All businesses have to advertise. That’s a given. The challenge lies in getting the biggest bang for your advertising dollar. Here, learn how to create a blend of local newspaper and vehicle letter advertising to ensure you’re ad campaign never stops—24/7 and 365 days a year!
Most small business owners can’t afford the cost of nationwide newspapers but your local newspapers are more affordable if you work with your ad representative and ensure they do their job.
Even local newspaper ad reps know their subscription reach and demographics. When we say “make them do their job” ask them to come up with an ad—make them create the ad for you, send you a proof and then make changes. It shouldn’t be up to you to create the ad. When that proposal comes back to you, don’t just sign on the bottom line and tell them to run with it. Instead, use these tips to get your newspaper ad campaign to stay within a cost you can afford that also reaches your target customer:
Article Schedule – Many local newspapers include a home/lifestyle section on Saturdays and Sundays. Consider advertising your business in these sections and ask your ad rep for a lineup of upcoming business briefs, articles and editorials that will align with your business. For example, if you own an HVAC company does the paper plan on a summer HVAC checkup guide written by a staff writer? If so, that’s the issue you’ll want your ad to appear in. If you own a computer repair business, ask when the paper plans on writing computer troubleshooting tips. You can even ask your ad rep if the staff writer can interview you as the expert for these guides or articles. Even if the paper is doing a write-up on a new business similar to yours to announce the new entrepreneur, you should ask if you can advertise in the same issue (and possibly on the same page or adjoining page) of these new business announcements.
Bartering – Some small city and town newspapers will still accept bartering. Going back to the HVAC company, you could offer to do a maintenance check to their HVAC systems in return for a full-page color ad in two consecutive Sunday issues. If you own a small car dealership, ask the rep to check with the publisher/owner of the paper to see if you can barter vehicle service for print ads. Some papers won’t barter but you won’t know unless you ask. Don’t expect the ad rep give you a “yes” right way because they will have to check with the paper’s management staff. Put a pen to the numbers before you agree to barter to make sure you’re both receiving the same advantage.
Specials – Every newspaper has special ad rates for upcoming issues. They are often seasonal ad rates for spring, summer, fall and winter—or holiday issues. You can often get a great ad placement or full page at discounted rates. Find out when these specials will be coming up and advertise in them. Some newspapers also offer full sections (magazine-type) seasonal guides and will offer ¼, ½ and full page ads—even business card ads at discounted prices.
Success Stories – Many newspapers offer business success stories as a paid ad campaign. Here a writer comes to your business and interviews you. You supply the writer with content you want to include as well as images or photos. While these may cost more, they are often full page ads that do get noticed. And, because they are paid campaigns and are a type of article, they remain in the online newspaper archives for online searching.
Vehicle Lettering and Graphics
Full vehicle wraps may be your choice for advertising 24/7 and turning your company vehicle(s) into a moving pictorial of your business but if the cost is out of reach, consider professional vehicle lettering and graphics.
High-quality vinyl vehicle lettering is not the same as it used to be years ago. A combo of vehicle lettering and graphics on your vehicles will also attract viewers and because 95 percent of people surveyed said they remembered the graphics they saw, the chances of them choosing your business when they need your product or service increases immensely—way more than bland company vehicles void of lettering or graphics.
Choose a full service sign company that employs in-house graphic designers to consult with you on vehicle lettering and graphic placement and color. Consider graphics like your company logo, imagery of your product or service and social media icons for Facebook and Twitter. Today’s vehicle lettering is bright and crisp and can last for years. Graphic designers can help you determine exactly where on your vehicle(s) vinyl lettering will reach the widest audience and they are also experts in typography and the best fonts to use to attract attention.
A good example of vehicle lettering for service companies is prominently saying you are “family owned and operated,” “offer free estimates” or “serving the valley, city or town since 1970.” If your business has a catchphrase that you use in your other advertising efforts, catchphrases are also a good idea for vehicle lettering.
Another option is to consider vehicle lettering and partial wraps. Again, a good sign company will have vehicle templates for your make and model and be able to digitally send you artwork of the final look before the project begins.
At Sunrise Signs, we recommend steering clear of online companies that offer vehicle lettering along with DIY installation instructions. If you’re not an expert on installing vehicle lettering or graphics, the end result may not turn out as expected—and if it doesn’t and you need to reorder, you’re simply throwing ad dollars out the window.
Combo Advertising Works
If you work closely with your local newspaper ad rep and find the most affordable solutions for advertising in their paper based on time, section and upcoming articles and invest in inexpensive vehicle lettering and graphics—even partial wraps, your message will reach a wider audience.
Of course the very best thing about vinyl vehicle lettering and graphics is they never stop advertising. They are a continual sales pitch, 24/7 and 365 days per year—even when stationary or parked.
Let Sunrise Signs show you just how affordable vinyl vehicle lettering and graphics are for small business owners and start your 24/7 ad campaign!
Image Credit: Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net