Advertising and marketing for a small business take effort and a plan to be successful. Many small business owners become discouraged too quickly because they do not receive the windfall of customers that they expected after they ran their initial advertising campaigns. You must keep at it. Advertising is a art that takes constant monitoring and refinement and a long term plan that will lead to your success. Here are three things that small business owners can do in to increase their chance of success in their advertising campaign.

1. Be Committed To Your Long Term Plan – This strategies assumes you have a long term plan. If you do not, then you need one, fast. Just like planning to open your business needed a business plan, your advertising needs a plan. This helps you to meet deadlines for publications and lay out different messages that you want to to get in front of your customers at different parts of the year. You should at a minimum have a six month advertising plan, but really it should be a year. This will help to establish longer term contracts with advertisers which helps to bring the price down of each advertisement.

2. Add Shock Value – As a small business you are competing with major corporations for your customers. You have to be different. Speak to what your customer needs and how you can provide, but you have to make a scene. Just being average and boring when competing with small and large businesses will be very frustrating as you will not get the returns from your advertising that you expect. By being different you have a great opportunity to acquire those customers who usually would not have paid you much attention.

3. Take Advantage Of Free Services – The most common free service that small businesses fail to take advantage of is press releases. If you have a new product or service or just an interesting tidbit about your industry that you think your customers should know about, write a press release. A quick Google search will give you dozens of free press release services. You can also send them to your local papers individually. There is no guarantee that they will be printed, but if they do, this is a lot of free advertising that only cost you a little bit of your time. Something to consider: How long will it take you to write a 250-300 word article about your business? Not long I bet. This should done right away.