I think the best places to advertise is where your audience is. If you are in the food business then maybe look for food blogs and contact them to advertise or participate on food related forums where you could put up a signature linking to your food website. If you are having trouble figuring out the best places to advertise for the right price then consider hiring someone to do the research for you.
It definitely depends on your specific business. It is always best to advertise specifically to your target audience. Randomly advertising is usually not cost effective at all. You must take time to know who your customers are and where you can find a large group of them BEFORE you can effectively advertise.
In my business, it was easy to contact my potential customers directly as they were a specific type of business. A less niche-type business can prove more of a challenge targeting a specific group, but it can be done with thought, creativity, and experimentation. Be sure to always ask how new customers heard about your business. Word of mouth is the BEST form of advertising, so find ways to encourage your satisfied customers to share with their friends and family!
When we first took over, we was lucky that the company already had established clients in place, so our advertising budget was only small compared to what it would have been if it was a brand new start up.
Your right when you say that word of mouth is still one of the most popular ways of getting custom, and no matter what sector your business is in, happy customers will always spread the word to others about the service you've provided.
I do both, word of mouth is good too, I own two businesses so I do ads online and off for both, the cleaning business off line more then on though I do have a blog for it and give tips, the jewelry online mostly though I do a little off line as well, bulletin boards still work well for both. It really does depend on where your target audience is.
It depends on what I'm working with. Obviously, affiliate marketing takes place on the internet. And I'm not against trying to advertise via different mediums online. Blogging, forums, comments, and social media make fantastic virtual billboards for anyone willing to see what's being offered.
Outside of the wired world, a great deal of my personal advertising is done word of mouth or through business card exchanges. I find that confidence in myself is the best advertisement for my services in the long run. I am my own walking billboard lol.
While to some extent I do think the way you come across to others can make a big difference to how people see your business, what I've found is that as soon as people know your an owner, they immediately put their gaurd up and automatically think your going to be on the hard sell.
The sole intent of placing an ad anywhere is to generate leads for your business. And advertising in niche blogs and forums probably would get you better results. That's where I'd advertise first but if the ads don't get me what I want, I'd try other places too: social media, newspapers, etc.
Try sending out surveys first. Include the questions you want to gain insight on, for example:
"Which of these [give different advertising platforms] you use most?"
"What is a feature of advertisements that annoys you most?" --> make sure you avoid that in you advertisements!
"On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is [celebrity endorsement/ "you are worth it" / incentive to buy/ targeting a specific group etc.] in an advert?"
People can basically provide you with the answers so you know which platforms to advertise on, and HOW to advertise.
Highly recommend you a platform typeform.com:
-has digital outlook, templates;
-easy to use;
-unlimited number of questions and unlimited number of answers;
-lets you easily pick types of questions such as scale, multiple choice, picture choice, etc.
-lets you share easy link with people;
-gathers all the data into a table and lets you analyse it.
Demographics, demographics, demographics. I use super targeted ads like Facebook. Not only do I target to my audience in regards to age, gender, interests, but I also target geographically as well. Sounds like profiling, but the more granular I get, the better results I have.
I honestly do both! Because I live in a college town, I can easily post to public boards around the campus and in local cafes. It actually generates a lot of attention. I also have separate social media accounts for my business. I often post to my various college media accounts. I think it is always great to try both. Not everyone is on social media, and not everyone looks at post boards, but someone will see your advertisement.
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