Any start-up business with even vague aspirations of becoming at least a fairly well-known name within its industry will face a myriad of dilemmas when it comes to publicising themselves. Should they begin in a low key way or do something flashy? Should they spend a lot or try and market their products without dipping into their bank accounts?
One of the biggest decisions any company will face when it comes to advertising their product is choosing the most effective media. In the majority of cases, start-ups will either choose to advertise in print (newspapers, magazines, posters, flyers and the like) or online. The latter is possible through a variety of ways, but which is the most effective when it comes to generating publicity for a brand?
Print: The pros and cons
Print advertising has a long and rich history, and is still popular today. Picking up a copy of a local or national newspaper will prove that, especially the classified pages.
Print advertising has a number of advantages, especially when it comes to recruitment and selling products directly. They are:
- Having something that customers can reference at any time of the day
- Getting your message across to anyone who doesn’t have internet access
- They last longer than online adverts
- They also tend to reach a larger audience, especially if in a national or regional newspaper/magazine
There are disadvantages to advertising the old-fashioned way too. The biggest ones are:
- If printing a set of flyers, it can be very expensive. A run of, say, 10,000 full-colour double-sided A4 flyers can cost upwards of £2,000
- Not everyone is guaranteed to see your advert
- Print alone is beyond the means of many start-ups who have limited funds to work with
Online: The pros and cons
Online advertising is probably the best option for any start-up which likes to see itself as being innovative and cutting-edge. It also tends to have more to offer than print alone.
The main advantages of online advertising are:
- The content being easy to amend when needed
- An advert can last for as long as possible
- It being relatively cheap – an online ad can cost as little as £50 if up for around 30 days
- For recruitment, it’s possible to get a quick response via email
- The potential audience for an online ad could be in the millions
While online advertising alone can be effective, sometimes it might be worth combining the two. Having printed publicity material before moving online could be the way to go for many start-ups, especially when trying to cover a wide area.
Firms like Truck Locator, who started off by having printed catalogues, have embraced the internet and all it can offer. Having a company website and social media accounts in tandem with online ads can be useful.
“Our printed Truck and Plant Locator Weekly Magazine continues to generate great responses for advertisers – if it didn’t work, there wouldn’t be 128 advertising pages each week packed with trucks and plant for sale”, said Focus Business Media Managing Director Colin Medwynter.
“We mail 10,000 copies a week to truck operators – when the magazine lands on a truck operator’s desk and they are considering a new truck we know that they read it”, he added.
Photo credit: mayrpamintuan