business can prompt them to use your services again.

Here is are a few samples of what you can say:

“Hi this is Tom, I own ZYX Pest Control. I’m just calling to say thank you for using my company in March. Please let me know if there is anything else that I can do for you or anyone else that you know here in town.”

“This is Suzie from ABC Hair Salon. I am just calling to say thanks for using us, and I want you to know that we hope to see you soon!”

“I am Bob from Bob’s Steak House. I hope you enjoyed your meal last time you where here and I’m calling to invite you back for T-Bone Friday’s all summer. See ya soon!”

The point of the phone call really is just to remind them that they are important to you. As you can see, you don’t need a special sale or coupon when you use these scripts, just a simple thank you is fine. A simple phone call like the one above can REALLY make you stand out from the competition and increase your business. Plus, all it takes is a phone and some of your time pretty inexpensive when you consider some of the other advertising ideas out there!

Just as a small side note to the above idea, I don’t recommend letting employees make these phone calls unless you have a super exceptional employee that is dedicated to your business! People are good at picking out bad attitudes and an insincere phone call can really backfire!

OK, so that is the cheapest advertising idea that I can think of that will actually work, so I hope you give it a shot! Best wishes for your business!

MLM Advertising – 3 Techniques to Dominate the Internet

MLM advertising is not always easy. It is a highly competitive arena, the trainings given by companies and leaders is often just not enough, and it can be difficult to make yourself heard. If you don’t have leads for your business, you don’t have a business.

Let’s face it, these days the only way to build a big organization is through MLM advertising online. You can reach more people, find people with shared interests, talk to others around the globe, etc. With more and more competition online though, if you don’t know what you are doing it’s easy to get left behind. Here are 3 techniques to get your MLM advertising campaign rolling.

Content Marketing

One of the most difficult to do, but most rewarding. Leads that you get from content marketing will see you as a leader, someone knowledgeable, etc. Because of the time involved it is much less competitive than other areas online. Content marketing is marketing through articles and videos. Creating online content and then spreading it around the web. Decide what your target market is looking to find online, create content that delivers what they want, and syndicate it around the web. Put your articles on a blog or on article directories. Put your videos on Youtube. Invite the people who use your content to learn more from you through joining your mailing list or contacting you in some way. Deliver consistently. In this strategy you want to be creating an audience base. The reason this is harder is because you have to then drive traffic to your content. You can do this through social media bookmarking, interconnecting your articles or videos, etc.

Social Media Marketing

This is a time consuming MLM advertising technique, but good nonetheless. Market yourself on Facebook and Twitter. Many people have no idea how to do this, but the basic principle is making genuine connections with others. Invite TARGETED people to be your friend. Who do you want to target? What Facebook groups would they be in? Who might they be following on Twitter? Look for these people and invite them to be friends. The more personal you can make your connections the better. Optimize your profile so you have a link to your capture page very prominently, and invite people to view it. DON’T try to get people to go straight to your company page. That is just annoying. But do continue to foster relationships and invite people to learn more about you. If you can, put up a personal video to show people that you are a real person. Again consistency is key. People notice you if you are always there. The more they notice you the more likely they are to look into what you do.

Paid Advertising

This method of MLM advertising is usually the easiest and the quickest. The only downside is when you run out of money, the leadflow completely dries up. Here are several paid MLM advertising ideas:

Ezine Solo Ads- send out your message to people on a targeted list. Find an Ezine that your target market would join and find out how much it would cost to blast your email to the list. Usually between $25 and $75 a go.

PPC- This is getting harder to do with the new Google restrictions, but there is less competition than there used to be. Your landing page must be highly targeted to your keyword, and have extra content (not just a capture form).

Banner Ads- What webpages would your target market be visiting? Find out if they offer a place for you to put up a banner ad.

With any of these methods of MLM advertising it is best to choose one method to start and learn everything you can about it. Become an expert in that type of marketing so you can dominate it. Then do more than anyone else in that area is doing. The key is it’s easier to move fast than slow. No one notices the slow dribs and drabs of marketing most people do. But if you are moving fast and your message is all over, you can’t be ignored.

