Find What Works
To grow your business more quickly, you will need to consider spending money on marketing. However, where you spend your money can be scary when you are on a tight budget. We want to help you determine the best option that brings the greatest return on investment for your business.
When I used to own and operate an alarm company with my father, we had a unique way of marketing. My dad was never much for traditional advertising, though we tried a few isolated times. So, no, we built our company on people instead.
From the early days of the company, we started a telemarketing department. We would run a monthly draw for an alarm system (equipment & installation) and one year of alarm monitoring. We placed draw boxes at over 50 restaurants throughout Saskatoon to enter the draw.
Our draw facilitator would go around monthly to collect all the ballot entries. Then we would have an accounting firm draw a winner from the ballots.
Once the draw was complete, our telemarketing team would call all the non-winning entries with a special offer. Our telemarketers were experts in the follow-up. Their repeat calls helped them build a relationship, continually being the alarm company the customer came to remember. With this marketing method, we grew to one of the biggest private alarm firms in Western Canada in less than five years.
Telemarketing worked well for us and was the least risky marketing avenue. We knew our input costs and our return on investment. Our marketing team was paid minimum wage plus bonuses for every lead that turned into a sale. They could make a good wage if they were good at what they did.
My dad was very cautious when it came to advertising. I get it; with a limited budget, it’s hard to give your money away in hopes of increasing sales, especially when it’s not a method you’ve tested before. So we would dabble in other marketing mediums, but dabbling doesn’t really work in advertising. It takes more than one ad in a newspaper or magazine to become a brand that people recognize.
Single Hit Marketing
Investing in one-off marketing is a poor decision when you are a small business with a limited budget. I remember speaking with a small business owner who was excited that they were being featured in a high-end local magazine. I was excited for them until we talked a little more about it.
They paid for an advertorial in a magazine. An in-depth, multipage spread on their business with a professional photoshoot. This fantastic marketing piece could be theirs for a one-time fee of $4000. This would have been a great showpiece, but it would still only hit the audience once, even with its distribution.
Multipage magazine spreads are much the same as full-page newspaper ads, outdoor billboards and large event sponsorships. Large companies with six- and seven-figure advertising budgets, not small businesses, use these for branding.
The best marketing for small businesses is one where there is repetition, repetition, repetition.
Get Marketing Tips in Your Email
Repetition in Marketing
Big brands have been utilizing repeat marketing for decades. Which of the following slogans do you recognize? If unsure, hover your cursor over the slogan to find out the brand behind it.
- Just do it. (since 1988)
- The nighttime, sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching head, fever so you can get rest medicine. (since 1979)
- Good to the last drop. (since 1915)
- Finger lickin’ good. (since 1956)
- Snap! Crackle! Pop! (since 1930’s)
- Taste the rainbow. (since 1994)
“Ok, so repetition works, but how can I afford it?”
Not all repetitive advertising is expensive. It’s all about finding a cost-effective option and sticking with it long-term.
Online advertising is typically the best choice because it can be highly targeted. No more throwing money at ads being served to people who will never purchase your products or services.
When you advertise through social media or Google Ads, you can adjust your ad spend to fit your budget. As you find what works, increase your budget to reach a larger audience and increase sales even more.
Facebook tracks ad frequency (repetition), impressions (total times people see it) and reaches (number of unique people who have seen your ad). With these three statistics, you can determine how effective your ads are. This helps the advertiser tweak ads for increased clicks and improved ROI. For example, sometimes, it takes seeing an ad up to 11 times before people will recognize the business.
Video ads on YouTube, targeted at your ideal customer, are another excellent option for repetitive advertising that fits the small business budget.
Whatever marketing platform you decide on, make sure that you increase marketing frequency. It takes patience and consistency to see returns in advertising, regardless of the marketing form.