Business Advertising Information

Business advertising avenues offer free marketing and many options that can give you bonus exposure for your advertising dollar.

Millions of new businesses start up each week and the key to their success, and yours, is the same: effective advertising and low cost marketing techniques. I have met many business owners who believe that they do not have a budget for advertising. Then there are the other business owners that believe they can not afford NOT to advertise. My answer to them both is that advertising is essential but then I refer them to the following quote. "Advertising doesn't have to be expensive to be effective." Brad Richdale's quote is true, there are many advertising avenues that offer free marketing and even more options that can give you more exposure for your advertising dollar than you may think.

PRESS RELEASE

A well written press release is a excellent way to make the public aware of your product or company. You can submit a press release to local and national newspapers, radio, television, magazines and trade publications both online and off. Make your press release attention grabbing, truthful and newsworthy to get an editors attention. For best results focus your article on a targeted audience instead of a wide readership.

SPONSOR CONTESTS

Another way to receive free advertising is to offer to sponsor a contest for a community event or large publication. By furnishing the winning prize your advertising can come in a variety of methods. If the contest in on-line you will be offered a free banner link or rotation on the contest entry page and are often given a 6-8 line advertisement to be included in a subscriber newsletter. Normally this advertising package can cost from $30 - several hundred dollars depending on the size of the web site. When sponsoring an online contest always ask how many unique visitors they receive to their site in a month or how many participants visited the contest page during their last contest. You could be asked to send the prize to the main web site prior to the contest or forward the prize directly to the winner. Be aware that you will be responsible for shipping costs no-matter which country the winner resides in.

Twice a year public television stations will also have a broadcast in which prizes can be donated in exchange for advertising or the merchandise could be auctioned. Generally you will be asked to provide a sentence or two to be read on-air while your product is being shown by the camera. Some public stations will also allow you to choose the demographical area you wish your merchandise to be used. I recommend that only large companies utilize public television donations as a way to generate advertising or if you need a tax write-off for the merchandise. Most small corporations or home-based business will not be able to contribute merchandise within their minimum prize value without hurting their inventory base.

MAILING LISTS

The internet has hundreds of thousands of mailing list that you can subscribe to and sell your product or service. Even if the list group does not allow you to sell your product, it is common practice to have a 6-8 line "signature line" that is automatically put at the bottom of all outgoing messages, e-mail responses and forwarding e-mails.

Using a search engine you can read a description of what types of lists are available to choose the ones that would be made up of your target audience or potential customers.

BULLETIN BOARDS

Don't forget to make up flyers to post at local grocery store and community bulletin boards. Also known as BBS's the internet Bulletin Boards are also a free advertising avenue worldwide.

ONLINE AUCTIONS

Although online auctions can take a lot of time to run successfully, they can also be very profitable. The large auction sites generally charge you a fee to not only sell your item but also to list it. Some fee's are percentage based while other sites are a flat fee per listing. Smaller auction sites are usually free and although they do not receive as many browsers, I have had the same amount of successful sales without being out any fee's!

CHAT ROOMS

On-Line chat rooms are a location where people can communicate in real time. Chat rooms are available for just about every topic and are divided into rooms by category.



NETWORKING

Taking the time to meet other business owners at internet malls, homepages, websites, community events and industry craft-fairs are another good way to advertise your business. Fellow business owners are generally eager to share their success as well as their failures and can pass you information regarding potential clients that they themselves could not help in their area of expertise.

BUSINESS CARDS

Having business cards available is essential in networking whether you are working with fellow business owners or potential clients. I am listed business cards as a free advertisement because there are several companies that will print over 250 business cards and address labels absolutely free for your use. Why? They want advertising space that will be saved and read too. The backside of the labels will have company information printed on it and the flipside of the business card will as well. Just another idea you could use in getting your advertising out there in front of people too!

ADVERTISING EXCHANGE

Where direct mailing campaigns can be costly it is very inexpensive to join a group of fellow business associates who will mail out your advertisement with their product orders. You in turn offer to do the same so it is a win-win situation for all involved only costing you the paper the advertisement is printed on!

WRITING ARTICLES

When I first started my own home-business I started placing advertisements in many targeted publications. It wasn't long before I realized that the one or two orders I received rarely paid for the advertisement itself. Still, an order was an order-one that I would not have received otherwise right? Then I realized that there are a shortage of good articles for publications both online and offline as well. By writing an article about a topic my target audience would be interested in I could get my advertisement in the same publications that I had been advertising in...for free!

The key is to write an article that is interesting enough that the readership will continue reading to the bottom of the article where your author by-line and company information is located. I suggest that you avoid listing your credentials as a writer but use the space to advertise your product or service. Include a web site or e-mail address where applicable.

This ad space will only work if you get the readers immediate attention. Offering a coupon or discount can be both eye catching and might be the incentive they need to act upon.

Most articles used online will be archived and you need to be willing to honor the coupon if product orders surface months later from an archived article being read.

Although it is a personal choice, make sure you will be maintaining your copy-write, unless the publication is willing to offer you payment for your work.

REMNANT SPACE ADVERTISING

When your advertising budget will allow you to look into paid advertising you should rarely have to pay full price. Almost every media has left over space that the industry refers to as "remnant space". Advertising is a perishable commodity and it is not uncommon to be able to purchase bonus television or radio airtime if you ask for it as a package deal. Newspapers offer the most remnant space but could be more difficult to work with unless you have established yourself as a regular advertiser. You will generally not be able to choose the time or location in which your remnant space advertising is ran.

© High Speed Ventures 2011