3 easy essentials to help you successfully advertise your small business. Part 1.

Part 1

REACH

Image by Vintage Images

Advertising doesn’t need to be complicated, but to successfully advertise your small business you do need to ask yourself 3 things.

  1. Who are your customers or potential customers?
  2. What do you need to tell them?
  3. How often do you need to tell them?

In advertising speak this is called Reach, Message and Frequency. Together they work as the foundation stones for effective advertising. If you miss one of these elements, you’ll undermine the return on your advertising investment.

Having an understanding of these 3 points will empower you with the confidence to take your business to a new level.

So, let’s get into it. First up is Reach.

Reach is all about who your customers are, or who you want them to be, and reaching them with your advertising message.

It’s called your target demographic (target demo). We often see on creative briefs the target demo described as ‘everyone’. This is not the case. Take for example Louis Vuitton and Strand Bags.

They both sell luggage, but do they sell luggage to the same people? No. One has customers with lots of money and the other sells to the budget conscious. How you’d advertise to the customers of each of these businesses is very different.


At Outside Creative we believe that knowing your target demo is the most important single element in advertising.

Image by TotallyOldSchool

It will determine:

  • What you say, and how you say it.
  • Where you place your advertising.
  • How often your potential customers need to hear it for it to be effective.

Putting the time into finding out your target demo now, will save you a lot of time, effort and money in the future.

Ask yourself:

  • Are they male or female?
  • What old are they?
  • What are their needs and motivations?
  • What media do they consume?
  • Where do they live?
  • How much do they earn?
  • What are their values?
  • What’s important to them?
Image by Fine Art America

It can help if you can picture that 1 person who embodies everything about your target demo. Maybe even give them a name. This is Agnes.

Keep asking questions until you know your customer inside out.

Remember, ‘everyone’ is not a target demo.

You may find your customers fit into several target demos, so advertise to them individually.

Don’t try to advertise to all your target demos in one commercial.

Once you know who you want to advertise to, you need to work out where you can reach them. Here are some of the different media types you can use.

  • Broadcast media like radio and TV.
  • Print, such as newspapers and magazines.
  • Outdoor or transit media. These are billboards, advertising on public transport, bus stops and banners.  
  • Social media. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc.
  • Online. Your own website, banner ads, Google AdWords and content blogging.
  • Direct mail.
  • Promotions. Instore, like food tasting, free samples and demonstrations. Open days and trade expos.
Image by Keep Calm-o-Matic

  • Advertising doesn’t need to be complicated.
  • Effective advertising combines Reach, Message and Frequency.
  • To reach the customers you want to attract, you need to know who they are by researching their characteristics.
  • Knowing your target demo will determine what media is best to reach them.

In part 2 we’ll be looking at Message. It’s all about what your advertising actually says, and why it’s relevant to your target demo.

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