There’s a common belief among business owners telling us low cost advertising is either ineffective or impossible.
And, like so many other things “eveybody knows” it’s wrong.
The first mistake they make to lead them to this conclusion is advertising costs at all.
Good advertising doesn’t cost a penny, because it makes you money.
The second mistake they make is assuming a bigger, more colourful ad is better than a smaller, plainer one. And this is rarely true. The only way to know for sure is to test, but that’s another (very important) subject.
But none of this is to say it’s not a good idea to pay as little as we have to for our advertising.
Because if we halve the amount we pay in advertising, we double our Return on Investment (ROI). Often low cost advertising makes the difference between profit and loss on a given run.
Why Low Cost Advertising Can Be More Effective
The problem with ads run by most small businesses is they try to make a “sale” right off the page (whether the “sale” is actually to sell something or sell the reader on the idea of coming into the store).
In fact, most of the time, ads don’t even do this: they’re basically big, expensive business cards stuck in the newspaper: logo, company name, and something about how long they’ve been in business. Newsflash: no one cares.
But properly crafted smaller ads which get your reader to take a specific action for their benefit rather than yours is often much more effective.
Here are some ways to get low cost advertising working for your business:
1. Use Permission Advertising
This is a term coined by Seth Godin, but has been around for a long time before that (taking an old concept and sticking a shiny new name on it to sell more stuff to people is an old trick, but a good one).
Basically, it’s where you advertise something and give it away for free – perhaps a free report or a free sample.
And in return, you get the reader’s name and address (or perhaps email address), and implicit permission to market to them. They’ve put their hands up and indicated interest in your offers.
The reason this is perfect for low cost advertising is you can place a very small ad in the press and have it direct people to a web-site or recorded message where you can tell your whole “story” very cheaply.
2. Pay Less for Your Ads (“real” Low Cost Advertising)
At the time of writing this, print advertising is very cheap. The recession means most businesses are pulling their ads and slashing their marketing budgets.
Supply and demand means the cost of advertising space falls – getting low cost advertising is very simple.
So if you’re advertising and it’s paying its way, call the publication and ask them to cut the rate you’re paying. Aim to cut it by 50%. No need to be nervous: the worst result is they say “no”.
Chances are, though, their businesses are suffering terribly and they’ll cave in and give you a substantial discount. It’s that simple – one more way for you to get some low cost advertising for your business.
3. Make Your Ads More Effective
As well as making your ads smaller and paying less for them, you can make them more effective.
By studying the fundamentals of what makes an ad good or not – the AIDA principle, strong copywriting, having an offer and call to action… all the things I share with you on this site and in my daily newsletter.
You’ll often find by concentrating on making your ads more effective (removing pointless white space and graphics, etc. you’ll also make them smaller, less colourful, and consequently cheaper).
Low cost advertising does NOT mean ineffective advertising if you stick to the principles we know work well.
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