By Sabina Kirwan, Marketing Manager for telephone answering specialists Moneypenny

With the limitless advertising opportunities available for growing businesses, finding the right strategy for you can feel like negotiating your way through a minefield.

Here are five tips to get you on the right track:

1. Cold adverts are just what they say on the tin: cold. It might seem like a quick and easy option to reach a larger audience in a chosen sector; however, without prior knowledge of your business; editors, advertisers and consumers are less likely to pay attention. So take the time to get your brand immersed in the sector, build relationships, partnerships and associations – be part of the industry conversations, in amongst it and at events, then when you do place your advertisement you are introducing your service to an already informed audience which will increase its impact.

2. Online advertising is important to consider as part of your marketing mix but it has to be done well or your message will get lost. A great place to start is with the websites of magazines you have already targeted in print. From this multi-hit advertisement opportunity you can then move on to other related websites and eventually consider retargeting as your adverts become increasingly visible online. Twitter and LinkedIn can be a quick and easy way to generate and target an audience. Facebook is another, which often gets a bad press, but used cleverly it’s great for raising visibility and getting your brand out there. The use of granular targeting, made possible with Facebook’s Power Editor allows campaigns to be set up based on interest, age, gender and location. Segmenting your audience this way enables you to test messaging, learn who responds to what and more importantly, bin what’s eating at your budget with no return. However tempting, don’t boost your posts. You are unlikely to see ROI.

3. Keep your advertising fresh and fit for purpose. Have a variety of advertisements carefully considered for a variety of audiences. Think about your audience and what style will appeal to them while maintaining your brand identity. If repeating messaging to the same audience change your adverts regularly to keep them interested. Consider other techniques such as disruptive advertising, currently popular at creating brand visibility and making a brand stand out.

4. You don’t always have to take the direct route. Seeing your advertising indirectly may have a greater impact on the viewer. For example don’t feel you have to always advertise to vets via the veterinary press. Instead, consider ways of targeting such an audience in less obvious ways. For example, if your audience demographic is males aged 40+ think about what other ways can you reach them? It could be in their day-to-day lives when they’re on the road, such as a radio station they listen to, or social arenas like golf courses and gyms. Taking the indirect route has the potential to stand out more than advertising in the obvious places.

5. It’s no good advertising if you haven’t got the resources to deal with the resulting interest. Make sure you are ready for any enquiries that it generates. It’s self defeating to advertise what a great company you are if you don’t back this up with great customer service. Simple things such as answering every phone call and replying to every email or message will build your reputation and your growing position in the marketplace and ultimately lead to the most effective advertising tool of all – word of mouth recommendation.

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