When it comes to media buying and advertising for small businesses, it's essential to make every penny count. Here are some tips on how to utilize a small business's smaller budget for media buying & advertising:
Make sure your target audience is clearly defined: Determine who your target audience is (age, career, location, socioeconomic status, etc.) and which media channels they use the most. This will help you to begin to focus your advertising budget towards the right people.
Set a realistic budget and stick to it: This is the most obvious step, but it bears repeating...determine how much you can afford to spend on advertising in total, but be realistic and knowledgeable about what you can expect to achieve with your budget. If you have high goals and want to utilize channels like television or print, you need to be prepared to spend a sizable chunk of change for the time, effort, expertise, and media costs associated with creating those types of campaigns. If you have quotas you’re serious about reaching, consider employing the help of an agency (like us!) who can give you realistic and detailed outlines of cost.
Negotiate rates: Reach out to different media outlets and negotiate rates to get the best deals. Some outlets may offer discounts or promotions, especially if you are a new advertiser or committing to a contractual/long-term advertising campaign.
Choose off-peak times: Select off-peak times such as late-night or early-morning time slots on television and radio. Rates for these times are often lower than prime-time slots, and you can still reach a significant audience.
Focus on regional advertising: Target regions or local markets to reduce the cost of advertising. Focus on smaller geographical areas will help keep cost low and allow you to have greater impact with the available dollars.
Use remnant advertising: Remnant advertising is unsold advertising inventory that media outlets offer at discounted rates. This can be a great way to get advertising space at a lower cost, but be aware that the space may be less desirable.
Repurpose content: Repurpose your advertising content across multiple channels. For example, you can use a radio ad script to create a social media ad or print ad. This can reduce production costs and ensure consistency across your advertising campaigns.
Use targeted advertising: Use targeted advertising to reach your ideal customers. With platforms like Facebook and Google Ads, you can target your ads to specific demographics, interests, and behaviors, ensuring that your ads are seen by the people most likely to be interested in your products or services.
Monitor and optimize campaigns: Monitor the success of your campaigns by tracking metrics such as engagement rates, click-through rates, conversions, and leads generated. Use this information to adjust and improve your advertising campaigns to ensure that you are maximizing your budget.
Leverage free marketing channels: Consider leveraging marketing channels that have low to no inherent costs, such as social media, email marketing, and content marketing to supplement your paid advertising efforts. These channels can be very effective in reaching your target audience without requiring a large budget.
Finally, the best advice we can give about advertising on a budget: enlist the help of an agency! Dollar for dollar, it’s almost always less expensive than hiring an in-house employee, and you get access to a knowledgeable team and all of their connections and resources. Let The Ward Group help you in meeting your goals as well as your budget.