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  • Marketing Basics: A Quick-Start Guide for Beginners
    Game Plan

    Local Advertising for Emerging Businesses

    If you do most or all of your business within a local area, why would you pay to advertise to people who don’t live or work there? That’s a highly inefficient use of your precious marketing dollars.

    Local advertising is a lot more affordable than regional or national advertising. That stands to reason: You’re reaching a smaller audience, but one that is more targeted and geographically appropriate.

    The three most popular forms of placing local ads for small businesses are:

    • Print advertising. Sure, you could purchase a tiny ad in a large-market newspaper. But your dollars would probably be better spent by placing larger ads in coupon books, local classifieds, shopper’s guides, business directories, and tighter-circulation newspapers. Instead of being buried among other small ads, you’ll be a “big fish in your decidedly small pond.”
    • Local radio or cable TV advertising. You might be surprised how cost-effectively you can run a commercial on a local radio or cable TV station. Especially if you see or hear similar-sized businesses advertising there, it can’t hurt to make a call and get a quote.
    • Online advertising. Many local newspapers and television station websites – in addition to other local sites -- offer options to advertise online. These can be particularly effective when the website or content relates to your business. Plus, many offer options to fine-tune the targeting, timing and placement of your ad.
    • Flyers. Printing and distributing flyers is a proven effective way to advertise on even a very small budget. Make sure your flyers are eye-catching and colorful, with a clever, unique catch phrase. Then hire someone (or use one of your employees) to hand them out. Depending on the nature of your business, you may want to distribute these nearby – or at fairs, events or other locations.