Inexpensive ways to advertise

26Jul10

I came across this article which was published in the Star on the subject of ” Inexpensive ways to advertise ”

Having a good product is one thing . There is a need to let the customers knows about it . This is the function of advertising . Advertising can be very expensive and is beyond the means of small business . However Eugene in his article gave a few cost effective  tips on ways to advertise one’s products .

His tips are not difficult to do and can be done by the small business themslves .

He suggested the following :

1. Word of Mouth

2. Create flyers .

3. Create a website

4. Create viral video–as in Youtube .

5. Cross promote with another products

6. Write a newsletter .

More details here :

By EUGENE MAHALINGAM
eugenicz@thestar.com.my

WHEN you have a marketable product that you think has the x-factor that can appeal to consumers, the next big step is to be able to tell them about it – in other words, advertise. However, traditional advertising can be costly. The good news is, one does not need to allocate a huge budget just to get the point across.

There are many ways to keep advertising costs down. All it takes is a little creativity and some perseverance. Here are some less expensive advertising methods that can help you hit your monthly sales targets:

Word of mouth

It’s free and it’s effective. A 2005 survey conducted by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and The Listening Co discovered that word of mouth was a great marketing tool to boost sales growth.

The survey compared the results of a telephone survey on a random sample of 1,256 adult consumers in Britain against the 2003 and 2004 sales data from banks, mobile phone networks, supermarkets or car manufacturers.

The survey revealed that companies enjoying higher levels of word-of-mouth advocacy such as HSBC, Asda, Honda and O2, grew faster than their competitors from the period of 2003 to 2004, versus companies suffering from low levels of word-of-mouth advocacy such as Lloyds-TSB, Sainsbury’s and Fiat during the same period.

Start with the people closest to you, namely family, friends and work colleagues, and let them do the rest! Know a local blabbermouth that can’t keep a secret? That’s your marketing campaign right there!

A flier advertising non-bank loans is left on the windshield of a car in central Athens. – AP

Create flyers

Creating your own flyers to advertise your business is a simple and inexpensive way to generate buzz about your product or company.

“Keep whatever information you need to convey simple and to the point. The fewer words the better,” says Ryan Choo, an executive consultant for a Klang Valley-based marketing agency.

“Of course, pictures tell a thousand words. So printing a picture of your product is always a good idea. And don’t forget to leave your contact details should people need to get in touch with you.”

And if you’re willing to spend a little bit more money, try offering incentives or special discounts to people who bring in your flyer.

“This not only encourages people to try your product, but it also gives you an informal way to track how many people are responding to your flyer,” says Choo.

Where to place and distribute your flyers is the key, and this is where you can really get creative – gates of homes or offices, telephone poles, trees, walls, near sidewalks and bus stands are just some examples.

Advertise online

Not only is this method cheap, you’ll be able to reach potential customers from all over the world. Millions of potential customers could be surfing the Web looking for the very product that you are offering.

One way to reach them is to create a website to tell them what you have.

“Creating a website is not expensive. If your competitor has an online presence and you don’t, then he or she will have a huge advantage over you,” says Selina Looi, a marketing manager from a Petaling Jaya-based creative design firm.

Unlike a flyer, you can afford to bombard your potential consumers (or viewers) with as much information as possible about the product.

“You want to make a positive, lasting impression and having a poorly built website with insufficient information will only deter people,” says Looi.

Another great way to advertise online is to create a viral video of your company or product.

“It doesn’t cost you anything to post your commercial on a video-sharing website like YouTube and you can promote it via your own website so that customers all over the world can view your advert online.

“Who knows? If your advert is a hit, it becomes the next big viral video. Before you know it, you may even get an e-mail order from a customer from Timbuktu,” adds Looi, who says adverts that often contain humorous content are very popular with viewers.

Cross promote with another businesses

Everyday, you read of companies partnering some conglomerate and using each other to co-promote their brands or products.

They do it because it’s a great way to reach new customers and reduce their advertising cost.

Clearly, this marketing tool doesn’t just apply to the big boys. Partnering with someone else is a good way to cut down your advertising cost and also helps expand your customer base.

Write a newsletter

This does not only help you reach out to potential customers, it also helps you stay in touch with existing ones.

“A newsletter shouldn’t necessarily be used as a marketing tool to promote your products. Instead, use it to keep customers abreast of what you’ve been up to and what you plan to do in the near future,” says APY Advertising Sdn Bhd marketing director James Rajah.

“It’s a great way to touch base with customers and remind them about your company.”



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