How to know your audience

You don't have to spend lots of money to advertise and promote your brand, but it's important that your advertising considers where your target audience is.

If you don't know your target audience, start by doing market research and writing a marketing plan. Make sure you measure your efforts as part of this process, so you only continue if the advertising works.

Online advertising options

Consider the following popular and easy options to advertise your business online.

Create a Google Places listing

If you list your business on Google My Business, it will pop up on Google Maps searches, and give users the opportunity to share reviews and give your business a rating.

If you decide to list your business, make sure you have a Gmail account specific to your business.

Try social media advertising

Facebook Ads give you the option to target specific demographics. This means you can target people you haven't reached yet and try to engage them.

Even if users don’t always make a purchase, they can still end up 'liking' your business, which gives you the opportunity to create a database of potential customers.

Social media advertising is measurable through insights and other analytics. It's also ideal for short-term strategies and to generate traffic to your website or other channels.

Invest in Google AdWords

If you have a structured and well-planned campaign, there's potential to increase the number of customers who visit your business website without having to spend a lot of money by using Google AdWords.

Win over an influential blogger

Find influential bloggers in your industry and ask them to review your product or service in return for a useful and free product, and resource for them to use. If you still can't a find blogger who'll review and write about your product for free, consider looking for one who'll do so for a small fee via websites such as Upwork – the endorsement from an expert in industry can be quite influential.

Another option is to build your own blog.

Local advertising options

Word of mouth is a powerful advertising tool, so many businesses find success in more traditional advertising that's targeted to a specific area.

Use the local press

Consider placing an ad in a local weekly newspaper that's delivered free around your area. They're read by a wide variety of local people and this form of advertising is usually still quite cheap.

Create and distribute niche flyers

If you focus on a particular area, flyers are a cheap way to advertise. Find someone in your business, or a friend or family member who can help design the flyer for free or at a low cost.

You can print the flyer at home, and distribute them on bulletin boards or anywhere else your target market might visit frequently.

Honest advertising practices

The marketing messages that represent your products or services should be accurate, true and able to be substantiated.

There are laws that govern advertising to ensure honest practices. Businesses can be fined for misleading consumers, whether intentionally or not.