You can't grow your business without growing your reach and audience to convert more consumers into customers. Advertising is a crucial component in any marketing strategy because it pulls leads straight to your website or encourages them to contact you. However, with so many advertising options available, it's hard to know where to get started (and which strategies will give you the best return on investment).
Start developing your strategy by determining which advertising platform is the best fit for your business and your target market. In this article, we'll go over six different advertising forms and how you can pick which one is right for you.
The Many Types of Advertising
Many businesses use multiple advertising platforms — this is called the omnichannel approach. It allows you to approach your target market in numerous ways to guarantee your message has a good reach without risking ad fatigue in your audience. Whether you're looking for your first advertising platform or you're looking for the next one to add to your growing omnichannel approach, consider these six popular advertising options:
1. Cable or TV
TV advertising is a traditional but still very effective method of advertising. You can schedule ads on local, national, and even streaming television channels. Choosing the media your target demographic regularly views is a great way to get your brand in front of them while they're relaxing. You can select different channels, different air times, and even specific program slots as you develop your cable or TV advertising campaign.
Radio advertising can include audio commercials, sponsorships of local radio shows, and everything in-between. By selecting a radio station within a select designated market area (DMA), you can:
- Control for the geographic radius of your listeners
- Choose a specific station based on the type of music they air, the radio shows they produce, and
- Use their listener demographics to place your ads in front of your target audience
Digital advertising is a broad category. It encompasses any advertisements that are on online media, like pay-per-click ads or social media marketing.
Pay-per-click (PPC) ads appear on web pages and at the top of search results to drive leads to your website or a specific landing page. Google, Bing, and other search sites, like YouTube, allow for PPC ad campaigns to reach users on desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile devices. If the sponsored search results resonate with what a consumer is searching for, you can get in front of organically ranking competitors.
Social media marketing ads occur on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to reach different audiences and drive different engagement types. Even LinkedIn is a beneficial advertising platform for B2B services or consumer goods for working professionals. Integrating social media into your other ad campaigns is highly beneficial and strengthens your overall marketing strategies.
Email marketing is an online strategy where you routinely email subscribers or consumers in your mailing lists about promotions, new products, and relevant updates. It's similar to direct mail in theory but allows you to create more personalized and timely communications. If you have a contact form on your site, starting an email marketing campaign is a great way to nurture lukewarm leads into becoming customers.
It’s a fantastic tool to stay in contact with current leads and prior customers, helping them become customers for life. By becoming a familiar (and valuable) fixture in their inbox, your brand becomes more likable, and you forge a stronger relationship with your contacts. Especially for small businesses, email marketing is one of the most effective mediums for building brand awareness.
Out-of-home ads are any type of physical advertising that your target market will encounter outside of their home. It includes billboards your audience sees during their commute, ads on benches or buses, signage outside of stores, and more. This advertising strategy can increase brand awareness and audience familiarity with your brand, especially within specific locations.
If you have a brick-and-mortar location, signage can also prompt consumers to visit. However, it's important to note that out-of-home ads in popular and in-demand physical locations can be expensive, so it's important to plan your out-of-home locations based on where your audience lives and travels.
6. Direct Mail
Direct mail may seem like an old-fashioned style of advertising, but it can be very persuasive when handled correctly. If you give your target market a physical object with your branding and a convincing call-to-action, using coupons or freebies, that's far more memorable than an online ad. Direct mail includes any physical mail sent to consumers' mailboxes, like catalogs, newsletters, pamphlets, and even letters.
Which Option Is Best for You?
Each of these platforms has its own advantages. If you target your advertising campaigns to directly align with your target markets, any tactic can get you new leads and conversions. An even more effective practice is omnichannel marketing and combining your strategies across multiple platforms.
For example, social media marketing can drive new audiences to your online landing pages. Then you can email leads that fill out your contact forms with updates, promotional deals, and more information about your brand. You may not have gained that initial reach without the social media ads, and you might not have secured engaged customers without the emails.
However, marketing across multiple channels can make it harder to track your spending and stay within your budget. Plan out your omnichannel approach, or any other marketing approach, before you start.
Work With The Best Ad Platforms For Businesses
If you know where your target market spends their time online or offline, you can develop targeted marketing strategies that reach them. Each of these platforms or a combination of them can expand brand recognition and increase your sales volume.