Making “Traditional” Advertising Methods Work for Your Small Business

In an ever-increasingly digital age, it’s important to keep up with trends to promote your business online and with social media. But that doesn’t mean you need to leave more traditional approaches behind.

Here are some tips to help make three “traditional” advertising work for your small business – and complement your digital efforts.


Good signs can be hugely effective – and one of the least expensive – forms of advertising for your small business. A sign is your introduction and handshake with those passing by, identifying your business to existing and potential customers. They’re also always on the job for you, working 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Being able to easily identify your establishment and convey your offerings – and quickly to people walking by – can help capture business you might not have otherwise gained. As one sign industry professional has said, "A business without a sign is a sign of no business."

Radio & TV

Connect with your local radio and television stations to explore advertising options. You’ll likely find that your local outlets will work with you to determine a right fit for your needs and budget. You’ll have to plan accordingly for considerations like time slots, coverage areas and target audience, but a well placed radio or television ad can still work wonders to gain exposure for your business.

Promotional Inserts

When you invoice a client, have you considered including an insert that advertises all your offerings? When a customer leaves your store with a bag of purchases, do you ever drop in a promotion with the receipt? This kind of advertising can help you accomplish a few goals, depending on what you’re after.

You have the opportunity to remind existing customers of the rest of your offerings. If they typically come to you for one thing, it’s a good way to say, “Hey, here’s what else we can do for you!” in a way that isn’t too pushy. Or if you’re looking to expand your customer base, you can try a “bring-a-friend” approach that discounts your product or service for both the newcomer and loyal customer. You’ll solidify an existing relationship and build a new one!

Complementary and Consistent

In all of your advertising tactics – online and offline ­– it’s important to maintain consistency in messaging across the board. You want to ensure a focus, a clear call-to-action. You should also make each element look like part of a cohesive effort; feature a common theme or look-and-feel for a complementary, memorable campaign.

Digital advertising is here to stay, but these “old-school” methods can still be part of an effective strategy to market your business to retain and expand a loyal customer base.

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I think you forgot one of the

I think you forgot one of the best bangs for the buck with local advertising. Newspapers. Either online or in print or both... much more affordable than radio and TV and reaches a larger audience.

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