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  • Jo Evans

The beginner guide to advertising

Updated: Oct 19, 2023

Wondering where to start with advertising if you are a start-up business? Specific, targeted and carefully designed, advertising can help promote your brand to the right people.

Here are our top tips for small businesses and start-ups looking to advertise on a budget.

Use local publications – if you do decide to advertise then “think local” before you broaden your net. It will create a local buzz and it’s cheaper too! Some of the most effective sources for advertising are local community publications. Potential consumer and business owners may read these journals. In addition, these business owners may also be commuters from businesses further afield.

Don’t be harassed by sales people – ensure you target the publications you know your customers read. It may seem like common sense, but advertising sales people can be very persuasive and push your advertising budget in the wrong direction.

Get an advert in Yellow Pages – adverts are free for the basic entries. This may be enough for your business to be found on initially. You could always upgrade to a bigger box ad when your business gets going.

Consider the power of radio – it may be cheaper than you think, and many radio stations will write and record the advert for you.

Keep telling ’em – repeat adverts are better than a one-off to stay in the forefront of customers’ minds and build brand awareness. Research shows that it can take seven exposures of an advert before a customer decides to buy.

Write a letter – target potential customers in writing with an offer. Narrow down your audience by buying a targeted data list, instead of “junk mailing” everyone. This will be more cost effective (and saves paper!).

Check your copy – ensure you tailor your writing (“copy” as it’s called in the world of marketing) to match your audience. Avoid jargon unless you are writing technical info for technical people.

Emerald Frog Marketing provides a full copywriting service (including brochures, direct mail, leaflets, adverts, websites and press releases).

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