Local Advertising on a Budget: Startup Advertising that Saves

Although the economy is growing faster than forecast consumers and entrepreneurs are still pining for new ways to save money. For those looking to start their own business, this is extremely imperative to success. You want to have the best start you can possibly allow yourself while still finding successful marketing strategies. While online marketing offers low cost global solutions, those marketing for local consumers may find success in more traditional methods of advertising.

newspaper classifieds
photo credit: Ian Lamont

Print Advertising Isn’t Dead Yet

Call them purists or old fashioned, but there are still consumers who purchase the newspaper daily, reach for the phone book when they need a product or service, and even keep the many mailers and flyers in their mailboxes. Print advertising hasn’t died out yet.

With the majority of local advertising turning digital, local businesses may find that print advertising has become much cheaper than in the past. In 2006, the average cost for a newspaper ad was $200, depending on the size. Today you can find rates as low as $40 for daily run depending on the newspaper’s circulation. This is still a cost effective method to reach local consumers over the age of 30. The average adult under 30 years of age has never read a newspaper and possibly never will.

Radio Advertising

Satellite radio, streaming music, in-dash media players and MP3s are doing to radio what the internet has done to the newspaper, taking away listeners. This doesn’t mean nobody is listening. Even with internet radio gaining 30% more listeners year after year, consumers, usually commuters, still dial into their favorite morning radio shows out of sheer habit.

This allows local businesses to take advantage of those who are still tuning in by marketing over the local airwaves. The price for a typical ad cost runs $850-$900 for production costs with a single voice in the ad. However, you should multiply this by two since it is highly suggested you create two separate ads for testing and keep the most effective. As a weekly budget, Strategic Media suggests you budget $6000 for the first week of running both ads. After which you can determine the most effective ad and cut your ad budget in half.

compare and contrast
photo credit: Mat Honan

Mailers and Flyers

If you are looking for something cheaper than $3000 a week, mailers and flyers are still the cheap ad of choice. With printing costs as low as $20 for 100 flyers, it is simple to see why most local businesses prefer them. Many companies hire small street teams to hand out their flyers in high traffic areas, place them on doors or even car windshields at the mall. For years this has been an effective local advertising method.

If you know who to target and have already gathered their home addresses, mailers are also a great way to get your foot in their door. Even with email as the preferred method of communication, everyone still checks their home mailboxes. There are services that offer printing and mailing for considerably lower prices than if you do it from your home or office. Many of these companies will even create a mailing list for you for an additional cost.

Car Wraps and Signs

If you have ever driven down any street you have seen a U-Haul truck someone has rented. If you are planning a move, you may have even written down the phone number from the side of the truck. Automobile advertising has increased in popularity simply because of the low one-time cost and the daily effective circulation. A car wrap or magnetic sign can be purchased and slapped onto any vehicle, creating your own rolling billboard. Everywhere you drive is another chance to get your company known.

little caesar
photo credit: Donald Lee Pardue

Sign Spinners

Whether you live in a big city or a small town you have undoubtedly seen someone in costume spinning a large sign in front of a business. These sign spinners have the sole responsibility of luring customers into the door and it is effective, otherwise they would have to find another job. Depending on your business, a sign spinner may just be the entertaining enticement your consumers need. And at minimum wage, it is definitely worth the cost.

Starting your own business comes with a lot of cost and decisions that must be made. If you are catering to local consumers, you need to think locally. Creating a fantastic web presence if important, but remembering the marketing techniques that have stood the test of time can help increase your success.

About the Author: Amy Chandler is a blogger for www.discountbannerprinting.co.uk where she offers advice on low cost advertising and marketing strategies. Follow her on twitter @DBPAmy.