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Sometimes less is more in advertising spending

Do you think you have to spend a lot of money to attract business? Sometimes a simple, "old-fashioned" way of advertising can get your the most bang for your buck. Here is a quick look at three ideas.

Costume Promotion — With Tax Day quickly approaching, there have been an army of Uncle Sams and Lady Liberties on street corners holding up signs promoting tax services. Nice spring days also bring out the big cow to wave at passersby in front of Chick-fil-A restaurants on 135th Street, College Boulevard, or State Line Road. Having a costumed character in front of your business helps people notice the location, especially when you have a small storefront or are in a crowded strip mall.

Another good way to use a costume promotion is to get the character out away from the business. If there is a local parade going on, send out your character to wave, take pictures with kids or college students, or pass out coupons.

Sandwich Boards and Signs — Have you been to an outdoor shopping area like Brookside recently and walked from store to store? These are the perfect places to showcase a simple sandwich board. Foot traffic to your business can increase by a simple awareness campaign. Customers walking past your door between their other stops might read your sign and be drawn in. If you are a small local business, a hand-written sign in chalk only adds to the local, personal feel.

Bigger businesses understand the value of sandwich boards, too. How many times have you driven past people holding up "Going out of business" or "Clearance" signs around 119th and Metcalf? These high traffic areas are great spots to show off your message. Add a sign spinner to make a show of tossing and spinning the sign and customers will notice.

In-Store Promotions — Another inexpensive way to get repeat business is to host an event that will bring your customers back. Bookstores like Barnes and Noble on the Plaza host story time for kids. By bringing in parents and kids together, B&N can see an increase in sales of children's and adult's books, magazines, gift items and cafe purchases. Free wine tastings are another common draw. Large retailer Gomer's holds free wine tastings and Friday beer tastings. In this case, odds are those free samples lead to sales. 

A less old-fashioned approach is to share information about these in-store events with your customers online or through email. If you have a Facebook Fan Page, add details and ask your fans to invite others. Send an email reminder a few days before the event to remind them of the time and let them know you look forward to seeing them in your store. 

What are some other ways you can promote your business without spending a lot of money? Share your ideas and you could be the next featured story!

For more ideas on branding and marketing your business, contact Debi at Brand New Concept Marketing.

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