Be Seen: Where Should You Advertise?
As an experienced contractor, you know about the intricacies of your industry – but when it comes to the marketing side of things, you may be less familiar. However, having a comprehensive marketing and advertising plan in place is essential to the growth of your business, and because there are so many options out there, you might not be sure of where to start. Here’s an overview of the different places where you can be advertising, as well as their pros and cons. This means you can better allocate your marketing dollars to the places where you’ll see the most growth!
Social media is a computer-based technology that facilitates the sharing of ideas, thoughts, and information through the building of virtual networks and communities. (Source: Investopedia) While there are many options available, the most widely used are: Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok.
What are the pros? When it comes to maximizing your marketing budget, social media is a great option to turn to, especially for smaller businesses. You can choose how much, when, and where you are spending your money. It’s not only a great way to start building or strengthening your brand, but it provides an easy and convenient communication tool for customers.
What are the cons? Social media is busy. Instagram alone has over a billion monthly users. This means you’re not just competing for views, likes, shares, and impressions from your competition, but every other user on social media. Keep in mind that most people use social media as a tool during the research stage of the buying process, which means they may respond better to educational content as opposed to advertising, and that may take more time on your end to develop.
Pay Per Click (PPC)
PPC is a type of advertising where a business pays to show their ads in search engines (Google, Bing) based on keywords or phrases for which their potential customers may be searching. For example, ‘Houston solar install.’ When using PPC, you can help ensure that your business is showing up in the top results, which can lead to more customers.
What are the pros? PPC is extremely flexible, with almost every aspect being customizable. This means your customers and potential customers are only seeing what you want them to see. If you aren’t getting the results you want, you can instantly update or delete the ads entirely.
What are the cons? One of the biggest drawbacks with this type of advertising is that it’s easy to end up in a bidding war with other companies trying to use the same search terms, causing you to appear lower in search results. Prices can also fluctuate depending on how many clicks you receive and what people are searching for, which will impact how much you spend.
With this type of advertising, physical mail is sent directly to the home or business of a consumer. There are many who would like to believe that direct mailing is a dying form of communication, however, the opposite is true. In fact, in 2020, it was estimated that the largest advertising spend was direct mail coming in at $38.5 billion, and that advertisers earn an average of $2,095 worth of sales per person.
What are the pros? Unlike other advertising mediums, such as social media or a banner ad, you have the space to share more information. Plus, it’s incredibly easy to track the results of a direct mail campaign because you can use unique codes or numbered applications so you can see who’s responding.
What are the cons? Since direct mail is where the most advertising dollars are spent, it has the potential to take up a lot of your marketing budget (mailing list, creative, offer, delivery), and you’ll also have to compete with everyone else sending mail. It can also be difficult to create a nurture campaign because, unlike email, there’s no way to know if the person opened or read your mail unless they respond with the relevant ad code.
This type of advertising includes television, movies, radio, and music. This is an ideal way to reach a large group of consumers in a short amount of time. According to Nielsen, cable TV makes up about 39% of a person’s viewing habits, with broadcast television making up 25%. Even with the rise of music streaming services, radio still accounts for 39% of listening for those over the age of 13.
What are the pros? The biggest pro of this type of advertising is you can reach a lot more potential customers, some of whom may be people you may not have thought to target with other marketing mediums, allowing your business to be seen by a larger range of consumers.
What are the cons? This is by far one of the more expensive methods of advertising your business. The way people absorb media is constantly evolving, which requires more work from you. Plus, with so many streaming and on-demand services, there’s usually no way to know who’s consuming your content, making it incredibly hard to track success rates.
An email is sent directly to the inbox of a consumer and can include newsletters, incentive campaigns, brand awareness, product releases, and more. It’s a great method for soft selling so you can slowly nurture and educate your audience over time, allowing them to get to know you and your brand.
What are the pros? With an email, you can share more information than a social media post, but it costs substantially less than a direct mail campaign. It also provides a way for customers to easily communicate with you (make sure you’re always using a return email that is checked by a person for all marketing emails!) both now and in the future. Emails can also be an in-house creation, saving you time on the production end.
What are the cons? The average person receives over 100 emails a day, making open rates for marketing emails low, generally. If someone decides to unsubscribe from your emails, you lose out on that connection and, potentially, a customer. This makes it extremely important to implement best practices for email marketing to avoid that kind of attrition.
How Should the Size of Your Business Affect Marketing?
For a small business, you should focus on creating a brand and raising awareness among consumers. If they don’t know who you are or the type of work you do they won’t be able to hire you for the job. It may be a good idea to start with a social media account and use promoted ads along with a PPC strategy. This will start putting your brand on people’s social media feeds, search results, and their minds.
For a larger business, focusing on your internal operations is what is going to help take you to the next level. At this point, people may know who you are, so using mediums such as radio, TV, and billboards is a great way to continue raising your brand awareness profile, even when you’re not focusing on smaller-scale nurture programs.
At the end of the day, there’s no “one size fits all” method when it comes to your advertising. By considering the pros and cons of some of the methods mentioned above, as well as the goals and objectives you have as a company, we hope you’re able to find where you should advertise!
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