Manufacturers, marketers, companies, and individuals with brands have been using advertisements to reach the masses for a long time. There are many ways in which they have done so, and new ways of advertising keep being invented every day. People started with word of mouth to spread information until the invention of electronic devices, such as the radio and television, which made it easier to reach many people at the same time. Many years later, some people went ahead and devised ways to get free advertising.
With the introduction of the internet, an even better way to reach people in different geographic locations became much more accessible. Advertising may be costly, especially when using traditional media, and many small businesses are intimidated because they may not have the finances to compete with major corporations. However, free advertising is possible and more straightforward than you might think.
How Businesses Benefit from Advertising
One might wonder why they should advertise let alone care about free advertising. There are many advantages of advertising for a business that you can read about below.
Introduction of New Products or Services
A company may want to launch a something new for its consumers that they didn’t offer before. The only way for people to hear about this is if they see an advertisement for the said product.
Expanding the Target Demographic
Every product created has its intended demographic, and in order to grow that demographic, it’s important to advertise. By advertising, you can also change the perception of a product that could attract a new demographic altogether.
The purpose of a majority of advertisements is to encourage people to buy more of the product. Therefore, companies that sell particular products target certain seasons; for example, toy companies make many advertisements during the holiday season.
Advertisements also encourage consumers to switch from one product or service to another without directly bashing the other product using color and similar unnamed products.
Consumers tend to trust products that are frequently advertised. A product or service gains goodwill and builds its reputation by being visible in the market. This encourages companies to keep advertising.
It’s not enough to advertise products; a good advertisement should also educate the consumers, be it on how to use the product or by informing the public about the dangers of excessive use. A good example is alcohol and gambling advertisements.
Instead of having others sell your products for you, you can cut the extra costs by targeting the consumers themselves through free advertising. Advertising also helps to support the salesmen that work for you since potential clients already know about your
Advertising is the only medium that businesses can control. You can precisely manage what you want the people to know about the product which is what people will remember.
How Much Does Advertising Cost?
When considering advertising, two mediums come to mind. There are traditional media that include radio, television, print, and billboards, among others, and there are digital media that can be used as a means of advertisement. Traditional media has been the most common means of advertisement for a long time. However, with the popularity that the internet has been receiving over the past decade, it is safe to say that both these mediums are forces of nature.
Let’s take a look at traditional media. For decades, it had been the main platform that most businesses chose to advertise on. Many marketers have perfected the use of mainstream advertising to improve the reach of their products or services. The problem with traditional media is the hidden costs. For printed media, the cost of printing and mailing could vary from time to time. For radio and TV, prices for time slots may differ depending on rush hour traffic and popular live events, such as the Super Bowl or fan favorite TV shows such as Game of Thrones.
In digital media, there is social media marketing, email marketing, search engine marketing, and content marketing as a means of advertisement. The only hidden cost in this medium is time. Employees and agencies determine how to price their services using time. Nevertheless, digital media advertising is way cheaper than traditional media.
Digital advertising measures its reach through CPC (cost per click) per impression (the number of times any content is displayed regardless of whether it is clicked on). From there, you can tell the reach, which is the total number of people who saw the content. Instead of only using CPC, digital advertising also uses CPM (cost per mille), which means the cost per 1000 people reached by the content. CPM is used to track the performance of ad products in both traditional and digital media.
To put things in perspective, when you print a thousand fliers and pass them around to people, they can be kept and reread when a potential buyer is ready to purchase. But with an online ad, there is no guarantee that an impression converts to sales unless the potential consumer is actively seeking the product or service.
10 Clever Ways to Get Free Advertising
Advertising has taken a new form, and that is the use of visually appealing videos. In Times Square, for example, a majority of the advertisements are in video form. Additionally, social media platforms have embraced the use of videos to advertise. Think of Facebook Live, Facebook Watch, Instagram stories, and YouTube as platforms. Another way to get free advertising is to partner with influencers with many followers to get more reach. YouTube is one of the best platforms known for this kind of publicity.
Blogging and Writing Articles
Any serious business should have a website where people can find out more about its products or services. The site should be regularly updated, as their site offers free advertising. Blogs also help owners to communicate with their consumers on a daily basis. Another way to get free advertising is through writing guest posts for high authority websites who can allow you to advertise your products.
Joining and Actively Taking Part in Online Groups and Chats
People tend to respect and support you if they see you are knowledgeable about something. They also tend to buy from you because they trust you.
Partnerships and Sponsorships
You get free advertising when you get involved in events as either a sponsor or a partner. You can also collaborate with influencers for free advertising on their social media sites.
Organizing Contests and Free Product Giveaways
Contests get people excited, and the more they participate, the more reach you have. Free giveaways encourage people to try out your products, and if they like it, they will purchase in the future. You get free advertising from these people because they will talk about your products to other people.
Speaking at Public Events
When given a chance to give a talk, you can take a few minutes to talk about what you do, giving you exposure and a free advertising opportunity. You can also do this when networking at in-person events where people are looking to discover new products or services.
Promoting products and services through email has become popular in the past few years. The ease of sending messages is attractive to many business owners. Email marketing may offer free advertising, but recently there have been concerns about security and privacy issues. So it advisable that you earn your subscribers' trust first. Using email marketing, you can send regular newsletters or promote your website on the email signature.
Publish Content on LinkedIn or Quora
Many sites such as LinkedIn, Pinterest, Reddit, and so on enable users to post about any subject. Quora allows you to answer questions posted by users about any topic. You can use these opportunities for free advertising to tell people what you are selling.
Put your business on niche directories so you can attract people who are searching for your products or services online. This offers you viable free advertising because these are people who were already looking to buy.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Use your business name to make a positive impact on your community. You can organize drives, fun events, or do volunteer work that benefits society; be sure they can associate that with your business. Good relations with the community not only gives you free advertising, but it also earns you credibility and the trust of others.
As a business owner or a person that is trying to grow your brand, it is essential to acknowledge both traditional and digital media as a means of advertising. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but for someone who is on a budget or simply starting out, the benefits of digital media to grow your reach are clear. For the best results, it is paramount for you to research the best way to reach many people. It may appear straightforward and easy to use free advertising, but it requires time and commitment to get people to care about what you are selling.