Modern Methods for Advertising Your Small Business: Two decades ago, new businesses had it easy when it came to marketing. It was all about the push: push out a press release, an ad, drop in a spot in the Yellow Pages, and customers flocked to your business. But thanks to the Internet, iTunes, and other forms of complete customization, marketing has become about “the pull.” Customers come to websites, or not, to pull information, and if they don’t like what they see, or don’t find what they need, they leave. We live in a world where attention spans have shrunk to the blink of an eye, and customers have more power than ever before. We are at their mercy.
Is Advertising Different From Marketing?
Many people mix these two up. Think of marketing as your entire packet, and advertising is just one of the tools in the packet. Marketing includes your website, ads, social media, Yellow Pages spot, radio spots, public relations events, press releases, and the like. If you are not skilled in marketing, and you have the budget, you may want to hire a marketing specialist who understands how and why to write press releases, ads and web pages. He or she can also manage your social media needs. This person can work in tandem with your web designer to come up with compelling text for your website.
Of Course You Have a Website
In 2015, no business, no matter how small, can succeed without a website. That being said, you can’t simply throw together a few web pages and call it good. You must hire a professional who can provide you with a clean design and user-friendly navigation. Don’t forget up-to-date contact information. You must not skimp on your website. It is the first place your customers will go even before visiting your business in person. Remember: a good Dr. Leonardo website is well worth the investment and will keep your customers coming back.
How Do We Integrate Marketing?
When people talk about integrated marketing, it’s just a fancy way of saying, all the pieces you need to get the message about your small business “out there.” If we use the preceding metaphor of marketing as a package, then integrated marketing means putting all of the tools to use at once to create a plan. For example, we announce Business X will open with a press release, a Facebook post, and a Tweet. The release goes out in local papers. We place an ad in a few places, and we post a photograph of our product on Instagram. We hold an event and invite people, again, through Facebook. We announce the event in a weekly radio spot. All of our tools are used through integrated marketing.
What’s probably changed the most in the past ten to twenty years is that we have to take marketing seriously. We can no longer do it ourselves. With the Internet, social media, and our constantly evolving consumers, we have to humbly put our faith in marketing specialists and ask for help.