Choosing which types of advertising media to use to promote your business is often difficult for business owners. Every salesperson tells you how great their media company is, but how do you know for sure which will give you a return on your investment?
Business Coaching Insight:
Testing and measuring is the best way to determine which media are the most effective for your business. Make sure you build in a call-to-action mechanism so the response is easy to measure
There is a whole industry dedicated to the art and science of media planning and buying - big companies usually outsource to media buying agencies.
However, this is often an unaffordable option for small business owners so how do you make sure you don’t waste money?
Realistically, without the research and analytical tools that media buying agencies have, the only way to know if it works is to try the different types of advertising media and then test and measure.
Here’s a brief rundown of the relative advantages and disadvantages of the different types of advertising media.
TV is the ultimate advertising medium to use because pretty much everyone watches TV so it has the potential to reach lots of people. Also, because it has a mix of audio and visual it tends to be recalled more easily (unless your creative work is unmemorable).
Be aware that costs are determined both by viewing figures and demand from advertisers. Costs vary by channel, month, program and time of day. If you are given a schedule that only has late night spots it will be cheaper but only night owls will be watching so will it be effective for you?
Print media are generally on the decline but newspapers still serve a purpose – especially in regional areas.
Whilst broad print media are on the decline, niche magazines are holding their own and they are an affordable option for small businesses.
Cost-wise radio advertising is one of the more affordable types of advertising media for small businesses. It works well for some small businesses but be choosy about which stations you use.
5. Outdoor (Out of Home/Posters)
Outdoor media are rarely viable options for small businesses – they are costly both for the media space and print costs.
Only consider it if there’s a really good deal being offered or if there’s a tactical opportunity to buy a site close to your business location as signage.
Unless your target audience is youth, cinema advertising should probably not be one of your first choices when determining which types of advertising media to use. It does tend to be effective when people see your ad but it’s a slow-burn.
Does it work for you or not?
Advertising in directories like the Yellow Pages can be costly and because people are beginning to search more and more online, many small businesses are rightly questioning whether they really need to use them.
There is a trend towards small businesses cutting their spend and running smaller space sizes.
The answer will be different for every business and very much depends on the type
of business and category you’re in. It also depends on how good your
online presence is and whether you're operating in a city or regional area (people in major cities are more likely to search online).
The future for search is online and so Yellow
Pages are developing more digital world opportunities.
Business Coaching Questions: