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- What to do before you start advertising
- Get some free and low-cost advertising ideas
- Make sure you don't break the law
You don't have to spend lots of money to advertise and promote your brand. However you should always make sure your advertising considers where your target audience is. If you don't know the answer to this you should be doing market research and writing a marketing plan. This includes measuring your efforts and only continuing if it's working.
Some popular and easy options to consider are:
Use the local press
Consider placing an ad in a local weekly newspaper, that is delivered free around your area. They are read by a wide variety of local people and a big advantage is that advertising in local papers is still quite cheap.
Create and distribute niche flyers
If you focus on a particular area, flyers are a cheap way to advertise. Find someone in your business, or a friend or family member, who can help design the flyer for free or at a low cost, then you can print the flyer in at home and distribute them on bulletin boards and anywhere else your target market may be.
Win over an influential blogger
Find influential bloggers in your industry and ask them to review your product or service in return for a useful and free product and resource for them to use. If after some investigation you still can't a blogger who will review and write about your product for free, consider looking for ones who will do so for a small fee via websites such as Elance. The endorsement from an expert in industry can be quite influential. Another option is building your own blog.
Invest in Google AdWords
There is the potential to really increase the amount of customers that visit your business website using Google AdWords if you are have a structured and well planned campaign. A benefit of AdWords is you don’t have to spend a lot of money.
Try social media advertising
Facebook Ads give you the option of being able to target specific demographics. This means you can target people you haven't reached yet and try to engage them. Even if users don’t always make a purchase due to your Facebook ad, they can still end up 'liking' your business, which gives you the opportunity to create a database of potential customers.
Social media advertising is measurable, through insights and other analytics. It's also ideal for short-term strategies and to generate traffic to your website or other channels.
Create a Google Places listing
If you list your business on Google My Business, it will pop up on Google Maps searches, and give users the opportunity to share reviews and give your business a rating. If you do decide to list your business, make sure you have a Gmail account specific to your business, then start there.
Honest advertising practicesThe marketing messages that represent your products or services should be accurate, true and able to be substantiated. Honest advertising practices are governed by law and there are fines for businesses that mislead consumers, whether intentionally or not.
There are a number of laws which govern advertising to ensure honest practices - the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) website has more information on advertising and promoting your business in accordance with the Australian Consumer Law.
Case Study: How to get free editorial in the Herald-Sun
'The best form of marketing by far is word of mouth, so making sure the customer has a great experience is the first priority.'Timna Fried, Sweet Crumble cafe and patisserie
Read more on How to get free editorial in the Herald Sun