Dictionary Series - Marketing: advertisingIf you want to grow your business, you’re going to have to do at least a little bit of advertising. There are many types of advertising methods and techniques out there, so it’s rather daunting to start with. The scope of your advertising needs depends on the size of your business, the demographic that you’re serving, your budget, and your product or service line. You don’t have to use all of these advertising techniques, but it’s important to at least know all of your options before you start a campaign. After all, while you might be set on magazine ads, maybe taking your spiel to the cable networks is a better idea.

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1. Television Advertising

Commercials and infomercials might seem like an expensive prospect, but this type of advertising is more accessible than you might assume. You aren’t going to jump right onto cable networks if you aren’t a company with a huge marketing budget, but you can get your infomercials on late night programming, or advertise on your local news network. The learning curve for creating an effective commercial is high, however, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t see a huge turnout from it in the beginning. Over time, you’ll learn how to speak to your audience and get them to answer your call to action.

2. Product Placements

Product placements are a subtle form of marketing that works by putting your products or brand in front of a viewer’s eyes on a television show, in a video game, or in another form of entertainment. You aren’t blatantly advertising your product. Instead, you’re helping to reinforce brand familiarity by exposing your customers to the product line. You want to use this advertising method after you have some brand loyalty and recognition. Otherwise, no one is going to pay much attention to the product placement.

3. Billboard Advertising

Billboard advertising has been around for many years, and it will continue going strong as long as the world is using roads to transport themselves. Billboard advertising is best used for local campaigns, since you are going to make more impressions on the local traffic than anyone passing through. Like other forms of advertising, it does take some trial and error to get used to the techniques used to get your point across. You don’t want to have your billboard be too distracting for drivers, and you also need to decide whether you want a standard billboard or an electronic billboard.

4. Magazine Advertising

While the print magazine industry has declined due to the Internet, you have many targeted advertising opportunities in the pages of a niche magazine. Many magazines are focusing heavily on a particular demographic in order to move copies, and provide information that’s higher quality than many Internet sources. Trade magazines are especially good for niche advertising if you’re working in a B2B capacity.

5. Online Advertising

Online advertising is a massive source of traffic, no matter what demographic you’re focusing on. It’s also an advertising style that you don’t need a lot of experience to get into, as the learning curve is rather low to start with. You can advertise your website through search engine marketing, organic searches, review sites, niche interest sites, and many other areas. Social media marketing is also a very large component of online advertising.

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6. Mobile Advertising

Smartphones continue to gain in popularity, and the mobile advertising market grows right alongside it. Like online advertising, mobile marketing has a fairly low initial learning curve. You can advertise through applications, on a mobile-optimized website, through mobile ad networks, and through several other options.

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