Simple Advertising 101
Let’s start with what is advertising? Advertising is the act or profession of producing advertisements for commercial products or services. Advertising is all around us and comes in many forms.
Because of this, it can seem overwhelming to think of what you need to do to successfully advertise your business. Depending on who you ask, you’ll be told there are anywhere from 4-10 different ways to advertise. We’ll briefly go over all 10 and what they consist of.
Display Ads are the equivalent of newspaper ads. They are advertisements you see as you’re surfing the web and different websites. They’re commonly found on blogs, web articles, etc.
Display ads are becoming a popular form of advertising as we are living in the digital age and just about everyone spends time online at some point during their day. You can run Google ads for a relatively low cost, making this an easy and effective form of simple advertising.
Social Media Ads are exactly what they sound like! They are the ads you see when you’re looking through social media apps such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. You can pay the platforms to promote your posts to people who don’t follow you to try and gain followers and sales for your business.
Social media ads are similar to display ads and should be utilized by every business. You don’t need to advertise on all platforms, but you should see what is most popular within your demographic.
Newspapers & Magazines are traditional mediums for advertising, although they are becoming less and less relevant during the digital age. Plenty of people still read print materials, so it is still a viable option, but you do limit your audience.
While there is still value to posting ads in newspapers and magazines, once again you should check your demographics. If you have a younger audience, this form of simple advertising may not be as successful.
Outdoor Advertising is anything and everything outdoors that is used for advertising. Billboards, flags, taxis, bus stops, banners, etc are forms of outdoor advertising. This is a great way to advertise as you reach a large audience of new and old people every day.
Outdoor advertising is some of the easiest, most cost-efficient, and popular forms of advertising out there. Just about any and every business can use some form of outdoor signage to help increase awareness and sales.
Radio & Podcasts are verbal forms of advertising you can use. You can have a pre-recorded ad that you send to radio stations or podcasts to broadcast to their audience. This is a great way to target a specific audience as you can use stations or podcasts that also share your common customers.
Podcasts are becoming more and more popular, allowing for more opportunities to find a niche market to advertise to. As always, you should do your market research, but knowing the type of podcasts/radio stations your target audience listens to can help you take advantage of this form of simple advertising.
Direct Mail & Personal Sales is the dying form of advertising. No one cares for junk mail and door-to-door salespeople occur less and less. While this is still a viable advertising option, there are much better and easier ways to advertise for your business.
While you could still see some success in this form of advertising, it is not as popular as it once was and can even hurt your business if you’re not careful. Since we are moving into the digital age, direct mail and door-to-door sales tactics are becoming obsolete and can even turn potential customers off from your business.
Video ads are things like commercials that you see. While these are obviously common on television, they are also being incorporated into streaming services such as Hulu, YouTube, etc. Video ads don’t have to be professionally made and are an easy way for businesses to spread their message.
Similar to the rise in podcasts, advertising on streaming platforms, Youtube, Twitch, etc are becoming more and more popular. This could be an opportunity for your business to reach a new audience that you may not have realized was even there.
Product Placement isn’t only showing labels on TV shows or movies. Product placement can also be paying a podcast host, Youtuber, talk show host, etc to mention or use your products on air.
Product placement is more about subtly than anything else. You want it to seem organic that the host/tv show/etc are using your product. If it seems too forced, it makes it seem less authentic and more like they’re trying to sell you something.
Event Marketing is when you pay to help support an event or charity. Sponsoring a large event is great exposure as your brand will be seen by a variety of people, including some that you may not be specifically targeting.
This is popular with bigger companies or businesses. Think about sports stadiums, live events, conferences, etc. While the companies may not be directly advertising to you, since their logo will be plastered all over the event, it’s a good use of subliminal messaging.
Email Marketing is an easy way to keep yourself on the mind of the consumer. Offer a newsletter for people to sign up for that gives them updates, exclusive coupons, and more. Be wary of sending too many emails as this will cause people to unsubscribe.
You can easily add a newsletter subscription box to your website or at the end of a checkout page. You don’t want to force people to sign up or sign them up without their permission, as this can make you seem spammy and unprofessional.
This may seem like a lot, but it’s important to understand all of your options when it comes to advertising. Every business is different and your needs may not be the same as other companies. It’s important to research and see what forms of advertising are going to benefit you and your business the most.
Now that we’ve discussed all the different forms of advertising there are, let’s talk about making an advertising game plan.
How to Create a Simple Advertising Plan
When considering advertisements for your business, it’s important to have a plan. This will not only help you stay organized, but it will also help you stay on budget. There are 5 easy steps you can take to create a simple advertising plan.
Step 1: Start with your goal. What are you trying to advertise? Are you trying to attract more customers, clear a certain inventory? This is important so you keep your advertising consistent and don’t stray off message.
Step 2: Plan your budget. Once your goal is set, it’s time to see how much money you can put aside for your ad. This step is probably the most important as it will determine what type of advertising you do. The bigger the budget, the more you can advertise.
Step 3: Develop a message. Now that you have your goal and your budget, it’s time to start working out your message. You want to use language that will help sell your services. Think about your target audience and how you want to reach out to them. The message is a big part of the advertisement, so do research if you need to!
Step 4: Start First Campaign. Once you have the above steps done, it’s time to create your first campaign! Use the pre-determined message to order whatever advertising your budget allows. Don’t spend your whole budget all in one go, though. It’s best to start with a smaller campaign so you can see how your message is received and make changes if needed.
Step 5: Diversify. Once your first campaign has been in use for roughly a month, you can reevaluate your approach, make any needed adjustments, then put out more ads in multiple locations. Whether your choose digital or print ads, it’s important to use them in more than one location to increase your chances of being seen.
