Are you wondering what is the Best Advertising Medium for Small Business?
If you are a small business owner, you are probably looking for instant gratification in the form of sales. You need cash flow now. So, which medium would support the “right now” sale?
As CEO of Training Business Pros, I wanted to embark on new ways to generate leads. I knew it would take some trial and error tests, but I found the test fascinating, in the way that I could afford to test a few advertising mediums that we never used before.
You see, we’ve built this company strictly by utilizing internet marketing up to 2011. In January, we decided to test market a few new things.
- We tested Direct Mail in Oakville and Mississauga.
- We tested Radio Advertising “The Business Minute” on 91.1 Jazz FM Radio
- We tested new ad campaigns on Kijiji
- We tested new ad campaigns on Facebook
- We tested new ad campaigns on Linkedin
And the most exciting thing we tested was Text Marketing.
You’re probably interested in our metrics and sales conversions. All of the above measured less Immediate results then our traditional forms of advertising which includes:
1. email marketing
2. search engine optimization
I’m glad to share with you some observations to help you make better informed decisions about what the best advertising for small business may be.
Direct Mail Campaign
The first thing we did this year was test out direct mail through a coupon book issue. It went to over 120 thousand homes in a targeted area that we felt represented our demographic (high end).
The cost for the direct mail campaign was over 4K. We had very low conversions, with less then 0.1% taking advantage of our call to action which was pretty strong (so we thought).
Conclusion: either it was the wrong ad in the wrong publication, or our ad sucked. Either way, it generated 5 warm leads and 3 purchases.
This is a costly venture, approx 4-5K a month. We deeply committed to this, knowing that repetition is key, and that it would take a few weeks to really measure the effects.
Lessons we learned: Our first ad, the call to action involved “text marketing”. You had to text the word “training” to 54500 in order to get a free video training on Social Media. We discovered the first week only 5 people did this. The interesting thing, is that people were calling the radio station to get our telephone number. In other words, the demographic of the radio station didn’t know how to use their cell phones and text. So, week 2, we changed the call to action and the ad – and simplified “The Business Minute” sending people to “trainingbusinesspros.com.
Still, 2 more calls came into the station and one email asking for the tel number. So week #3, we changed the ad again, and included the tel number and now its currently rotating with a call to action to the website. We dropped the text targeting thing.
Here’s the stats so far: We are getting random emails and phone calls from people saying “hey we heard your ad”. We are getting a few responses into our seminars.
However, what we didn’t count on, is that the ad is actually helping us solidify our brand and our position in the market place. We are thinking of this as a long-term strategy. It’s a branding tool. It doesn’t generate us an immediate Return on Investment. It certainly doesn’t have the same instant satisfaction of “email marketing”
We’ve been testing this a few ways. I love it. It’s the way of the future, and it’s going to be powerful. However, we tested a couple of little things to test the demographic of TrainingBusinessPros.Com. A few things about our demographic.
In a live course of 100 people, I asked people to text “Training” to 54500. Only 16 people did this successfully. Interesting yes?
In our direct mail campaign, and radio campaign, we saw that multiple people attempted this multiple times. In other words, they are quite new to this, and not sure HOW to do this.
So, we decided, that text targeting is great for folks under 40. Over 40, some are still quite unsure how to use their mobile phones to their full ability.
Watch us though, we’ll be doing some cool things with text targeting. It’ll be more powerful then email marketing. In fact, the stats are staggering. More people will read their phone text within seconds, vs. that it will take up to 2 days for someone to open their email. If you are into instant conversions, and instant traffic, stay tuned to text marketing.
Ads on Kijiji
What a nice surprise! Highly targeted, good conversion. Generated instant sign-ups and incoming calls. Love it.
Ads on Facebook
It has traction, but not as good as Kijiji. Not for me anyway. I’ll keep you posted.
Ads on Linkedin
Highly targeted, but expensive. I’m testing this now. Will keep you posted.
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it as often as I can until I’m totally converted to Text Marketing.
The money is in the list, and I love email marketing! It works. It generates amazing results and literally has made me over a million dollars.
Email marketing is a powerful tool in the right hands. Look, it takes some talent to write the copy so that it helps people take an action.
But until we move to 100% mobile marketing, this is still the best way to go.
Search Engine Optimization
I’m an SEO guy first and foremost. I really believe that Google is King. Really, I do. I can’t imagine the force majeur it will be in 100 years from now.
I also strongly believe that Video content is very important, and that this is a powerful way to deliver value and good content. Social Media is a great thing, but I’m still an SEO believer. One must do SEO. Period.
If you are a small business, and you haven’t learned how to do keyword research yet, what can I tell you. You are going to fall behind. It’s a must, just as in death and taxes.
We are looking into it, and will let you know when we could measure metrics.
Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, etc…
It takes deep commitment to deploy and manage your Social Media Strategy. Why? Because your investment is in time. If you can’t do it yourself, you still better learn how to manage it, or some “social media expert” will charge you for stuff you don’t perhaps need. So, you are probably wondering does social media even work? Yes. It does. As an SEO guy, I use it to drip market backlinks. Not just any kind of backlink. So, I have a strategy. Others use it to create their online reputation, others use it to build and foster relationships, and others use to build lists and influence their prospects. Any way you cut it, you’ve got to think of it as a marketing funnel and learn how and when to convert that warm lead into a sale. Again, if you don’t know what I’m talking about here, go to trainingbusinesspros.com and download my Social Media Video for $5.00. I’m only charging you for the use of my bandwidth. The information is fantastic, and will set you up on the right track. So go again, go to =>http://www.trainingbusinesspros.com/5buckvideo/ and take the time to digest what the training is. You’ll enjoy it, I promise. It offers tons of value.
The Best Advertising for Small Business, in my opinion, is Search Engine Optimization. For most businesses, it is the cheapest, most cost-effect way to market yourself. But, don’t jump into this without doing your keyword research. Do you want to learn how to do this quickly? Connect to me on Linkedin. Once I accept you as a connection, you scroll down to the bottom of my Linkedin Page, and you can receive a free $197.00 training on Keyword Research. Personally, I think it’s one of the best training videos out there on keyword research. And its yours for free once we connect. Go ahead, just click here: http://www.linkedin.com/in/paultobey10
This has been fun.
But if you are into the “right now” I need cash flow instantly, the Best Advertising for Small Business may be ads on Linkedin, Facebook and Kijiji. You can try local search. You can also try PPC on Google (but this takes practice, and can bleed your bank account if you don’t have conversion strategies in place).
PS. Check it out. It’s low risk, and tons and tons of value: So go again, go to…
PS. Also, consider a WordPress blog to update your users via blog posts. Great way to communicate value.