Tune in, as each week I answer your Small Business questions
Welcome to the first Wonder Women letter, it’s an absolute treat to jet these humble words to your inbox.
Every generation can lay claim to a handful of defining events that unfolded in their lifetime, and for me whilst, roller blades, the original transformers and all you can eat Smorgy restaurants come to mind, they’re not the evolutionary milestones I’m referring too.
The three defining events that have unfolded for my generation so far are :
- The Internet (The dialup tone still rings clearly in my head)
- Smart phones (I heart Steve Jobs)
- Social Media (The only place you can stay in touch with the people you no longer stay in touch with)
So it’s no wonder the face of advertising and marketing has had one heck of a makeover, and not one of those 15min jobs at the Dior counter, I’m talking Biggest Looser meets plastic surgeon kinda makeover; it’s barely recognizable anymore!
Which brings me to this week’s letter, a question asked by two Ladies who lead a non-profit organisation in regional Victoria.
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As two members of a small country town committee we know how to roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty, bake scrumptious scones and raise money to keep our town facilities open; but where we struggle is in marketing the events we put so much blood, sweat and tears into.
Outside of word of mouth, running an ad in the local Newspaper has always been our go to when advertising our events, but all too often and to our dismay we hear from lots of people, “Oh I didn’t know that was on, I would have liked to have gone.”
We’re a different kind of small business but write in hope you’ll hear our plight and lend a hand with an answer to our question: What are we doing wrong, do we need a bigger ad? A celebrity draw card? Better raffle prizes?
We’ve drawn a blank but hope you can help, keeping in mind our kitty is small but our determination is big.
The Committee Ladies.
PS: We put up flyers in shop windows too, that’s helped, but not enough.
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Great question Ladies, let me first avert your fears, no you don’t need Justin Bieber or a meat tray prize upsized to a 6×4 trailer, what you need is actually quite simple, and cheap. Phew. Depending on your attitude however, there might be a catch.
The answer is this: It’s time to embrace evolution and switch out your analogue approach for a digital direction. Yep I’m talking about the F word. Facebook.
According to resent stats, some of Australia’s leading newspapers are posting up to 17% declines in readership, year on year; it’s actually been declining exponentially since 2001. Print advertising is becoming extinct. Why? The digital revolution.
As the Internet has developed and we’ve become more and more reliant on its convenience and choice, so too have our habits. The spare time we once made to read the local’ has been absorbed by Candy Crush, posting pictures of our hipster café coffee for our friends to envy (guilty), or replying to that endless supply of backlogged emails – All now in our pocket, literally within arms reach, 24/7.
You see, what I’m taking far too many words to get to is this; print advertising is dying a somewhat agonizing death; I saw it with my own two eyes as a Graphic Designer all those years ago. Online, building digital communities, with people on the other side of screens (like the one you’re fixated on now) is where it’s at if you want increased ROI on your marketing spend and more bums on seats at your events.
If you haven’t already, setup a Facebook page for your organization. Given that 20% of the worlds population is now on Facebook, my money’s on you already having a personal page, so you’re already half way there. (For the stat geeks out there, 20% equates to one billion users, if it where a country Facebook would be the 3rd largest, behind India and China. Insane.)
Facebook is Social Media; this is where your peeps are. Sure not all of them, but the majority are, and that’s where you’re going to get your best and juiciest bang for buck; you might even have fun whilst your at it. Check out the links I’ve included below and Google for How To videos if you get stuck, the idea is to grow an audience on Facebook. Post daily anything relevant and appealing to your audience, especially behind the scene snaps accompanied by short updates in the lead up to, share the page with all your friends. Sure your audience is somewhat a digital figment of your imagination, but away from the screen, they’re real people with a genuine willingness to support. This is how you begin to grow your own word of mouth in the new realm of advertising, better yet, it’s free.
If you want to go the paid route too, take the money you invest in print ads and put a third of it back into a much smaller one, this continues your support of the local paper and those loyal readers; oh and get an editorial write up as part of the deal too. The remaining amount put into running paid targeted ads on Facebook. Google this one too, I’ll include a link below. Ads are a fraction of the price of your print ad, if I was to hazard a guess, what you get for one newspaper ad edition, will grant you at least a month of daily served Facebook ads. Even a budget of $1 a day will get you results.
With just this small shift of energy and focus, I’m certain it’ll reap you big rewards, plus with the determination you said you have, you two will have this new digital direction stepping to the beat of your Arnnott’s cookie tin drum sooner than you know it.
You’re #1 Fan, Chance :)
PS // Great work on the flyers in the windows, keep it up, that builds visual exposure and repeated reminders, now just add the iconic FB logo alongside your username and you’re set!
How to create a Facebook Page
Learn about Facebook Adverts