Using print media to advertise
You have several options when it comes to using print media. There are newspapers, magazines, newsletter, the Yellow Pages, etc. To obtain more in-depth information about the various publications, contact an advertising representative at each and have them send you a media kit. They contain publication information such as editorial content, readership demographics, etc.
You also need to consider what kind of deals you can work out with the advertising rep from each publication. You can, for example, bargain for special positions in the publication: inside the front cover, on the back cover or within the first few pages, etc.
Publications will often charge anywhere from 10 to 50 percent of the cost of the ad for special positioning, but if you’re a good negotiator you can sometimes get it for free. You should try to have your ad positioned in the first third of the publication, on a right-hand page, if you’re not going to negotiate for special positioning.
You can also negotiate with the advertising rep on a frequency discount. The more times you run an ad, the cheaper each insertion is.
Advertisers are forever pressuring newspaper reps for special positions, such as up front, right hand page and top of page. Keep in mind that some of the best-read sections of the paper are the editorial page, obituary page, sports section and classifieds.
Everything depends on the atmosphere you need in order to make the sale. For example, if you were promoting a singles dance, you might want your ad to be placed with all the other singles events.
What about right-hand versus left-hand pages and top versus bottom? Eye motion studies about the way people read newspapers show that most people glance at every part of every page of the newspaper.
If the headline interests them, they read more of it. If not, they turn the page and read on. You have just one or two seconds per page to catch a reader’s eye.
If your business draws its customers or clients primarily from the local community, you’ll find community newspaper advertising valuable. A display or classified ad is not expensive compared to other advertising and will provide excellent exposure to your local customer base.
Choose what section of the paper in which you place your advertisement carefully. Remember the various sections will attract different kinds of readers. Without wanting to stereotype, the sports pages are more likely to attract men, feature sections are generally better for reaching women and the business pages are, of course, better for reaching business people.
Certain days of the week can be better than others, particularly if the paper features special weekly sections. For instance, a secretarial and word processing service might do well to advertise when a newspaper runs its major business or employment section.
To advertise effectively, you may want to request a certain section or day of the week. This is where understanding your target audience and potential market is vital.
Newsletters and magazines
Newsletters are great print vehicles for reaching specialised markets. Because circulations are typically small, rates for advertising in newsletters are very reasonable. Their circulations are also very narrowly targeted because of their specialised editorial content.
But you have to be careful. Many newsletters aren’t audited publications. They operate on a controlled-circulation basis, so you have to take the word of the publisher that the newsletter reaches the number of people claimed.
Depending on their circulation, magazines can be a fairly expensive advertising option. Generally, the larger the circulation the more expensive the advertising will be. There are many different magazine styles available, from small business publications to home improvement and glossy fashion magazines. If you choose to advertise in a particular magazine, make sure that it specifically targets your chosen audience.
“Dollar for dollar” trade journals may be the most effectively targeted publications because the readers are members of a particular industry.
Most local businesses advertise their goods and services in the Yellow Pages. Be careful to advertise in the most appropriate sections for your business. It is also worthwhile considering advertising in more than one category or to cross-reference your listing.
Ensure you make the deadlines the Yellow Pages publishers give you for sending in your ads. Missing them can mean going a whole year without advertising in this important medium. For more information see Yellow Pages (www.yellowpages.com.au).
Using electronic mediums
The most important goal of a radio or television commercial is to get the audience’s attention. Good radio and television advertising uses simple, clear language. The best commercials create and reinforce a positive attitude toward the advertised business.
There are several things you shouldn’t do when it comes to radio or television commercials. You don’t want to offend or alienate the listener.
You don’t want to create suspicion or disbelief. Also, make sure that there is no confusion about the message of your radio or television commercial. If the message is unclear, the listener will quickly lose interest.
A radio or television commercial must be creative, especially if you don’t have a big enough budget to take part in prime time listening or viewing slots. You need to create an advertising campaign that repeats the same message over and over again. Because of that repetition, you want to make sure that what you tell people isn’t boring or dull otherwise they will tune out.
It always pays to do your homework when deciding where to advertise. Make contact with the advertising representatives and compare the costs involved.
Radio ads can work for the small business owner, especially if he/she supplements it with other advertising. Radio is great if you are in a niche market or your competition isn’t using the radio to advertise.
Radio can be fairly inexpensive and it will reach a different market segment than metropolitan newspapers. You can also add more value to your dollar by working out merchandising packages or sponsorships with your salesperson.
You might, for instance, enlist one of the station’s disc jockeys to give away discounts or “freebies” for your business on air. Always negotiate the cost per radio spot with your salesperson, you should never have to pay rate card rates.
The largest audience tunes into the radio in the morning peak times and during the evening “drive-time”.
Tune in to TV
Television advertising has a reputation for being expensive. Far too many small business people are intimidated by stories of the high cost of television time. Major corporations spend millions on their advertising campaigns, but they plan to reach millions of viewers.
On a smaller scale, TV costs can be surprisingly low. The price of television time depends on several factors: the size of the market, the length of the ad, the time of day the ad appears, the rating of the program during which the ad appears, the number of spots to air and a handful of other factors.
It’s up to the advertiser to decide just how much money is available for television advertising, then to shop around for the best deal.
One additional cost is the production of a commercial. This can range from a few hundred dollars for a station-produced announcement to thousands of dollars for an ad produced using professional studio techniques.
Local stations often package deals designed to give the smaller business an opportunity to use TV effectively while keeping costs low. There are programs to fit any advertising budget. A local station’s advertising salesperson can be the small business person’s best friend, a call to these people will usually answer all your questions.
Cinema advertising can be effective for two main reasons, you have a captive and attentive audience and the big screen can make a big impact.
Taking advantage of outdoor advertising
An efficient and effective form of advertising is the outdoor kind. This allows you to advertise in specific locations such as billboards, bus benches and transit advertising like the backs of buses and taxis.
While they can be expensive, billboards can prove to be a highly effective form of getting your message “out there”. They include static “super” billboards, mobile set-ups and illuminated boards.
Again, if you have access to the Internet a good site for more information is the Mobile Billboards Australia (MBA) (www.mobilebillboards.com.au). You can expect to pay a minimum of around $800 and $1000 for sign writing and production of a billboard. Final costs will also depend on the kind of billboard you want and the time frame.
For example, if you wanted a mobile billboard it will cost up to $500 for one day but if you take that billboard for 21 to 30 days, it will cost $345 per day. If you want to set up a static super billboard (3.35 metres by 12.6 metres) for 21 to 30 days you will pay around $500 per day or more than $800 for just one day. Obviously, the longer you have the billboard the cheaper the daily rate is.
Businesses such as MBA will also store your billboard panels and if you want your sign illuminated, it will cost an additional $100 a day. However, remember that certain areas may require permits for billboards. Your local council will be able to assist you.
Bus stops, benches and transit advertising
Bus bench advertising is an excellent medium for any service. It’s highly visible because it is seen by large volumes of traffic. Essentially, you have a huge captive audience, stuck at red lights or in slow-moving traffic.
Usually, the advertising consists of simple two-colour artwork with the company’s name, brief copy describing the business, the address and the telephone number. Think of it as a huge business card, conveying the same information in basically the same format.
Call your local Department of Transport or local bus company to find out who rents advertising space on their bus stop benches. There are also outdoor advertising companies that handle this type of advertising.