Paying to Advertise for You

Written by Bill Tanzer


Almost every small business is looking for a way to get its name out and about without dropping a ton of cash on expensive ad campaigns. Who wants to spend much-needed money with little in return, especially in today’s economy? Companies try giving out customized pens, calendars, t-shirts, caps, you name it, each with varying degrees of success and associated costs. Check out the Advertising Specialty Institute impressions study, which compares different types of promotional items.

Custom printed bags get a lot of bang for the buck, the best way for small businesses to constantly market and advertise their names. The impressions study listed above has more specifics.

Consumers want bags they can use a dozen times more for different reasons. Not only does customized packaging serve consumers by providing reusable bags, but it also reinforces the company’s image and promotes the business name every time the bag is used. Yes, every time the bag is noticed, on the sidewalks, at friends’ houses, at the office or on the subway.

It’s similar to a walking billboard. Pedestrians who see a well-designed bag will turn their heads for a second look. Don’t believe me? Just sit on a park bench and observe. The pedestrian is not likely to remember the stranger carrying the bag, but the image of the bag itself will resonate. Or maybe the friend or co-worker will inquire about the store. Better to have that great image associated with your company than your competitor!

And by the way, according to the Advertising Specialty Institute, 187 people will see that bag in the United States. The cost to make those impressions is lower than other forms of marketing.

Speaking of marketing, a number of small businesses try to go the online route by blanketing the web with promotional comments. I’m talking about those who drop links to their blog or website link on tons of forums, regardless of whether these are appropriate avenues or not. Believe me, it’s more than okay to market your business online, it’s encouraged, through signature links and mentioning your store when appropriate. It’s not okay to derail threads! No one likes a spammer, or ad bomb, the type of poster who leaves one self-serving comment and a URL link no matter what the forum topic. Or worse, illegible posts created by auto commenting software. Ever see those? Like obnoxious word salad. Grammatical nightmares that make no sense in any context. Don’t associate your company with that kind of marketing. To promote your small business in a positive way, it’s much better to be part of the online discussion than a sideline hack. Just my two cents.

July 7, 2011

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