Advertising money is a scary thing to spend. You’re basically putting money into a theory—a theory that you’ll get more customers or increased sales. But, without proper strategy and thorough planning, your advertising program can send you straight into debt. Don’t worry though, we’ve outlined the do’s and don’ts for advertising your small business:

Out with the old 

Print advertisements were once the king of advertisement, but they’re quickly losing their mantra. They aren’t worthless, but they definitely deserve less attention, and less of your business’s money, than they once did. Although most of us think of newspaper and magazine advertisements as print advertising, brochures, flyers, and direct mail all fall in the category, too.

If you decide to promote your business with print advertisements, your best bet is to focus on branding: brochures, flyers, handouts, any sort of print collateral that you can make eye-catching and engaging. These are more intimate and engaging forms that are more likely to render sales. Or, you can choose the newspaper advertisement route. But, keep in mind that circulations for U.S. daily newspapers—print and digital—fell 8%...

 

Someone change the channel, a commercial’s on

Okay, so people aren’t reading, but they’re watching, right? Well, not exactly. With the rise of DVR, HBO, and Netflix, advertisements are seen a lot less frequently. What does that mean for your local commercial that you worked so tirelessly to create? Well, that isn’t being seen by nearly as many people as you thought it would.

Instead: focus your time on creating a video for your Facebook or Twitter account. Not an advertisement necessarily, but an informative, emotional, funny story that is likely to be shared. You don’t have to have a crazy idea, just something that is cute enough to be noticed. Take Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine’s video that went viral for example. Low budget, funny, and cute!

 

No better way to waste money

You’re on your way to work, the grocery store, or maybe you’re on a 5-hour trip to visit your sister. So, you turn on the radio for a little background noise. Maybe your favorite song comes on so you jam along, but then it turns off and you zone out. You’re thinking about what you’re going to do for the weekend, or how much you have to get done at work. Or, you don’t tune out, but the station goes to a commercial break. So, you immediately switch to another station.

Yes, it happens to all of us, almost daily. Especially the millennial generation that opts for auxiliary cords over morning shows. So, why are companies still wasting money on advertising over the radio?

Radio stations have a way of manipulating small businesses into buying advertisement packages their companies just simply can’t afford. Not only are they useless, but they are also way too overpriced for their ROI.

 

So, if not radio, then what?

Blogging and Search Engine Optimization.

Think about it for a second. Whether you’re broadcasting on local television stations or radio stations, every time the advertisement appears, you are facing another cost out of your pocket. Yeah, you may get a few new costumers, but you also may get no new customers. That means your advertisement is just pushing you into debt.

With blogging and search engine optimization, you simply create properly written, informative content that search engines award you for. How? They’ll continuously lead consumers to your website and content over and over, even months down the road at absolutely no cost (besides the cost of hiring a blogger, of course).

 

The new but the overcrowded

Obviously, technology is on a bit of a take over. You pretty much can’t go anywhere without running into it. But, with so much emphasis on technology comes an overcrowded system of advertisement information. Voices are constantly fighting over engagement and consumers often view advertisements as overbearing. That’s why users, especially millennials, are more frequently tuning them out than responding. It’s true that advertisements are growing to almost every social outlet, including Snapchat and Instagram, but this clearly isn’t fooling millennials.

An alternative that greater suits small business goals?  Put your time into online content and branding. As we discussed, this will help you increase sales without fearing that your ad will never be seen.

 

The optimal

You have your branding down pat and your SEO content is continuously updating. Now you’re ready to really make your brand known. There’s no better way to do that than through supermarket advertising. Check out why supermarket advertising is the go-to for small and medium businesses.