Although many businesses rely on word-of-mouth advertising to fuel their business sales and some argue that this is the best form of advertising for any company – start-ups may not have enough customers to begin with to sustain a business while only relying on this particular strategy.
To get to a point where word-of-mouth can help to sustain your business you need to establish yourself through traditional and non-traditional advertising. We’ve compiled some of the best advertising ideas that have put many a start-up on the business map:
1. Invest in a landline and the Yellow Pages
For start-ups that deal with ecommerce, the landline may be considered defunct and online business directories might be the new alternative to the traditional Yellow Pages. However, if your start-up deals with a lot of after-sales care and customer service, it may be best to invest in a landline and get your start-up contact information listed in the big yellow book of local businesses.
Again, if you want to transact over the internet, then invest in a Skype click-to-call number for your business. Include this in your online business listing.
2. Invest in newspaper ads
Despite the falling broadsheet readership, newspaper ads are still a great way to get your company name and promos out there. If you’ve got an ongoing promotion and would like to offer coupons or some other promotional gimmick, advertising in a local or national newspaper is a great way to reach out to consumers who don’t necessarily have access to the internet.
Be on the look-out for penny savers or specialty newspapers that may be the key to capturing a previously untapped market.
3. Get featured in an industry glossy
Advertising in allied magazines may seem like a waste of time and resources, but what start-ups usually fail to account for is that the people buying the magazine are already interested in the products or services featured in the magazine. It’s not that much of a stretch to go from seeing and loving an item in a magazine advertisement to buying that same item.
4. Build a network of allied businesses and suppliers
Some start-ups are so focused on the B2C or business-to-consumer interaction that they forget that aligning themselves with other businesses in the industry or within the same locale can help boost their advertising reach.
If you’ve got a neighbor selling novelty mugs and you’ve recently begun to supply biodegradable coasters, why not set up a meeting and brainstorm a way to market the two together? You get twice the ideas and twice the capital to make things happen!
5. Develop a logo and build brand recognition
Take the time to create an attractive and relevant logo for your new company. This will be the seal of your brand, so make sure it will work on a variety of applications with different sizes, resolutions, and color schemes. Once you have the perfect logo, be sure to give it as much exposure as possible.
Aside from obvious places like your website and letterhead, consider other possibilities like inexpensive promotional products to give out to potential clients. Another idea is to have the logo sewn on embroidered knit shirts for your company's staff. The additional of the logo may be subtle, but it will give you an increased look of professionalism, which will be incredibly important in the first stages of your business.
6. The magic of the business card
I personally enjoy handing out and receiving business cards to advertise my company. One trick to remembering the person and company that comes with the card (if they don’t include a picture or don’t have a list of services indicated) is by writing clues on the blank side or available negative space of the business card.
Business cards are a great way for prospective clients and suppliers to remember your company. A well-designed business card is a great way to impress people with your professionalism and inspire name recall.
If you work under a green philosophy an electronic business card would be a great substitute. Send your electronic business card straight to your customer’s mobile or email inbox!