The first time creating an advertising plan can seem stressful and overwhelming. The good news is, once you’ve done it, it only gets easier and easier. You’ll have an idea of what works for your business and the audience you’re targeting. All you’ll need to change from time to time is the message of what you want to advertise and maybe your budget.
There are multiple ways you can approach your simple advertising plan, the above example is just a rough outline you can use. Every business is going to have different needs, so it’s important for you to do your own research as well. See what your competition is doing and how you can do it better.
Simple Advertisement Checklist
Okay, so you know how to make the plan, but what else is there to consider when advertising? This checklist can vary from person to person, but the gist of it should be the same. You want to make sure you keep track of how you’ve advertised, where you’ve advertised, and how much you’ve spent for starters.
Just like everything else with running a business, having a list and staying organized is going to keep things running smoothly and ensure you’re making the most of your marketing. What you put on your checklist will differ from company to company, but it will follow a similar guideline as the steps listed above.
You want to make sure you’re seeing a positive turnover with your advertisements. If you end up losing money after your campaign is over, that means it was unsuccessful. Keeping track of new sales after your ad goes up will allow you to see sales patterns.
After your ad goes up, depending on what your message is, it can be anywhere from days to months before you see a positive turnover. If you’re advertising something immediate such as a sale or discount for your business, those results should be immediate, seeing an increase within a week’s time if your ad is successful. If you’re trying to raise awareness, spread a message, etc, it could take longer to see a positive impact since the campaign isn’t necessarily a monetized product or service.
Most businesses will utilize immediate advertising by showcasing new deals, products, etc. For examples of long-term advertising, you can look at companies such as Nike. Since the Nike brand is so well known, they don’t need to use immediate or direct advertising as often. Nike frequently campaigns for particular movements, to raise awareness, etc. These advertisements are more about raising awareness for a cause, versus trying to get you to purchase their products.
Since Nike is an established brand, it’s easier for them to advertise this way. For smaller companies or businesses, this form of advertising may be harder and cause you to lose money. In that case, immediate advertising will be your best option.
After your ad has gone up, start keeping track of daily sales. Are you seeing an increase? Do you have more foot traffic or website hits? After about a month you’ll be able to assess your finances and determine how successful the ad was. You want to make a profit off the ad, successfully making back the money spent and still having money left over.
After your first month, you can make adjustments as needed to make your second month even more successful. Simple adjustments you can make (depending on the form of advertising you chose) are switching the location of your ad or where it is being posted. This can help reach a different group of people and potentially raise sales even more.
After 3 months you should see a positive return on your investment (if you haven’t surpassed that earlier). If 3 months pass and you’re still in the red, it may be worth re-evaluating your advertising needs and trying a new campaign.
Simple Advertising Examples
Now that we’ve discussed the different variations of advertising, let’s talk about different examples of simple advertising. Simple advertising can consist of a variety of things, but some common examples are banners, flags, and billboards. These are easy forms of advertising that anyone can get access to and utilize.
Outdoor signage is a big part of advertising and can be some of the easiest and cost-efficient advertising you do. Since outdoor signs such as feather flags, 3×5 flags, vinyl banners, etc can be customized to your needs and are easy to install, you rarely need permission to use them, allowing you to have your own advertising that you control. Let’s briefly go over a few different simple advertising options.
3×5 Flags are the standard 3ft x 5ft flags you see frequently outside of businesses. These flags are smaller than feather flags, so you do have to be more strategic with your message. A common use of standard 3×5 flags is to mark your business location. Companies will put their logo, “Welcome,” or “Open” on these flags to hang outside of their business during operation. This is a great tactic if you’re located in a busy complex that may make it difficult to find your storefront or office.
Vinyl Banners are popular throughout all types of businesses as they are easy to install and come in a variety of sizes. Vinyl banners are one of the simplest forms of advertising you can do, which can be a good and bad thing. If you use vinyl banners to advertise, make sure you use a creative design that’ll stand out against your surroundings.
The above-listed advertising methods are just the tip of the ice burg. There are lots of options when it comes to how you want to advertise. The plus side is, these forms of simple advertising are relatively cheap, allowing you to experiment and see what would work best for you.
In-Stock Simple Advertising Options
Maybe you want to advertise for your business but your funds are limited. Or you’re not sure how effective outdoor advertising such as feather flags would be. At Feather Flag Nation, we have a selection of over 600 in-stock feather flags to choose from! These flags are great for businesses on a budget as you can get the flag, poles, and ground spike for under $60! That is significantly cheaper than other forms of advertising.
Our in-stock flags are going to be 12ft tall and stand at 15ft on their hardware. They are single-sided prints, but you can still see the design on the backside, it’ll just appear reversed and a little bit lighter. Once you have the hardware, you can simply purchase a replacement flag for $14.99!
Being able to swap out your flags makes advertising even easier for you! Once a sale or promotion is over, you can take that flag off and put on a Welcome or Open flag, or start advertising a new special. The better you take care of your flags and poles, the longer they can last and the more money you can save over time.
Similar to our feather flags, we also have a smaller selection of in-stock 3×5 flags you can choose from. These flags are great if you have a flag pole outside or near your business that you want to utilize.
Continuing with the in-stock products Feather Flag Nation offers, we also have a selection of in-stock inflatable tube men. These wacky dancers are great for grabbing attention as their height and constant movement make them hard to miss. We have two different sizes for our stock tube men, a 6ft tube man that stands at 8ft on its blower and an 18ft tube man that stands at 20ft on its blower.
Having outdoor signage can be a great first step in your simple advertising plan. It’s low cost and low commitment, no contracts or hidden fees to deal with later. It’s important to be visible and easily accessible to any potential clients.