During Vend Raleigh’s annual conference, Illuminate ‘13, I had the chance to speak on how to reach your audience through advertising. Now, I realize just hearing those words can be a Debby Downer, but truthfully they do not have to be. Advertising your business is a must, but here is the great news, it can be done cheap and in so many ways as long as you are reaching your market.
I asked a few questions to the audience like, “Do you know the age, preferences, and income level of your consumers? Do you know if they are repeat or one-time customers? Do you know if your clients are local or national? And, do you know where they spend their free time, shopping, the playground, etc.?” As you can see from these questions, knowing the answers to them can be very helpful in many ways like what products/services you would offer, along with where to advertise.
So, what are a few of those advertising ideas? Word of mouth is great, when your business has been around for a while. I was just at a meeting in a ‘now’ well-known store in Cary and the owner of that store stated word of mouth for her didn’t take off until 3 years into their sales. So, when you are waiting on word of mouth to work think about:
- Partner with businesses that compliment yours
- Create content marketing and share on other websites
- Provide product reviews
- Offer giveaways on your website and others
- List your business in business directories on websites that promote to your target market
- Purchase online ads with websites, magazines, etc with demographics that reach your market
- Sponsor birthday clubs or teacher of the months
- Offer in-kind trades to advertising partners
As you can see from this list, the advertising options are almost endless. The trick is to just be creative and find marketing partners willing to believe in your product and want to see your business grow.
* Don’t forget to check out all the Illuminate ’13 speakers’ videos.