5 Highly Effective Ideas For Small Businesses

If you own a Small Business or want to start up a new business understanding advertising will be critical to your success. When I set up my own first business back in 1999, I didn’t have a clue about advertising and marketing. Back then the biggest and first point of call for a start up business was the yellow pages directory followed by classified adverts in local papers. Over ten years on, the opportunities to advertise cheaply have grown a hundred fold. More importantly the opportunities for small businesses to advertise effectively have also increased significantly. In this article I am going to point out the basics of what you need to know about advertising and which methods are effective for small businesses.

When I talk about a small business, I could be referring to a one man Window Cleaner or an I.T Reseller. It doesn’t matter what line of business you are in, the principles of advertising are still the same and my points and ideas are relevant to everyone.

By the way, this article is written from a neutral point of view. I run two advertising companies and both are mentioned in this article along with others who I don’t have a vested interest in but I do have experience of using their products. If I recommend a product or media it’s because it’s worked for me and my companies and not because I’m being paid to mention it.

What is Effective Advertising?

Effective Advertising is a tool to increase your sales AND profits. If the advertising you are currently using does not increase your sales and profits, STOP using it immediately! ‘But it increases brand awareness’ and ‘my competitors all advertise in this way’, are two rubbish excuses for wasting money on advertising that does not work. Don’t be lazy, don’t burn money by using ineffective advertising.

So how do you know if the advertising is effective? Firstly measure the results and secondly when you begin to trial a new way of advertising always commit for the minimum amount of time possible. Do not be swayed by Advertising Executives trying to convince you to commit to longer for a discount. Trial first and then commit if it increases your sales and profits.

Points to memorise before advertising:

Can I measure the results from this campaign? (If you can’t do not advertise)
Does my Advert have a really strong call to action? ( Free offer, Discount or Guarantee’s are strong calls to action)
Can I trial the advertising media or product first?
How many sales do I need to make to make a profit from this advertising? (Is the answer realistic)

OK, that’s enough preaching, lets present the ideas to you:

Highly Effective Advertising Ideas for Small Businesses:

Learn from the Experts

Advertising is the same as any industry, if you want to learn about it and become an expert in it (Anything that costs you money but also has the potential to make you lots of money in, you should learn to be an expert!), then learn from the experts. My advice is go and order a copy of ‘Your Marketing Sucks’ by Mark Stevens from Amazon. Mark’s book will tell you everything you need to know about advertising before you start to spend money. The second piece of advice is check out cardellmedia on Google. The site is run by a small business expert called Chris Cardell. He is a no nonsense business growth expert. He runs a number of courses and publications about advertising and marketing for small businesses. Listen to what he has to say, he is trying to help you.

Google AdWords

If you only take one piece of advice from this article then make sure it’s this:

Open a Google AdWords Account and start a Pay Per Click Campaign.

You may have heard about PPC or Pay Per Click campaigns. When people mention them they are normally talking about running a Google Campaign. As Google run 90% of Search requests on the internet then you must advertise with them. You create a campaign where if someone enters a keyword or key phrase into Google, when they hit enter, your company advert comes up on the screen.

Google AdWords is an essential piece of marketing and advertising for any small business no matter how small their business is. It’s highly effective, cost effective and measurable, in short, excellent.

SEO

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a highly cost effective way of advertising, in fact it’s free. SEO is a way of creating content for your website that makes your website easily found by the people looking for it. It sounds complex and there are lots of companies who make money from trying to optimise your website. BEWARE, most of these companies are either shysters or they are charging you for something you can do yourself. Go and buy ‘Search Engine Optimization- an hour a day’ by Jennifer Grappone. She will advise you and teach you the knowledge required to create a very effective website. Remember- The better your website is working, the less money you will need to spend trying to attract people to it.

