Business owners are often excited about creating brochures, business cards, signage and other marketing materials. These materials are the tangible representation of your business, and it offers people an instant idea of what your business is all about. But to produce the most effective marketing materials, you need either:
1. Use literature that can be customized.
I once had a client that had a variety of customers – commercial, residential, local governments. Each market has different needs and will use his services for different reasons. Sticking to his budget, this client couldn't afford to create a separate brochure for each market segment. At the same time, just one general brochure didn’t highlight his distinct ability to cater to each market. The solution is customizable marketing collateral. Essentially, this is a basic brochure layout that has sections capable of being tailored to meet specific market needs.
With this set-up, many sections of your brochure – company background, services, products – will be the same regardless of the market. A few sections can be tailored to specific readers with new copy or graphics added for each market-specific section of the brochure, allowing you to create unique, more relevant pieces using the same basic layout and artwork. This produces more effective marketing collateral while saving time and money. For my client, we made a high-quality, 3-panel brochure that had a folder pocket on one panel. In that pocket, we added a single page card insert that had information that was tailored for each of the market segments. This was the perfect solution for my client to effectively reach each market without the cost of developing three completely different marketing pieces.
2. Repurpose your ads.
Advertisements can be costly to develop and place in media. But if it makes sense for your business to produce an ad for a local newspaper or magazine, make the most of it by repurposing it in other areas to get your message out there. Order a large supply of reprints of your ad and distribute them to customers and potential customers at every opportunity. When you send anything to anyone via mail, include a copy of your ad. Consider printing your ad on a postcard and sending it as a direct mail marketing piece to prospects. Or, use these postcards as thank you cards by writing your thank you message on the reverse side of the postcard and mailing it to your clients, customers, vendors, suppliers or anyone in your network. This shows your appreciation for their business or support and reminds them of the message you're conveying through your ad.
Use your ad digitally. Add the advertisement to your website, or any other online avenues. Since you can upload images to your social media pages and even sites like Google Places, Yelp and other listing sites, there's nothing that prevents you from posting your ad in these places to give it more visibility. One thing to remember is that if your ad is time-sensitive, remove it once it's old or irrelevant.
3. Don’t overpay for professional help.
Sometimes it’s good to acknowledge that you don’t have the knowledge or skills to do all things for your business. It’s often a wise idea to hire outside help to ensure your marketing is most effective. Do some research before you hire freelancers or a marketing consultant. Their portfolio of work and credentials should fit the job your asking of them and their fees must fit your budget. There is a vast range of experts out there. And so, a vast range in the level of expertise. When you're selecting a writer, designer, web developer, consultant or photographer, make sure their level of expertise and cost is appropriate for the task their expected to accomplish for you. A small, local start-up doesn’t need the same marketing firm used by a Fortune 500 company. Similarly, a more established small business may want to invest in a more seasoned small business marketing strategist rather than a college student.