The more businesses I speak to these days, the more I hear about how margins are continuing to be squeezed and budgets having to be stretched even further.
Unfortunately, many businesses that are feeling the pinch cut their marketing budget as one of their first moves to save money. While this is understandable, cutting down on telling people that you’re there and open for business is not the best way get them through the door. Instead of reducing your marketing budget, look at how you can use it more effectively.
There are far more advertising avenues open to you now than there were a few years ago. Used correctly, newspaper, radio and TV advertising will produce results and can be used when the message you wish to get across warrants their use.
You may also have considered Google’s Adwords online advertising for your website. This is when you create ads that are displayed on Google search pages as sponsored links, but only when someone enters a specific search phrase. You only pay when someone actually clicks on your ad – hence the term “pay per click” advertising.
However, with the ever-growing popularity of Facebook comes the opportunity to tap into its vast audience. If you’re a Facebook user, you’ll be familiar with the sponsored ads that appear on the desktop version of it. It’s only a matter of time before they start appearing on the mobile versions, too. These aren’t just randomly thrown on to your Facebook profile; they are carefully placed because of who you are.
In contrast to Google’s Adwords, which targets you with ads depending on what you’re searching for, with Facebook you can target ads depending on people’s age, gender, hobbies, likes, and more.
For example, say you offer hen party nights in Galashiels. Wouldn’t it be great if you could create an ad specifically targeted at engaged women within, say, a 25-mile radius of the town? With Facebook ads you can do just that. At the time of writing, there are 1,000 engaged women over the age of 18 on Facebook that fall into this category. I’ve not made up that figure – it’s Facebook’s own demographics information. That’s 1,000 ideal potential customers that you can get your message in front of.
These are also potential clients for wedding photographers, cake suppliers, venue providers – you see what I mean?
On average, a Facebook user who becomes engaged will update their relationship status to reflect this within two hours of the question being popped. So, imagine the potential if your ad is sitting there waiting to be shown to the bride-to-be as soon as she updates her relationship status.
Now, I’ve just given you one very simple example. When I’m creating social media campaigns for clients, we’ll work through a whole range of different potential customers that we can target. Each one must be targeted in different ways, tapping into their needs and wants.
Now, this is not to say that the more traditional methods of advertising I mentioned don’t have their place – that would only be the case if every man, woman and child were on Facebook. However, what this is providing you with is the means to get exactly the message you want to get across in front of exactly the audience you want – better targeting your marketing and helping to make your budget go just that bit further.
Andrew McEwan of The Web Workshop in Morebattle (www.thewebworkshop.net) designs websites, builds brands, produces videos, and markets businesses in the Borders and beyond.