Be Outrageous, Be Yourself

Muhammed Ali said that. What I think he meant was do not follow the crowd and be the same as everyone else, if you do, then your message will be lost completely along with everyone elses. You spend money on advertising to stand out from the crowd so don’t be boring! Use wild and Creative ways of getting people’s attention: StreetAdvertisingServices are a UK based Company who create innovative and unique outdoor advertising campaigns. Everything from advertising on dirty pavements using water to 3d chalk advertising are all methods they offer to clients to help increase their sales and profits.

Facebook

One of my clients is a dentist. When he first came to see me, his business was struggling and the only customers he could find were NHS patients. He, like most small businesses wanted to increase his sales and profits. I advised him to advertise on Facebook. Within three months he had to start turning customers away and his profits have increased by 600%! Create a Facebook page for your business and then create an advertising campaign. It’s cheaper than Google but also very effective for local businesses.

Bulk Email Advertising

Email advertising is one of the most commonly used forms of advertising today. Almost every company is using this very fast, cheap and effective way of reaching customers. With strict laws in place, many companies are reaping the benefits from email advertising: cost-effectiveness, efficiency, and the ability to reach the customers who have expressed an interest in the product. Email ads help to improve a company’s brand loyalty, as customers can be kept updated about the latest offerings. They save a lot of time as compared to traditional direct mail advertising. The results are also measurable, as nearly 80% of the responses arrive within the first three days after sending the mail. It is also very easy to track, as bounce-backs, click-through and other responses can be tracked immediately.

Bulk email advertising involves the process of sending emails containing advertisements to millions of customers at the same time. This is very fast, cheap and sure way of reaching the maximum number of people.

There are companies that provide millions of email addresses of customers who have opted to receive emails about the products. These addresses are given to companies that want to send email advertisements but do not have a database of email addresses of opt-in customers. These addresses are sourced from several email address service websites over the Internet. These addresses are priced between 10 cents to 30 cents each. These companies also offer other services, such as designing the advertisements, sending the emails and tracking the responses.

Some companies have special offers, such as sending emails to 50,000 addresses for just $40. All this can be done within just a few hours! There are also special software tools that enable bulk email advertising. Some of the features include contact list management, customization of email messages, validation of the email addresses, processing of incoming messages, embedding of HTML messages, and import of contacts from ADO/ODBC, Microsoft Access databases, Microsoft Excel files, CSV files and other formats. The prices of these packages start from around $30.

Advertising Ideas For Small Businesses

When you are running a small business it’s important that you use your advertising dollars wisely. You need to know exactly who to target your message to and how do it in a way that will get you results.

One of the best ways to do this is to get in the mind of your customers. Where do they go during a normal day? what do they read? what activities are they involved in? The more information you can learn about your customers better you can target advertising to them.

Once you have a good idea of who you’re targeting your message to, you’ll want to make sure you’re spending your money in the right places. Here are a few ideas on places that you can advertise that won’t cost you a lot of money can get great results.

Community events / sponsorship – Many local community events have sponsorship opportunities which allow you to support the event while advertising your brand. These can range from very inexpensive to expensive but this is a nice option because you’re supporting the community while advertising your brand.

Cable TV – Local cable TV can also be a cost effective resource to reach new customers. Some of the benefits of this are you get to choose your demographic that your advertising to get a pretty good idea of how many people you’re reaching. Also with TV this gives you a bit of a larger-than-life look which can differentiate you from the competition. And when you do the research you’ll realize it costs a lot less than you’d expect.

School events – For some businesses advertising at school events at local private and public schools can be a good option. This is especially good if you are networking within that school community and you want them to know your name. This is a great way to build relationships with the local community, and like sponsoring community events this is a nice option because you’re also supporting the local community

Local radio – Local radio stations can also be a nice place to advertise. Some radio stations set up deals where they will not only advertise your business but they will also have an on air personality talk about your business. This gives you access to their loyal listeners.

Web – Most of the big websites and search engines offer pay per click and pay per impression advertising. This can also be a great option especially for businesses that sell digital products or services they can sell online.

Every business is different when it comes to advertising but it’s important to find out what’s right you you. What do you think? What advertising has worked for your small business? Radio, Print, Web? Or something else? Let us know in the comments!