Advertising is essential but it doesn't have to be expensive
to be effective. There are many advertising avenues that
offer free marketing and even more options that can give
you more exposure for your advertising dollar than you
A well written press release is a excellent way to make
the public aware of your product or company. You can submit
a press release to local and national newspapers, radio,
television, magazines and trade publications. Make your
press release attention grabbing, truthful and newsworthy.
For best results focus your article on a targeted audience
instead of a wide readership.
Another way to receive free advertising is to offer to
sponsor a contest for a community event or large publication.
By furnishing the winning prize your advertising can come
in a variety of methods. If the contest in on-line you
will be offered a free banner link or rotation on the
contest entry page and are often given a 6-8 line advertisement
to be included in a subscriber newsletter. Normally this
advertising package can cost from $30 to several hundred
dollars depending on the size of the web site. When sponsoring
an online contest always ask how many unique visitors
they receive to their site in a month or how many participants
visited the contest page during their last contest. You
could be asked to send the prize to the main web site
prior to the contest or forward the prize directly to
the winner. Be aware that you will be responsible for
shipping costs, no matter which country the winner resides
Twice a year public television stations will also have
a broadcast in which prizes can be donated in exchange
for advertising. Generally you will be asked to provide
a sentence or two to be read on-air while your product
is being shown by the camera. Some public stations will
also allow you to choose the demographical area you wish
your merchandise to be used. I recommend that only large
companies utilize public television donations as a way
to generate advertising. You can also use this method
if you need a tax write-off for the merchandise. Most
small corporations or home-based business will not be
able to contribute merchandise within their minimum prize
value without hurting their inventory base.
Direct mailing campaigns can be costly for you to handle
them by yourself but it is very inexpensive to join a
group of fellow business associates who will mail out
your advertisement with their product orders. You in turn
offer to do the same so it is a win-win situation for
all involved only costing you the paper the advertisement
is printed on!
The key is to write an article that is interesting enough
that the readership will continue reading to the bottom
of the article where your author by-line and company information
is located. Avoid listing your credentials as a writer
but use the space to advertise your product or service.
Include a web site or e-mail address where applicable.
This ad space will only work if you get the readers'
immediate attention. Offering a coupon or discount can
be both eye catching and might be the incentive they need
to act upon. Most articles used online will be archived
and you need to be willing to honor the coupon if product
orders surface months later from an archived article being
Remnant Space Advertising
When your advertising budget will allow you to look into
paid advertising you should rarely have to pay full price.
Almost every media has left over space that the industry
refers to as "remnant space". Advertising is
a perishable commodity and it is not uncommon to be able
to purchase bonus television or radio airtime if you ask
for it as a package deal. Newspapers offer the most remnant
space but could be more difficult to work with unless
you have established yourself as a regular advertiser.
You will generally not be able to choose the time or location
in which your remnant space advertising is ran.
By Rachel Webb, PageWise, Inc.