Decline of print advertising requires other options
There are changes ahead which small businesses must pay attention to in order to keep up with a changing market. The communication methods of the past are not the ones that a small business owner should be focusing on in the future. While they will be around for a while, they will eventually fade out as newer technologies replace them. That does not necessarily mean that the newer technologies are better, but just changed. There are many signs of the coming changes and these should be obvious to everyone.
We have been observing a shift for years away from print media to electronic. While some seem to transition themselves others do not. Take for example the Yellow Pages which have seen declining revenue for years. Some cities are now requiring them to only be delivered to households which specifically request a printed version. Since there is always going to be an electronic version of the Yellow Pages, it can continue to be considered as a way to communicate your business.
One of the ways to share information about your business was newspapers from 20 years ago. But that is becoming a dying art and is slowly being reduced as a way to get the word out about your business. Small home town newspapers are becoming a thing of the past because of rising costs and dwindling readership. Consolidation of newspapers large and small as been going on for the last 20 years and probably longer. Costs associated with printing and delivery of printed media are forcing a change in the industry to try and stay alive. One of those changes has been the attempt at using paywalls as a way to prop up dying revenue from printed copies. The electronic versions of printed newspapers has not been going as well as expected because there are too many other free sources for news.
Even many of the larger newspapers provide their electronic version for free, so attempting to change to a paywall will drive people away. So, what are you as a small business owner to do when the historical methods you have used in the past no longer are working? Even the US Post Office is looking to down size because of slowing mail delivery revenues. By now, you should have been thinking about other methods to get the word about your business or products. Just reading this articles shows that you are aware of how technology is shaping the future. There are a number of things which you can do and here are a few.
Social Media – With the huge popularity of Facebook, you now have the ability to use Facebook Brand pages to promote your product. The whole idea of Facebook is to create a following of your brand and with that there is a sense of loyalty to those who may be following you. These can be used by both small and large business alike. Even with the recent Facebook Timeline changes, you can leverage them to promote your business. There are many methods and strategies described to leverage Facebook for your small business. And Facebook is not the only Social Media game in town. Google+ is another one of the avenues out there to be explored.
Google Places – Here is another opportunity for you to explore as a way to drive traffic and people to your location. There is even a Google Places for Business which you can take a look at. With this, your business will show up on local searches and puts you in the public’s eye. Take a look at the link for a slide show presentation on this topic.
QR Codes – Another option for some small businesses is the idea of utilizing QR Codes in the promotion of your product is a possibility if it fits. Not all businesses can leverage the growing popularity of these little square boxes. If you are not familiar with them, here is a QR Codes for Small Business 101 article to help you. These should be part of your Mobile Marketing Strategy going forward. At the link, there is a white paper which can help you understand the move towards mobile. With the fast growth of smart phones, this is another opportunity you should be considering.
As you can see, there are a number of technology related areas where you can promote your business outside of trying to use AdWords advertising. The future is going to be ever changing and you need to leverage both the past and the future to grow your small business.