7 tips on creating your own marketing material
Don’t think small
The first thing is to not think of yourself as a ‘small’ business or you will market yourself as ‘small’ business. If you define yourself as small then you will represent yourself as small & ultimately be perceived as small. It is about projecting the image that you want people to have of your business & cultivating a vision.
Also; small is just a question of perspective &, to prove it, let’s look at some statistics: The 2.7 million ‘small’ businesses that currently operate in Australia pay 60% of the nation’s work force & make up 30% of Australia’s GDP (gross domestic product). Small businesses are BIG business!
Try different mediums & go with what works
Today’s busy media world presents lots of opportunities to get your message out there. It’s definitely wise to take a ‘360 degree approach’ to your marketing – try everything you can & then disregard what isn’t working & focus your efforts on what is.
There is no such thing as a ‘bad medium.’ Some mediums will be more appropriate to you than others in reaching out to your target audience – don’t make too many assumptions but judge the results instead.
You may want to use different mediums together as part of an overall strategy. Some mediums may be great for building brand awareness & others better for making sales. For example; social media is great for reaching out to large audiences but not so good at making intimate, human connections. It may be that you may generate a great deal of brand awareness through social media but make more actual sales with referrals via business cards.
Try it, measure it, pursue it.
Learn the conventions
The trouble with creating your own marketing material is that we are not all graphic designers. There are, however plenty of things that you can learn by just looking around at some of the conventions used in the media that we are surrounded by. Here are some examples:
– Layouts. (This is how the elements are composed on a screen or a page.) Look at some layout conventions used in adverts that you may like & may be appropriate to your business.
– Text: There are generally 3 types of a text in an advert; headline, sub headline & body copy. The headline should be very brief & feature your business ‘key-words’ (consider it in SEO terms). The sub headline will be smaller in text size & will elaborate on & clarify the headline. The body copy is the smaller text that the main body of text is written in. Look at the conventions employed, considering the column widths & the text size etc.
All 3 of these text types use different font styles. Often the same font style will be used with different derivatives for each purpose (this is called a font family). Look at fonts you like & are appropriate to your market. You will find that there are fonts that are designed for headline use & others for body copy use &, when used correctly, these can look great (& terrible if used incorrectly).
Execution: When creating graphics for web use, they will need optimizing for this purpose & saved at 72 dpi. Print graphics need to be high-resolution (300 dpi) & the paper you use can really affect the end product. You’ll be amazed at the great results you can achieve with high-res graphics, a decent home printer & good quality (90gsm) paper – plus you can print what you want, when you want & even print stickers by using adhesive paper.
Use emotive imagery that tells a story
We all know the one about a ‘picture is worth a thousand words’. It’s true – & never more so than in today’s fast paced media landscape. Your marketing message needs to be clearly conveyed as quickly as possible & images really help to achieve this.
Interestingly, research shows that women respond to imagery in advertising much more than men. Women engage better with human faces & emotive images that have a narrative appeal.
Are your customers women or men? Well, research also shows us that, regardless of product, over 80% of ALL consumer purchase decisions are being made by women. This not only tells us that women are a hugely important market, it also tells us that they are buying on behalf of others, & so by understanding how to market your products to women you are also capturing men & children by focusing on the decision maker.
Be smart with your budget
All businesses, large & small, have a marketing budget & the real trick is to be as wise as possible with this budget. For example; if you are spending all of your money on one large billboard in one spot then you may get a high-penetration rate with the people that are seeing it daily but you will be limiting your audience as it is not mobile. On a smaller scale; if you are spending your entire budget on a glossy brochure then, again, you will be limiting your potential audience to those that can borrow your glossy brochure.
In order to give your business the maximum exposure you need promotional material available in volume. You want maximum quantities with a minimum unit cost, so creating your own is perfect for this.
Consistency, consistency, consistency
The most damage you can do to your business image is to be inconsistent with it. This is so detrimental to your credibility & so often comes about because people say; ‘right I’ll get business cards done first & then some flyers later, when I have some money to reinvest’. Later never comes in this scenario &, if it does, then the flyers are either sourced from elsewhere or created differently & simply make the business look small & unprofessional.
Start as you mean to go on with a consistent, professional image throughout your entire marketing inventory – on day one. Also, remember that marketing your business is not a ‘nice to have’. It is essential. Being in business without marketing is like being in the water without paddling. When asked what he would spend his last dollar on, Bill Gates famously replied “I’d spend it on marketing.”
…& MOST IMPORTANTLY!
The most important thing about creating your own business marketing material is…. TO USE IT! Amelia Earheart said “The most effective way to do it, is to do it.” Taking action is the crucial ingredient to success. Planning, thought, consideration are all valuable activities but without action nothing will ever happen.
Your business begins with THOUGHTS, these lead to FEELINGS & when you carry those feelings in to ACTION, you get RESULTS. (T+F+A=R.)
If you are ‘waiting for the right time’ to start marketing your business then it’s today. Take control of your business promotional activity right now & start creating your own marketing material now.
Aarron Dann is the Director and Co-founder of www.homebusinessprint.com A webiste that empowers small business owners to take control of their marketing with professionally designed templates, which can be edited, downloaded & printed in minutes.If you liked this article, you can get more great tips & advice at: www.homebusinessprint.com/blog