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Advertising Your Business In The Media

Mar 11, 2008
If you want to advertise in a newspaper or magazine, you must decide between the two types of advertising available in those media.

Classified ads are the small ads in the back of a publication, while display ads can be of many sizes and are usually distributed throughout the publication. They can take up a whole page or just a corner of a page.

Some display ads even extend across two pages in what is called the double-page spread. If you find a publication that you would like to advertise in, check out its web site to see what the advertising rates are. This is generally in a rate card section. You may also call the advertising department to ask for rate information. You will probably be surprised at how much print advertising can cost. It is extremely expensive, and for most home-based businesses, it just is not cost-effective.

A good approach to print advertising is to check out niche and trade magazines. There are many magazines in print, and they cover just about any topic you can think of. You just need to find the magazine for people who are interested in the services or products you provide. The costs of advertising in niche or trade magazines will be much less expensive than placing an ad in a publication meant for a general audience. You are more likely to get responses to such ads as well.

For radio advertising, you should investigate your local radio stations. Once your business has grown a little larger, you can consider purchasing some radio time. However, the only type of home business that can really benefit from radio advertising sufficiently to justify the cost is a business that is related in some way to automobiles. Because radio is almost completely limited to use as entertainment while driving, your ad can reach many car owners.

Also, if you offer a service very cheaply or for free, you are likely to get a good response to your ad. It may be that the response to a radio ad may be too big: you may get a surge of business the day after your ad is heard, then everyone forgets about you the day after that. Any ad that includes a phone number is particularly useless.

As for television, unless you have a really large business, this is not a good idea. It would be difficult to produce and air an ad on even a local cable channel for under $10,000. If you have the budget and if there is a market for your product, by all means, go ahead and use television advertising.

Home businesses that do well with television ads are those that offer unique or useful inventions with benefits that are easy to demonstrate. Think about the way infomercials work. Media research has shown that you can sell just about any product with a 60-second TV ad, a free phone number, and a price of $19.95.

Billboard advertising is often overlooked, but it can be effective if done right. The ads are expensive, but they stay up for a long time and can be useful in a targeted area. The best results come from ads that say things like turn left at the junction so only use these ads in your own geographic area near your business.

Another area that is frequently overlooked is advertising at the movies. You can advertise in a relatively inexpensive way with an ad for your local business that is displayed in a movie theater before the feature begins. This is a high-profile method and is very effective for take-out food businesses.
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