At some point in your business you realize it needs promoting. You need to expand your customer base. Grow your revenues. Be able to cover anticipated increases in overhead like rent.
You've worked hard at collecting client emails. You've got people liking your business on Facebook, Google or Instagram. But if you spend money to bring more people in, how do you know if it is working? Much of the time, there is no way.
Television, newspaper, radio, magazines, local school groups... everyone wants you to advertise with them. It's great to support local, but is it giving you a return on your investment? Most venues will "increase public awareness", "build brand awareness." They don't necessarily bring people into the door. This is general advertising.
The goal of general advertising is to leave a mental picture of the business in our head. They hope at some time when we might be in the market for an item, we will think of them. Like a sexy new car, a comfy new sofa, a repair man when something breaks. We certainly aren't going to call a repairman when everything is working well.
Think of this as seed advertising. You plant the seeds and hope they will grow and blossom. But you never really know how well your dollars are working.
There is another type of advertising you can employ. Trackable advertising. A coupon is trackable. Those codes you enter in to get an online special are trackable. If no one brings in the coupon, you know that didn't work. Don't repeat. Do something different.
If you have an active business Facebook page, you can do trackable marketing there. Create a unique offer with a code attached to it. You can set it up to sell it right from Facebook. And you will know exactly how well it is doing. Trackable return on your investment.
You could also put an offer on Instagram, Yelp or Google. Make it a little different, or use a different code. You want to know which venue and which offer your clients responded to. It may take a little testing and tweaking to find what hits your clients' hot button. But you will have more than seeds of hope. You will know exactly how well your investment is working. Trackable.