Deciding which media outlet(s) to utilize can be overwhelming and much more complicated than it used to be. The previous generation of business owners had only a few options to consider (anyone else remember how tan their Yellow Pages rep got in the summer?). These days, local businesses find themselves inundated with sales calls regarding a seemingly endless list of advertising opportunities. To help fight through the clutter, here are five questions to ask yourself before you consider which media outlet is the best fit to help grow your business.
#1: Is it easy to do business with you?
Consumer industry statistics show that more than 80% of consumers research a business online before making a purchase. If you haven’t invested in a website that represents your products, services and makes it easy to do business with you, get this taken care of first. Without a functioning website you’re simply not in the game.
Similarly, most of us use our smart phones to get to where we’re going. Whether it’s a cup of coffee or our next business meeting, our phones navigate us. If the search engines don’t have your correct information (location, phone number, URL) you are making it difficult for potential customers to find you. Get this piece buttoned up as well.
#2: Who are you looking for?
Dig into this question. Be choosy. Get specific. In today’s media world, you can hyper-target potential customers resulting in less waste of your advertising spending.
#3: What’s the goal of your campaign?
Do you want to brand your business so you’re top of mind when your product/service is needed? Do you have excess product you need to move quickly? Maybe you have a community event you need to publicize. Each media outlet has their strengths and weaknesses. By answering this question, you get a step closer to determining which outlet is ideal for you.
#4: What is your expectation and how will you measure your ROI?
It’s nerve-racking spending money without knowing if it will pay off. Campaigns can be stopped short, and money wasted, without a clear measurement of success. Ask yourself what your expectation is. If your goal is to get 25 new clients from this campaign, then how many leads will you need? Do you know how many impressions it takes to get one lead? How will you measure that lead? Will they call you, stop in, or go to your website? Do you have a system internally to track these statistics? Having a solid, consistent structure to measure your results will make you a savvy advertiser.
#5: Are you a patient person?
We all know advertising works but it often takes time to gain momentum and see results. Determine your budget, and the length of time you are comfortable with, and stick with it. Resist the urge to stop the campaign early if you don’t see immediate sales. With time and the right outlet(s), your sales will start to rise!
After considering these five questions, you are now ready to start researching which media outlet is best for you. In an upcoming blog, we will explore a variety of advertising outlets and examine their individual strengths and weaknesses. Stay tuned!