What’s the Best Way for Me to Advertise My Business?

Advertising involves spending money and the thought of advertising bristles with the fear of failure. Because the purpose of advertising is it go get more money into the business than you spend on the advertising. What if that doesn’t happen? So the question is: What’s the best way for you to advertise to get that return?

Image courtesy of philcampbell

The Three Things About Advertising

The first thing is that there is no best way for everyone. Just because your friend gets great results with pay-per-click advertising doesn’t mean you will.

The second thing about advertising is to think of it as an equation, a combination of tactics, rather than just one thing. Rather than just Television advertising, it may be Television + Social Media.

The third thing is that the biggest success factor in advertising is not the channel, it’s your advertising message. Not that the channel is not important. It is. But your message is what causes people to act, not the medium. Simply sending out an email does not cause people to act, but sending an email with a compelling message will.

I’ve covered creating your advertising message here:
Your Marketing Message: The Club or The Rose?
How to Handle The Brand Discovery Sequence
Made to Stick Messaging

Today, let’s review solving your channel equation, or where to advertise.

The Advertising Channel Equation

It’s tempting to try to find the one best way to advertise your business. But my experience has taught me that a combination of channels increases the return on your advertising investment.

Equation: Advertising Channel + Advertising Channel = Greater Return

But which channels do you fit into your equation? Begin with the best channel for your business and situation. Then add the best complimentary channel for your unique combination. You will have a primary advertising channel and a secondary channel. Here’s how to choose.

Start with the Digital Media Divide. Consumers age 51 and older generally spend most of their media time with traditional media channels such as television, newspaper, magazines and radio. Consumers under age 51 lean toward digital media. Warning: This is not a hard and fast divide. It is fuzzy around the median, but the farther you travel from the divide, the more dependable it is.

On which side of the divide are most of your customers? If they are age 51 and older, use traditional media as your primary advertising channel. Under age 51 choose a digital media channel. Unless your customers are exclusively on one side of the divide or the other, choose your secondary advertising channel on the other side of the digital divide.

You may also be interested in this webinar:
The Complete Guide to Advertising

Here are your choices:


  • Broadcast Television – Your local TV stations. Local television advertising still has great impact and gives your business credibility. It’s great for brand building and product demonstration.
  • Cable Television – Generally more affordable than broadcast TV. Allows you to achieve a higher frequency and reach niche markets.
  • Newspaper – Although rapidly declining as a primary advertising weapon, newspaper still delivers high income readers. Newspaper is  a good vehicle to achieve authority and advertise sales and specials.
  • Outdoor / Billboards  – Reach large audiences cost efficiently. Great for name recognition and brand building.
  • Direct Mail  – Ability to target by demographic and lifestyle. Use to generate product awareness and to sell something.
  • Local Magazines – Generally affordable. Allows you to build credibility on a local level and create brand awareness.
  • Radio  – Effective at reaching the working class. Allows you to level the playing field against larger competition.

Digital Media

  • Social media – 81% of U.S. online adults use social media. About 84% of  adults under age 50 have a Facebook account. Advertising on social media gives you access to younger adults engaged in online activity. Make sure you have a good online platform if you use social media.
  • Email – Effective in converting prospects to customers and getting repeat sales from existing customers. Best to use your own home-grown email list.
  • Website Advertising – Advertising on other websites using banners or other display ads. Works well if you have a hot product and great name recognition.
  • PPC – Pay Per Click Advertising is part art and part science. Take some time learning before you dive in, or hire an experienced PPC agency. Use this channel if you have a product or service that people tend to research online.
  • Review Sites / Local Citations – Requires the lowest monetary investment, but is time intensive. Claiming all your listings on sites such as Google Places, Yelp and the local directories. Then encourage happy customers to leave reviews about your business.

Are you ready to put together your advertising equation? What’s the best way for you to advertise?

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