Advertising: Make it work for your small business

by | Aug 2, 2021 | Marketing, Media

Advertising is still a key part of any small business’s marketing arsenal and with a bit of know-how can bring in a good return on investment.

During my many years as a journalist on local newspapers, I have worked with some highly experienced and talented advertising sales reps who really know their stuff when it comes to what works and what doesn’t for small business advertisers.

Today, I want to share some of the things they have taught me about how to get the most out of advertising in the local newspaper.

Repetition builds response

Instead of splashing out £500 on one large advert, consider taking five £100 adverts spread out over several weeks.

People like to spend their money with businesses they are familiar with and repeated adverts in the local paper helps to build brand awareness and foster that feeling of familiarity.

Another concept advertising teams work with is AIDCA – a framework for creating an effective advert, of whatever size or for any kind of business.


Grab the reader’s attention with a good headline.



Expand on what you are offering to build readers’ interest.



Build desire by explaining the benefits. 



Explain why customers should choose you. 



What is it you want reader’s to do next to turn their interest into a sale.

Listen to the experts

One of the most important pieces of advice I have to offer is to listen to the experts.

Although you are obviously going to have your own ideas about how you want your advert to look, it’s worth being open to advice about what will work best for you.

Advertising teams on local newspapers tend to get to know what works for their customers.

They know the local area and the demographic of their readers and what appeals to them.

They can use this knowledge to give you valuable pointers on all aspects of your advertising, such as which images to use and which calls to action are most effective.

Before they can help you, though, they need to know what you are looking to achieve through your advertising campaign, so before you start consider the three Ps.


Who are your target audience? Who do you want to attract with your advertising?


What are your plans for the future of your business and how can advertising help you achieve them?


What products do you sell or what services do you offer?

Armed with this information, the advertising sales team can help you decide the best size, timing and location within the newspaper for your advert.

Compared to some of the other methods of marketing your business, such as public relations and social media, advertising may appear to be an expensive way of getting the word out, so it’s important you know you are seeing a return on investment.

As with all aspects of marketing, it is important to measure the success of yor advertising campaign.

If you have an active marketing strategy and are using multiple tools and techniques to spread the word about your business, it can be difficult to know which ones are reaping the biggest rewards.

One of the easiest ways of finding out, is to ask all your customers where or how they found out about you.

Another option with a newspaper advert is to include something like a coupon or code which new customers can use for a discount or special offer.

However you go about it, ensure you keep track of what’s working and what’s not so you can constantly tweak your marketing strategy to make the best use of your time and budget.

To find out more, see my post on How to plan a winning marketing strategy for your business.


Need more marketing advice?

My blog is full of helpful hints and tips you can put into action today to start marketing your business successfully.


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