Well-managed advertising allows you to reach out to carefully chosen customers and make them aware of what you’re offering, as well as incentivising them to get involved. So, how do you go about it?
You can’t skip advertising
There are many different ways to advertise something like an event or offer, no matter what your budget or resources.
- Digital advertising – buy advertising space on websites you know your customer base visits and promote your event or offer to those who will be receptive
- Social media advertising – cheap and easy to scale, social media advertising is a fast way to reach a broad swathe of people and is very easy to target
- Local posters and flyers – if your event is local or your offer is aimed at people who live and work nearby then local posters and flyers can be very effective
- eNewsletters - newsletters sent via email are one of the fastest and simplest ways to activate your existing customers. Use the emails both as an opportunity to encourage existing customers to participate or attend, and also to encourage them to spread the news of what you’re doing to their friends and family. Make sure your existing email subscriber database and the way you capture consent from new subscribers comply with the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations). If your existing records don’t meet GDPR requirements, however, you have to take action.
When is the best time to start advertising?
There is a balance to be struck when it comes to advertising – if you start it too soon then you’re likely to run out of momentum before the launch date; if you leave it too late then you won’t have enough time to generate enough interest. The “right” time will depend on the event and the audience you’re aiming at. For example:
Globally recognised one day events e.g. Mother’s Day or Valentine's Day
The optimum lead in time for advertising is two weeks maximum. You’re competing with a large number of other businesses promoting events and offers at this time and everything is focused on a single day. Your advertising needs to be cohesive, impactful and close to the date in question.
Your customers, like everyone else, plan ahead for national holidays, including booking time off work and planning meals and purchases. Start advertising 30 days in advance to achieve the right level of exposure and keep momentum up.
Your own promotions and offers
This depends on the resources and time you have but should be for a longer period of time than for events and offers that are built around pre-existing dates and themes. Anything from 45 days to 90 days is a useful timeframe for constructing a campaign that gradually escalates to a strong call to action. Plan your success metrics in advance so that you can monitor and adjust your advertising as needed.