How to Approach Advertising Your Business

Advertising a new or existing business can seem like a daunting task. You want to spend your budget effectively but there are so many options. One means of dealing with this is to break down your approach into achievable steps.

  • Take a look at your business

Begin by taking a step back to assess your current business. What is your core service offering? Who is your target demographic? Does your current brand reflect this and is your current advertising strategy reaching this group? Once you have these answers clear in your mind you can start thinking about what you want to achieve with your future advertising. This is where developing short and long-term goals based on your budget can be helpful. These could range from an entire rebrand through to digital and traditional campaigns. An example of a short-term goal could be redesigning your website and a long-term goal may be increasing your website traffic through Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) services.

  • But first, brand identity is essential

Your company brand is the public face of your business and sets the tone for how you will be perceived by potential consumers. Maybe when you first started, the logo created by the niece of a friend was sufficient for your business, however, several years on it might be time for an update. A tired old logo gives the impression of a tired old business, whereas a new logo is an excellent reason for a total brand refresh.

A brand is made up of a number of elements, such as logo, tagline, jingle and colour palette, but it’s more than that. A good brand should represent the essence of the company – who you are, what you offer, what you value, and what a consumer can expect when they use your services. Importantly, your brand is an essential part of all company advertising, acting as the cornerstone around which the advertising is built, whether it be print, digital or media. Consistency is key in branding, as well as determining which avenues of advertising would best suit your business.

  • Websites aren’t a one-off spend

A crucial element for any business is their website. This is the means by which the majority of your clients will research your business and gain their first impression of your company.

While you may think your current website is serviceable, but just like fashion, websites go out of style or lose their functionality as technology advances. For example, it is now essential to have a fully responsive or ‘optimised’ website that will translate to a phone or tablet screen, as consumers are no longer only viewing your website on a PC or laptop.

Consumers have a very short attention span and if your website is difficult to use, outdated or fails to provide relevant information quickly, your competitors are only a few short clicks away.

Instead of viewing your website as a static piece of advertising, it is important to stay on top of changing website trends and regularly update your web content, both to increase your SEO but also to let your clients know you are still active in your field. Your website should not only have good content but showcase your brand to maximum effect, so it might be time to consider a refresh.

  • Print, press, social media – which works for me?

Ideally, you should trumpet your brand from all advertising mediums for maximum exposure, however this is not always a viable option. Advertising on print, press and social media all have their positive and negative aspects and reach different demographics. Some studies show that the multisensory experience of reading in print leads to greater retention of the information; social media tends to be cheaper, while allowing you one-on-one interaction with your consumers; and press advertising can add credibility to your business lacking in the other forms. These are just a short example of the available detailed arguments backed by statistics which champion all of these mediums.

A balance between the different types is important and, again, it comes back to knowing your target demographics and the advertising medium most likely to expose them to your brand. If you are unsure what combination would be best then it may be worth seeking professional help to ensure your advertising budget is working most effectively for you.

  • TV isn’t dead!

While many businesses are focussing purely on digital advertising, it is important to remember that television and radio are still extremely powerful advertising platforms for getting your brand out there. This type of advertising may not suit every business, but well-executed television and radio ads can reach a large demographic. TV offers people a visually engaging element while hearing an ad on the radio can be far more effective than reading it. Although production costs for these mediums can be on the pricey side, remember the old saying, ‘you’ve got to spend money, to make money’.

Unless you work in the industry, it can be difficult to create a comprehensive advertising campaign without help. Instead of struggling to stay on top of the trends, contact a company whose business it is to know all of the options and how to best apply them to your business. You don’t need to have all of the answers, as personalised marketing strategies can be created for your company.

If you would like more information on branding and advertising services, please contact Brand Plus, a service division of McKinley Plowman. Click here for more details.


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