If you are not devoting any money towards advertising, you may as well pick a day to close your business.
All successful, long operating businesses have one thing in common: a marketing budget. Many business owners underestimate the importance of marketing and view it as wasted money or an unneeded expense. This is extremely far from the truth and a very short sighted way of thinking.
There are a variety of factors that go into what your marketing budget should be: your industry, your company size, your competition, growth stage, and location. All of these are main factors and one may carry more weight than others.
We recently sat down with a close friend who owned a business that was closing after being opened for over a decade. When we asked what his advertising budget was he said he never had one. Increasing rent on his location and declining sales were believed to be the primary factors he stated, however he did not know that not spending a dollar on marketing was really the cause.
Give your business, and your hard work, the recognition it deserves. Pick a suitable budget and stick with it. Tell people about it! Give them a coupon, give them some incentive to visit you! Have a sale and tell the world about it! Give things away! The more outlets your message is distributed on the better your chances are of getting a new customer, or increasing the frequency of a return visit from an existing customer.
What Do You Spend?
A good starting point is 7% of your average revenue. That number should be your annual marketing budget. From the annual budget divide it by two: one for branding and one for promotion.
When Do You Spend?
Will you be advertising weekly? Monthly? Quarterly?
Where Do You Spend?
Television / Local Cable Commercials – Discuss with your marketing representative ideal time slots for running your advertisement. Television commercials can be expensive to create and produce, so make sure they will be displayed when people are actually watching television. Less expensive time slots are less expensive for a reason: most likely no one is watching television at 4:00AM.
Radio (AM/FM/Satellite) Spots – Same logic with television spots. The commuting hours to and from work are ideal time slots.
Billboard – A well positioned billboard can receive hundreds of thousands of impressions.
Internet – Depending on who handles your web work, this could be your most powerful way of advertising.
Social Media – Social Media accounts are free, but the work that goes into your postings can be costly if you do not have a dedicated social media representative.
Print/Newspaper – Offering a discount on a flyer or newspaper advertisement is a great way to raise brand awareness.
Mailing – Bulk mailing in a locally distributed coupon or advertisement flyer.
E-mailing – Make connections with loyal customers and distribute promotional material to thousands of potential customers.
Don’t Blow Your Budget On One Media Spend
Unless you’re trying to reach one specific target audience, it’s generally unwise to spend your whole budget on one type of media. Diversify your media spends, just like your investment portfolio, for maximum results and exposure. Contact Go Social for a free consultation on what your marketing budget should be and the best avenues for distributing promotional materials.