As a small business owner or marketing manager in a smaller company, you may have to do most of the work on your own without much outside help. Let’s dive into the detail around each of important steps in setting up a small business advertising campaign. Here’s our small business advertising checklist detail.
Small Business Advertising Checklist
Define Your Advertising Goals
Clearly define a business goal or goals for your advertising campaign. Everyone wants more sales. Be more specific. Consider these five different advertising goals:
Find new customers – If your goal is more customers, identify how many and in what time period so you can measure results. But make sure the goal is achievable.
Reinforce brand awareness – If you would like your company or solution to be top of mind in the future when prospects are ready to buy, then brand awareness may be a good strategic goal. If so, how will you measure brand awareness success? By an increase in word of mouth referrals? By an increase in search engine visibility? What about store foot traffic? More social media mentions? More website traffic? A brand awareness survey? Identify concrete results you will measure.
Launch a new product – If promoting a new product is the reason for the campaign, how will you measure that? Those that sell professional services or complex business solutions may want to inform their targets about possible benefits. For example, A digital agency comes out with a new service offering. A smart goal could be: Generate 150 downloads of a lead magnet explaining the benefits of that offering, of which 30 are solidly interested in hearing more about it, during a 90-day campaign.
Gain a seasonal push – If you are in retail and hold seasonal sales, then your advertising will be concentrated in a narrow time window of perhaps a few weeks or days. This goal requires you to focus on techniques that spur people into action during that time, such as event-based radio broadcast advertising where you try to get a large number of people to come to your store one weekend. A smart goal could be: Increase foot traffic to your store by 30% during the weekend event and increase sales by 10%.
Pick What You Want To Promote
The next step in your small business advertising checklist is to decide what you will promote. Choose whether ads will promote:
- a product
- a service
- a group of products/services your brand
- a special sale or event
- something else
What you promote must line up with your goals.
Identify Your Target Audience
Identify the targets you want to reach — precisely. Targets are not just “more buyers” or “consumers.” Be specific.
Develop buyer personas to zero in on the targets you want to reach with advertising. Buyer personas are fictional representations of your ideal target buyer. Personas include demographics, firmographics (for business customers), preferences, habits, challenges they are trying to solve, income and more.
If you’ve never set up buyer personas, go over to Make My Persona and use the free tool. Most businesses have more than one ideal customer profile, to create several.
Determine Where To Find Your Audience
When setting up your small business advertising campaign it’s important to have a good audience fit. Estimate where your targets spend their time and get their news. What kind of activities do they engage in? What are their daily preferences? How do they research purchases? Understanding these things helps identify how to find people in your target audience. While billboards, TV ads or magazine ads might reach a very large number of people, the real question is how many of YOUR targets are they likely to reach? Going for wide reach could be expensive overkill — or miss the mark altogether.
Go back to your buyer personas. Do they suggest your target audience is mainly urban millennials who don’t drive much and prefer to go online rather than read print or watch TV? In that case, billboards, print ads, and TV ads won’t reach many of them. Some of the online advertising methods allow you to target precisely. For example, consider how Facebook ads let you target by interests and demographics. Or use keywords in Google AdWords to attract buyers actively searching for your products.
However, online ads could be expensive — and may not hit the mark if you’re mainly trying to lure local foot traffic into your bakery. Community coupon books or advertising in a community bulletin might be better for reaching these local shoppers.
Choose Your Campaign Timing
Some types of advertising can be launched immediately. Others require advance planning. How fast do you need results? Many small businesses want instant results. But not all types of advertising are immediate. With a new product launch, you typically plan it well in advance. So a blitz campaign that includes direct mail, TV commercials and Internet display ads along with a PR campaign, can be coordinated so it all starts to roll out around the same time to make a big splash. Remember, timing is a key part of any small business advertising campaign.
Hope you are open to the small business advertising checklist, so if you are looking forward to making one, do consider this checklist and do not forget to share your thoughts with us.