Have you struggled with how to advertise your business? With all the choices for promoting your business, it can be overwhelming. Here are 31 great ideas to help spread the word about your business.

Years ago, advertising dollars were spent primarily on newspaper, magazine, TV and radio. Advertising and marketing strategies have changed dramatically over the past few years to include tactics that are totally digital or a combination of digital and traditional advertising. The internet and changes in technology are driving this shift in advertising.

Successful advertising and marketing campaigns require thorough knowledge of your target audience, their interests and where they are likely to get their news. Do your homework first then launch into an integrated campaign.

Print is not dead but it has changed in presentation and use. Compelling graphics and snappy copy captivate and engage with readers to inspire them to take action. If your target audience still reads print publications, then print is where you should be advertising.

  • Newspapers – national, local, community, counter-culture, trade
  • Magazines – national, local, trade, industry, special interest,
  • Directory Advertising – Yellow Pages, Industry, Local
  • Direct Mail – Well-crafted mailer sent directly to potential customer.
  • Bus and Taxi Cards – Post placed on the back of buses or taxi cabs with simple but direct message.
  • Billboards – Oversized ads – and “Yes” these can still be effective.

Many publications now have online versions and are offering a new generation of advertising to online viewers. With online advertising comes a variety of advertising opportunities and strategies plus great analytics to measure the effectiveness of a campaign.

  • Newspapers Online – National, local, community, counter-culture, trade
  • Magazines – Local, regional, national, international
  • Influential blogs – Attract the people you want to reach. Advertising on these blogs could help you reach your target audience.
  • Google Adwords – Classic for online pay per click advertising.
  • Contextual ads – Written ad copy that appears near a related topic
  • Native Advertising
  • Retargeting – Ads that target users who previously visited your website.

Social Media
Advertising on social media closely dovetails with other marketing strategies and often involves campaigns, not stand-alone ads. Social media campaigns can be very effective, if done well, so do your homework first.

Again, mobile ads are usually run in conjunction with a larger marketing campaign. The growth of mobile ads is undeniable as outlined in this Business Insider article.

  • Mobile Advertising via social media

Television advertising is still “alive and well” but is changing as buyers are moving to online venues for entertainment and news.

  • Network Programming – National or local network television
  • Cable and Satellite Programming – National or local advertising for select audiences based on program demographics.
  • Locally Produced Programming – Depending on the show, can be a great place for local advertising.
  • Indy Stations – Small, local television stations who offer inexpensive advertising to their select audience.
  • Re-Run TV – Stations that run old televisions shows and movies which often appeals to an older audience.
  • Public Broadcasting – Sponsorships, often corporate level, are more PR than advertising.

Radio advertising is a valid advertising venue for the right business and target audience. Know your target customer and select the station(s) and programming that matches your demographics.

  • Syndicated Programming – National or local
  • News / Talk Shows – National or local
  • Music – Select audience
  • Local Programming

Community / Fundraising
Sponsorship type ads for a non-profit or social cause can come in many forms. Usually, the larger the “donation”, the better the advertising opportunity. Donations can be monetary, products or services.

  • Sponsorships
  • Program Ads
  • Posters and Mailers

Advertising opportunities are always changing, expanding and contracting. Know your target audience well. Create an advertising campaign that will reach your target audience where they are looking for your product or service.

Finally, a good campaign moves a customer from one advertising channel to another, expands brand awareness, educates the customer about your business and helps drive sales.