There are many misconceptions about advertising among small business owners. These myths can affect how you market your business and the effectiveness of your advertising.
Being able to advertise your business to the right audience without breaking the bank is essential to being successful. This means you need to know the strategies that work in today’s market rather than just doing what you’ve always done.
Let’s take a look at some common misconceptions and find out the truth.
We cannot afford advertising
As a small business, you might consider the cost of a TV commercial or radio commercial and conclude that you simply cannot afford to advertise. However, you know that word of mouth can only go so far, so your business has stabilized and is no longer growing.
This is due to the misconception that you cannot advertise to a small niche market. In the past it was challenging. You had to be able to go on television or radio to get attention. But today’s advertising is mostly online and more targeted than ever.
A social media ad on Facebook allows you to target an audience with pinpoint accuracy. It’s almost scary how much Facebook knows about its users, and you can leverage this information to give a personalized message to a very specific group of people. As a result, your advertising will be much more effective.
When you can describe a very specific need and exactly how your product or service will satisfy it, you will generate interest, leads and new customers. Best of all, Facebook advertising is much less expensive than traditional TV advertising.
There are other ways to reach a local audience as well, with geo-targeting and other local strategies. This saves you money and greatly increases your return on investment (ROI).
Advertising is manipulative
If you’ve been in business for a long time, you may be familiar with unethical advertising practices that were common decades ago. This may make you think that your small business shouldn’t use advertising, because it is manipulative and slimy.
The good news is that you can advertise without any manipulation. The goal is simply to create an emotional connection with your audience by showing that you understand what they aspire to and that you can help them get there.
As a plumber, for example, you can talk about how homeowners want to feel confident that the water and plumbing are reliable and not causing damage. You can meet this need with an annual inspection package. End with an invitation for them to contact you or sign up.
Anyone from a lawn care company to a B2B SaaS company can do the same thing. Think about what keeps your ideal customer up at night by saying “If only I could …” and then show that you meet that need. No slimy tactics needed!
Are advertising and marketing the same thing?
Another common question we hear is: “Are advertising and marketing the same thing?? “It’s natural to confuse the two as they both draw attention to your business, products, and services.
However, advertising and marketing are not the same. Advertising is a marketing method that involves interrupting consumers in the middle of a favorite activity, such as watching a TV show, surfing the Internet, or listening to the radio. In the midst of that activity, your company pays to share your message for a specific amount of time, like 30 seconds.
There are other marketing methods, many of which are more effective than advertising. For example, search engine optimization (SEO) helps you rank higher in Google’s search results so that when a consumer searches for information about your industry, your business appears as a trusted resource. When the consumer interacts with your website, they see that you can meet their needs and are encouraged to contact you.
Understanding the wide variety of marketing methods will help you choose the reach that connects to your ideal audience most effectively, saving you time and money. You don’t have to rely on advertising alone!
I can do all my advertising by myself
The last big misconception small business owners have is that they can handle all the advertising they need on their own or they can delegate the job to an administrative assistant.
Imagine a consumer who decides they don’t need your company’s professional skills, but can do the job on their own. What would happen? They would make a mess of things and then call you, paying even more money so you can correct mistakes and get it right.
This is what entrepreneurs do all the time. They try to DIY their marketing and advertising, only to find they aren’t getting the results they need. Then they contact a marketing company that has to correct the mistakes and do it correctly.
Don’t waste your time and money this way. Work with a professional right away, so you can focus on running your business and feel comfortable knowing that marketers are improving your online presence.
Solve common misconceptions today
Now that you know the truth behind several common misconceptions, it’s time to put your marketing and advertising on the right track. Using marketing methods like SEO can help you reduce your reliance on pay-to-play messaging.
To learn more about how inbound marketing can help you save time and money, contact us for a consultation today!