Marketing: How to Find Inexpensive Places to Place Ads - dummies

Marketing: How to Find Inexpensive Places to Place Ads

By Alexander Hiam

Every business looks for ways to save money on print advertising. You may be surprised to know that several options are available to you if you’re trying to save some cash. Consider the following less-expensive options for advertising:

  • Local theater program: In many theaters, local businesses can purchase ad space in the program. What does this cost? Less than $100 for many of them. Compare that to an ad in a major magazine, which can cost $100,000.

    The point is this: If buying ads in the best publications to reach your market is too expensive, you can always find smaller-circulation publications that charge less, but be sure to pick publications your customers and prospects read.

  • A professional association’s blog, e-column, or old-fashioned newsletter: Professionals are people who have buying power, so even if you don’t sell a product just for them, they may still respond to your ad. Some insurance agents have advertised successfully in newsletters that go to doctors, for example.

    Increasingly, such newsletters are published in web versions in addition to — or even instead of — print versions. With a web publication, you can take advantage of the larger reach of the web and the lower price of a small publication.

  • Local and small-town newspapers: You can find hundreds of newspapers and weeklies with circulation (readership) only in the tens of thousands, which means that their rates for ads are one-fifth to one-tenth the price of big-city newspapers (and even less expensive when compared to major national magazines).

    Of course, you don’t reach as many people, either. Advertising tends to be priced on a cost per thousand readers basis (the cost of buying that ad divided by the number of readers who read the publication and then multiplied by 1,000), so you generally get as much exposure as you’re willing to pay for.

    But by buying ads in small-circulation publications, you avoid taking huge risks and minimize your investment. The challenge is that readership is declining for local papers, and many of them are folding or going to online-only formats.

Keep the scale of your print advertising (or any advertising for that matter) at such a level that you can afford to run an ad that may produce zero sales. Although zero sales certainly isn’t your goal, it’s always a possibility, and you want to base your buying decision on that possibility while you’re experimenting to find an effective venue for your ads.