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ways to advertiseWhether you want to promote a product or service, advertising is essential in today’s competitive marketplace. When it comes to the types of advertisements that your company can utilize, the possibilities are endless. However, when creating an advertising plan and strategy, it is necessary to identify and examine the specific clientele you are targeting. Recognizing your target market will help you to choose the most beneficial type of advertisement for your specific business.

Identify Your Target Market

In order to research your market demographic, you can study your current or past clients, submit a survey, or conduct secondary market research by examining other companies that are similar to yours. Advertising efforts will ultimately be more profitable if your ad speaks to a certain customer – the ones who are directly in need of your product or are likely to use your product or service. For help at determining your target market, check out this course.

It is important to identify the type of media that is being viewed by your target market. Some examples of media are websites, newspapers, magazines, television, radio and billboards. If you are using more than one ad, advertising in more than one medium is a good move. Whether you use new media or more traditional media will most likely depend on your target demographic. However, it goes without saying that more and more people are using and being exposed to new media — specifically online and mobile advertising.

Focus on Your Message

Before choosing a medium, be sure that you have a specific goal for your ad. Do you want to generate more traffic into your business (whether it be a website or office building)? Do you want new consumers to try your product, or are you trying to retain clientele? Are you encouraging someone to try your service who may be unhappy with their current situation?

Focus on one particular problem that you can solve for the potential customer. You also want to make sure that you include a clear call to action in your advertisement. What do you want your audience to do? Should they call for an appointment, check your website, or simply go out and pick up your product? Before deciding on a method of advertisement, be sure to have a clear message and  brainstorm ad ideas for your business.

Print Advertising

One way to advertise your product or service is through print. Basically, anything printed on paper would be considered print advertising. Some basic types of print advertisements are found in newspapers, magazines, and newsletters. Direct mailings and flyers are other examples of print advertisements. Be sure to consider the readership of these different print sources. Specific magazines will have a narrower focus as opposed to a daily, local newspaper.

Many people look to the phone book when trying to find a new service. The good thing about this is the fact that the consumer is already in need your service. However, you will be side by side with other similar businesses and it is harder to stand out or take a creative approach to get noticed. Also, many people automatically go to the internet when seeking a new business. However, some people feel more comfortable using a phone book and believe it legitimizes a company and means they can be trusted.

In addition, printed sports programs and various organization newsletters are examples of print ads that would increase local clientele. Brochures, informational packets, and posters also are options for print advertising at a lower cost.

Broadcast Advertising

Broadcast advertising includes communication through television and radio. The advantage of using broadcast advertising is that your commercials will reach a broad audience. In addition, your target audience will depend on the channel you are using. Local station can control to which areas your commercial will be broadcast.  Usually 30 or 60 second time slots are allotted for commercials. The option for your business to sponsor a specific program or be mentioned by a radio DJ are also options. Checking out the websites of local radio or television stations will usually provide information on advertising or direct you to a particular contact who you can work with.

Online Advertising

According to Entrepreneur,  “consumers are spending more time logging in than tuning in, with Google’s digital audience to soon eclipse TV viewing.” More people are spending more and more time surfing the internet — whether it be for information or entertainment. Any ad on the Internet would be considered online advertising. There are ads on just about every page you open. Many business owners choose the internet as their advertising medium because they are able to reach a large number of people for costs that traditionally aren’t as high as print and broadcast.

There are ample opportunities online for business directory listings. Online business directories are similar to a traditional phonebook directory. Businesses are listed along with their contact information. Some are free and some charge for the listing. Google, Yahoo, and Bing are a few of the major business directories to which you can add your company. Also, if applicable, be sure to search for more specialized local sites for listings as well. As stated above, many people will go to the internet first to seek a service or product.

Pay-per-click advertising is a popular method of advertisement via websites. Unlike print advertising, pay-per-click options guarantee that people are seeing the message being advertised. Typically, in pay-per-click advertising, advertisers are only charged when a person clicks on the advertisements. Links can be placed in the body of an article, text boxes can be placed along the borders of a page, or embedded links or keywords can take you directly to an ad associated with the given keyword. To learn how to get cheap, pay per click ads on Facebook and Twitter, how to do search engine optimization, and attain viewers through YouTube, check out this course.

Internet advertising can also work more traditionally. An advertiser can be given a designated amount of space and pay a flat rate for the amount of time that the ad will be displayed on a specific website. For more information on onsite optimization, blog marketing, and businesses relationships, check out this course.

There are many ways that social networking sites can be used to advertise and promote your company. Ads can be placed on sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Yelp, etc. Facebook contains product offers, sponsored posts, and promoted stories. It is impossible to log on to Facebook without viewing various ads and pages that are tailored to your particular interests. To learn how to advertise your business on Facebook, check out this course offered by Udemy.Also, Twitter offers the opportunity to promote tweets and specific accounts drawing attention to your business. Exploring your resources whether it comes to social networking or local print, take the time to identify low cost ad methods that would be of service to your business while staying within your price range.

In addition, company pages can be created through a social networking site to promote and display products. Posting regularly to these pages will provide advertising opportunities as well as reinforce and display positive company practices and relations. Not only will this type of promotion keep customers informed about products and services, it will allow you to feature special coupon codes or daily deals that you can offer to your social media followers. Actively being involved with your social media pages will enable you to directly deal with customer service issues and provide timely feedback for product questions. This will not only increase efficiency but it will make you look good in the eyes of the consumer. This course teaches the basics of social and media marketing.

Mobile Advertising

Mobile advertising would apply to any type of electronic device that is connected to the internet and is portable. Cell phones, iPads, Nooks, etc. would all fall under this category. When viewing a website on a phone or device, many sites use a mobile version as opposed to the full web version of the site.

Mobile advertising primarily uses banner ads and poster advertising. Mobile banner ads appear at the top of your screen. Mobile poster advertising refers to the area at the bottom of your screen. There is a difference between an ad being at the bottom of a website and at the bottom of the mobile version through your phone or device. The ad gains more exposure because it is much more visible to the reader due to the condensed space and text on the page. Studying this course will teach you how to incorporate mobile marketing for your business.

Guerilla Advertising

Guerilla advertising is a creative way to advertise that usually uses high concepts to aggressively draw attention to your business. Guerilla advertising usually takes place at the street level and is a shocking or controversial and appeal to the emotions of a target market group. Word of mouth and buzz marketing are also names given to these types of campaigns. Think along the lines of a memorable publicity stunt. For example, a shocking anti-smoking campaign or a provocative demonstration or billboard would be examples of guerilla advertising. To help develop creative marketing strategies for your business, explore this course on guerrilla marketing.


Whether you decide to use new media or go the more traditional route through print and broadcast, it is essential that your message can be reached by those who would benefit from your product or service. If you are starting out or trying to grow and develop your business, check out the course: Small Business Marketing Basics. This course will help you to develop your market position, product message, advertising, and customer retention. It will also help you to speak directly to your target market — an essential part of developing successful advertisements.

Page Last Updated: February 2020

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