What Can An Advertiser Do on a Small Advertising Budget?

As a small advertising agency, many of my recent enquiries are coming from small or medium sized-companies with small advertising budgets. Probably not surprising, due to tough trading conditions, in which budgets are under pressure, and my positioning in the market as This country’s smallest advertising agency (in which I’m often – erroneously – perceived as This country’s cheapest ad agency). And it’s not that I mind receiving these enquiries.

Rather, it makes me question whether a limited marketing budget of, say R30 000 per month, is actually sufficient in this day and age.

Prior to the advent of social media and the effectiveness of online marketing, a budget of this size would have been problematic – for the simple reason that conventional advertising media would have required a significantly more substantial investment to make them work.

One has only to look at the costs of TV advertising, radio advertising, print advertising or outdoor advertising these days. They’re not for the faint-hearted.

Unless a marketer has a budget of at least R1 million to spend on TV advertising, it’s probably not a medium worth considering (unless the marketer has a cheap TV commercial in mind – one that could be produced in studio – and intends only a short burst of airing the commercial).

Radio advertising? Expensive if one intends advertising on morning or afternoon drive time, but less so if not. One could probably get away with an advertising spend of R100 000-R150 000 dependent on station choice and duration of a radio campaign.

Advertising in newspapers or magazines? Also expensive, unless you have a small black and white ad in mind, or you’re looking to advertise in a Caxton paper or a trade journal.

Outdoor advertising can also be costly, especially if you’d like to advertise on a freeway or at an airport. Building wraps are also extremely costly. Whereas street pole posters and other forms of outdoor advertising are less so.

Limited advertising budgets are often difficult to work with, but for my money, I would in nearly all cases recommend an online marketing approach, in which one’s target market(s) are driven to a website through:

Google Adwords
Social Media

That said, the effectiveness and success of an online marketing campaign is often dependent on the website itself. Today, one’s website needs to talk to one’s target audience. It needs to, at a glance, tell people what you’re about. First impressions count. Your website needs to stand out, be liked, be easily navigable, be built correctly and be professionally optimised for search engines.

(With “professionally” being the key word here: too many so-called online marketers today think they know about optimisation but ending up doing an average job. Far rather, get someone who understands optimisation and specialises in the field).

Once your website has been professionally optimised for search engines and has had the aforementioned boxes ticked, a Google Adwords campaign should be looked at. (Unless you know what you’re doing, get a professional in to set it up and manage it for you).

Regular blogging is also important. As is remarketing. As is social media (if done correctly). But these will be dealt with in upcoming blog posts.

The most important thing with online marketing is get someone who knows what they’re doing in to do it for you. Unless you’re really clue-d up in this area, it’s best to seek outside help. Done correctly, an online marketing campaign can do wonders for the bottom-line and a business with a limited advertising budget should look at one as a first port-of-call.

I work with some of the best online marketers in the industry. I could put you onto them if need be.

Posted in Advertising, Advertising Costs, Costs to advertise, Marketing Budgets, Search engines and tagged , .

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