If you’re a business owner, you know how it goes – you have a business, or a product, or an event, and you go through all the options (can you say overwhelm?) pick SOMEthing, because SOMEthing’s gotta work, and instead, you end up feeling like you just threw your money in the garbage, and wish you had at least gotten a Margarita and guacamole with?
Advertising is one of those nebulous marketing channels that, from the outside, can be a tough nut to crack. The first truth is that if you are just putting money down on types of advertising without doing some up front work on targeting, and goals, the advertising will definitely NOT serve you. So, what can you do to make advertising work? Here are a few ideas:
- Make sure you know your GOAL – is it increased page likes, getting people to an event, having people sign up for your newsletter….? Get specific.
- Determine your desired RETURN – what would you consider effective? How many people do you want at your event? How many widgets do you want to sell, and what percent of that should your advertising bring you?
- Know your REACH. Blanket advertising to EVERYONE might not work as well as targeting. So, if you’re having an event in New York, advertising in Brooklyn and Queens and Manhattan is more likely to net you a return than one in California. However, if your event is far enough out, people in California might book a flight and come in. Also, if you know you tend to attract a specific industry or interest, make sure you are looking for resources that reach those specific groups.
- Justify your TIMING. As mentioned above, when you advertise could play a role. If it’s 2 weeks before an event versus 8 weeks before, your geography target may be vastly different.
- Know your CHANNEL. It pays to know where your target audience is so you know the right channels to use (Facebook, versus article, versus paid ad in newspaper, versus TV ad….)
Be patient – as you grow your business, so, too, grows your understanding of the best advertising that works for you!