Should I Use Free or Paid Ads?

Should I Use Free or Paid Ads?

AdvertisingAdvertising is a part of business, I know some people wish it wasn’t. Whether you are a small business, entrepreneur or a large company advertising of some sort will be necessary. It doesn’t matter if you are selling a product or a service you have to get the word out to the world somehow.


There are many factors to consider when making this decision but only you will be able to know what is right for you. I’m not suggesting that you don’t get help if you don’t know what to do but ultimately your advertising has to represent you.


Paid advertising depending on the type of advertising you use will determine the cost. Some advertising is quite extensive, resulting in more expense. This type of advertising is generally more suitable for larger companies.


In most cases the cost of advertising will be more involved and reach a wider audience and a more specific market niche. This will include a diverse approach such as a mix of newspapers, television, web sites, social media and SEO. This can either be state, national or worldwide.


Free advertising is more for those who are boot strapping or trying to sell an item or service to promote a small business. Free advertising does generally limit the area of where your advertisements will appear, but at the same time it is a very good start that you can eventually build on to as money and business allows. This smaller scale of advertising is generally limited to local or state wide coverage, or if you’re lucky it may include a few states and even a few web page mentions.


With free ads, especially on web pages, social media or through mailing lists you may come across to salesy or spammy. Be sure to use the 80/20 rule. Promote only 20% of the time.


Remember to provide great content to your subscribers so they keep wanting to read what you have to say and also try and entertain your audience. Lastly, be approachable by adding your personality to all you do.


advertisingNext let’s look at a hybrid approach to advertising which many of my clients do. As they have grown their businesses they start to emulate some of the larger companies by incorporating a more diverse approach to their marketing budget by adding paid advertising. Of course the more niched you are the better this approach works. Knowing your demographic is also important.


You may not have the dollars to reach a national audience but you may have the budget to reach a local target audience. For instance, if your business has a good following on Facebook you may try Facebook Ads. These ads can target a very specific audience and not cost you a lot of money to try.


Another way to get your products out to the world is an affiliate program. I can’t spend a lot of time on this approach in this post (because it’s extensive) but many resourceful businesses have used this method. It is more of a hybrid approach because it does cost you money in paid commissions but it allows you to reach audiences that you may have never gotten in front of and you don’t pay unless something is sold.


As you can see there are options available to you. One is expensive but reaches a wide market, one is a hybrid and can help you reach further than your local market and the other one is free but a little more limiting.


Whichever one you chose make sure you have the resources and time to actually get it done. Advertising needs to be consistent for it to make a lasting impression on your target market. If you cannot be consistent than be sure to sub out the work to an assistant, VA or marketing agency.




Wanda Baader

Wanda Baader is a online marketing expert, trainer, consultant and serial entrepreneur. She enjoys working with fellow entrepreneurs and small business owners who need help with social media, Wordpress website development and online branding.

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