A Guide To Advertising In The Media
Written by Craig Warren
The media is a powerful thing. The average person spends
an enormous amount of their life consuming it in one form
or another and will spend a significant percentage of
that time looking at, listening to or watching
advertisements. If you want to use the power of the
media, though, you need to know what you’re doing.
Advertising In Newspapers And Magazines
There are two kinds of advertising you can get in
newspapers and magazines: classified and display.
Classifieds are the small ads towards the back of the
publication, while display ads can be almost any size,
from a small corner of a page to a massive double-page
If there’s a publication you’re interested in advertising
in, either go to its website (the rate card section) or
call its advertising department to find out the rates it
charges. Now pick your jaw up off the floor. Yes,
advertising in the print media really is that expensive,
and for most home businesses it probably just won’t be
There is, however, an exception: niche and trade
magazines. If you’ve ever looked around in a news agent,
you will have seen just how many magazines there are out
there, filling every conceivable gap in the market. You
need to find the magazine that people who are interested
in your services might read. For example, if you’re a
wedding photographer, look for a magazine called ‘Your
Wedding’, ‘Bride’, or something similar. Advertising in
these magazines will be far cheaper than placing an ad
in a general-audience publication and far more likely
to actually get some responses.
Advertising On The Radio
Wherever you are, the chances are that there’s a local
radio station. Once your home business grows to a decent
size, you might consider buying some time on it.
Really, though, the only kind of home business that can
benefit enough from radio ads to justify the cost is one
that does anything to do with cars. Since radio is
almost entirely limited to use as in-car entertainment
now, you know that almost everyone your ad reaches will
be a car-owner and so might be interested in what you’re
offering. If you offer something that people need cheaply
or even for free, you can get a big response.
Unfortunately, that response could be a little to big,
thanks to the time-sensitivity of radio, you’ll get
mobbed the next day and then everyone will forget you
again. Radio advertising offers the listener no
opportunity to keep your ad and refer to it later, or to
find it again in the future. You will find that any ads
involving a phone number are spectacularly useless.
Advertising On The Television
Unless your business is getting pretty big, this would be
quite a bad idea. You’d have trouble producing and airing
an ad even on local cable channels for less than $10,000.
Of course, if there’s a market for your product and
you’ve got the budget for this, you could take a gamble
and make a mint. The home businesses that tend to do best
out of TV ads are ones that have a ‘unique and useful
invention’ product with easy-to-demonstrate benefits,
think infomercial. Research shows that you can sell almost
anything given a 60-second ad, a free phone number and a
price point of $19.95.
Advertising On Billboards
Here’s one that gets overlooked pretty often, but can be
very effective if you do it right. Billboard ads are
relatively expensive, but they do generally stay up for
a long time and they can be very specifically targeted
to an area, the one where they’re physically located.
You’ll have the best results with this if you can put
one near enough to your business that it could say turn
left at the next junction, or something like that. Phone
numbers are, again, pretty useless, although you could
have some luck putting a website address up there.
Advertising At The Movies.
Finally, here’s one that often gets overlooked. If you
turn up to the cinema early, you might have seen that
before the big-budget ads, ads for local businesses
are run. This can be a great place to advertise
relatively inexpensively in quite a high-profile way,
and it works especially well for takeaway food
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