General verses Trackable Advertising
At some point, you realize your business needs promoting. It takes marketing and advertising to expand your customer base. Grow your revenues. Be able to cover anticipated increases in things like rent.
You've worked hard at collecting client emails. You've got people liking your business on Facebook, Google, and Instagram. But when you spend money to bring more people in... how do you know if it is working? Much of the time, you don't.
Television, newspaper, radio, magazines, local school groups... everyone wants you to advertise with them. It's great to support local, but is it giving you a return on your investment? Most venues will "increase public awareness", "build brand awareness." They don't necessarily bring people into the door. This is general advertising.
The goal of general advertising is to leave a mental picture of the business in our head. If we hear something often enough, we will think of it when we start shopping. Like a sexy new car, a comfy new sofa, a repairman when something breaks. We certainly aren't going to call a repairman when everything is working well.
Think of this as seed advertising. You plant the seeds and hope they will grow. But you never really know how well your dollars are working.
There is another type of advertising you can employ. Trackable advertising. A coupon is trackable. Those codes you enter in to get an online special are trackable. If no one brings in the coupon, you know that didn't work. Don't repeat. Do something different.
If you have an active business Facebook page, you can do trackable marketing there. Create a unique offer with a code attached to it. Set it up to sell it right on Facebook. And you will know exactly how well it is doing. Trackable return on your investment.
Add an offer on Instagram, Yelp or Google. Make it a little different, or use a unique code. You want to know which venue and which offer your clients responded to. It may take a little testing and tweaking to find what hits your clients' hot button. But you will have more than seeds of hope. You will know exactly how well your investment is working. Trackable.