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There are a lot of misunderstandings about advertising among small business owners. These myths can affect how well you market your business and how effective your advertising is.
Being able to advertise your business to the right audience without breaking the bank is essential if you’re going to succeed. That means you need to know the strategies that work in today’s market rather than simply doing what you’ve always done.
Let’s look at some common misconceptions and uncover the truth.
As a small business, you might look at the cost of a television spot or radio ad and conclude that you simply can’t afford to advertise. However, you know that word-of-mouth can only go so far, so your business has plateaued and isn’t growing anymore.
This is due to the misconception that you can’t advertise to a small niche market. In the past, it was challenging. You needed to be able to get on television or on the radio to get attention. But today’s advertising is primarily online, and it’s more targeted than ever.
A social media ad on Facebook allows you to target an audience with extreme precision. It’s almost scary how much Facebook knows about its users, and you can take advantage of that information to give a personalized message to a very specific group of people. As a result, your advertising will be much more effective.
When you can describe a very specific need and exactly how your product or service will meet it, you’ll generate interest, leads, and new customers. Best of all, Facebook advertising is far less expensive than traditional broadcast advertising.
There are other ways to reach a local audience as well, with geo-targeting and other local strategies. This saves you money and dramatically increases your return on investment (ROI).
If you’ve been in business for a long time, you might be familiar with less-than-ethical advertising practices that were common decades ago. This might make you feel that your small business shouldn’t use advertising, because it’s manipulative and slimy.
The good news is that you can advertise without any manipulation at all. The goal is simply to create an emotional connection with your audience by demonstrating that you understand what they aspire to, and you can help them get there.
As a plumber, for example, you can talk about how homeowners want to feel secure that their water and pipes are reliable and won’t cause damage. You can meet that need with an annual inspection package. End with an invitation for them to contact you or sign up.
Anyone, from a lawn care company to a B2B SaaS company, can do the same thing. Think about what keeps your ideal customer up at night saying “If only I could…” and then show that you meet that need. No slimy tactics are needed!
Another common question we hear is, “Are advertising and marketing the same thing?” It’s natural to confuse the two since they both draw attention to your company, products, and services.
However, advertising and marketing are not the same thing. Advertising is a marketing method that involves interrupting consumers in the middle of a preferred activity, like watching a television show, browsing the internet, or listening to the radio. In the middle of that activity, your company pays to share your message for a specific timeframe, such as 30 seconds.
There are other marketing methods, many of which are more effective than advertising. For example, search engine optimization (SEO) helps you rank more highly on Google search results so that when a consumer is searching for information about your industry, your company appears as a trusted resource. As the consumer engages with your website, they see that you can meet their needs and are encouraged to contact you.
Understanding the wide variety of marketing methods will help you choose the outreach that connects with your ideal audience most effectively, saving you time and money. You don’t have to rely on advertising alone!
The final major misconception that small business owners have is that they can handle all the advertising they need alone, or can delegate the work to an administrative assistant.
Imagine a consumer deciding they don’t need your company’s professional expertise, they can do the work by themselves. What would happen? They’d make a mess of things and then call you, paying even more money so that you can fix the mistakes and do it right.
That’s what business owners do all the time. They try to DIY their marketing and advertising, only to discover that they aren’t getting the results they need. Then they reach out to a marketing firm that has to fix the mistakes and do it correctly.
Don’t waste your time and money in this way. Work with a professional right away, so that you can focus on running your business and rest easy knowing that professional marketers are improving your online presence.
Now that you know the truth behind several common misconceptions, it’s time to get your marketing and advertising on the right track. Using marketing methods like SEO can help you reduce your reliance on pay-to-play messaging.
To learn more about how inbound marketing can help you save time and money, contact us for a consultation today!