Advertising is the best way to communicate product information to customers, improve sales and ultimately, stay ahead of competitors. According to Statista, the amount of money individuals and organizations in the United States spend on advertising has been on a steady rise since 2011, and is expected to hit about $220 billion in 2018.
As a business owner, you cannot leave advertising out of your overall business strategy. More importantly, you should choose an advertisement medium that not only enables you to reach your target consumers, but also generates a high sales volume. So, how do you identify the right medium?
1. Know Your Target Customers
There are over 10 advertising mediums or channels. The popular ones include radio, television, billboard, Internet, newspapers and magazines. Each advertising medium has its unique advantages and disadvantages, especially in terms of audience reach. As such, you should perform some market research and determine the kind of medium that would successfully reach your consumers. Ask yourself questions such as:
- Do the vast majority of my customers read newspapers?
- Do they listen to radio while driving to work?
- Are your consumers, retirees who spend most of their time watching TV?
Once you have a detailed understanding of your customers, then you can settle on an advertising medium. For example, if yours is a digital product that targets people in the 18-30 age bracket, then you should not look further than social media advertising. According to Pew Research Center a massive 89 percent of adults aged between 18 and 29 use social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
2. Can You Measure Advertising Effectiveness?
Ideally, you should choose an advertising medium that enables you to measure its effectiveness. This is particularly essential if you are using multiple advertising channels to expose your product or business, and you want to know the ones that are working for you. So, if you are selling a beauty product, and you are advertising it in both print and digital beauty magazines, you should be able to calculate the number of sales generated from each platform.
In most cases, digital advertising employs specialized tools that enable you to track the number of generated sales. On other hand, print, billboards and television offer little when it comes to monitoring ad response.
3. Is Your Product National or Service Region Specific?
Large businesses with a national presence should advertise on national television and radio stations, as well as in newspapers and magazines with nationwide circulation. But what if your business only has a local reach? You can’t waste your money putting ads on national platforms. Instead, focus on local newspapers and TV and radio stations. You can even distribute flyers or leaflets to the local population.
4. Advertising Budget
Of course, your financial muscle shapes your advertising strategy. Large businesses that generate millions of dollars in annual profits have the ability to advertise all their products and services in literally all the advertising platforms they admire. Small scale entrepreneurs with limited budgets can only use one or two channels that best reach their customers.
5. Audio, Visual or Audiovisual?
Finally, you should identify the type of advertising media that delivers your message in the most effective way. Consumer psychologists have been quick to provide insights on how consumers respond to each media. For instance, a research report published by the Social Sciences Research Journal notes that TV adverts (audiovisual) with popular music are highly effective, since music influences mood and purchase intentions.
This means that advertisers who think their messages can be best communicated in audiovisual media should consider TV and online video platforms as their channels. If audio alone, suits your needs, then go for the radio (terrestrial or Internet). For those who prefer visual ads, print advertising can serve you well.
Remember, businesses should not rely on a single method of advertising. There is no one channel that can perfectly deliver all the desired results. The trick to effective advertising lies in incorporating various channels into your strategy.
Are you an advertiser? What are you views about this guide? Feel free to post in the comments section below.