Breadcrumbs

Dirt Cheap Advertising in the Offline World

Online advertising has become a saturated business with high advertising fees and feeble results. Webmasters need to look at alternatives to online advertising to promote their websites, offline advertising. Producing an affordable tangible object is effective in promoting a website or online service.

In this article we'll look at some "dirt cheap" promotional methods to help get you started in offline advertising.

Flyers

Depending on your target market you may be able to use flyers. Flyers are very inexpensive to produce and have varied results, depending on the effort you place forth.

Flyers are most effective for services that aim local or that have potential to show local results. Services such as web design, web hosting, and graphic design have potential to show local results. Services such as tourist attractions for your local area and local restaurant menus are services that aim local, and flyers will prove to be extremely effective.

To create your flyers use an application such as Microsoft Word or Publisher. If you wish to be more creative you can try programs such as Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw. When designing your flyer make sure to take into consideration how you will be printing them. If you will be printing your flyers in black and white, which is recommended, then make sure to take that into thought. Most graphic programs will let you change your creation into black and white so you're able to preview the final copy.

Now that you have your flyer created you need to make copies of it. Take your master copy down to your local office supply store or other location with copy machines at your convenience. Black and white copies usually cost between $.03 to $.10 a piece. Color copies are usually more expensive at $.50 to $1 for each copy. By printing your flyers in black and white you can easily get one hundred flyers for under ten dollars.

Getting your flyers around town is the easiest part. Most public facilities (libraries, schools, and convention centers) will have a bulletin board where you can freely post your flyer. Many small businesses understand your burden and will gladly place a few of your flyers at their reception desk for visitors to see.

Depending on where you live and your local law, you may have to register for a permit to place flyers and posters on public roads. Check with your local government office before placing flyers on the sides of roads.

Business Cards

Any business man or woman should always have a business card handy. Business cards are very cheap to produce and easy to carry around. If someone happens to bring up your business in a day-to-day conversation you can simply hand them a business card so they can contact you in the future.

Pricing for business cards depends on the quality that you desire. The better quality you want the more you will pay.

If you need some inexpensive business cards you can purchase business card paper at your local office supply store. Using a print program, such as Microsoft Publisher, you can design and print your business cards on your home computer.

For top quality business cards you can get them done by a printer. A few well known business card printers are:

Professionally printed business cards look better to your potential clients. The results from better printed business cards will pay off the difference from printing them yourself.

T-Shirts and Apparel

Another affordable method of advertising is apparel. Placing your business' logo on t-shirts, jackets, and more is a great way for easy advertising. It also acts as a great way to improve your business' branding, which we will touch on later.

Many companies will let you design your own t-shirts and simply act as the printer, while others will design and print your t-shirts for you. If you've had previous experience with print design and using graphic software then you should take the time to design the t-shirt yourself. Otherwise you should look into having someone design it for you.

T-Shirts cost usually between $3 and $5, making them a very affordable method of self-promotion. You can give them to friends and neighbors, give them away on your website, and wear them yourself. You shouldn't aim to make a profit on the t-shirts, rather price them to only cover the cost. This way you easily get many people wearing your shirt, or acting as a walking logo!

If you need t-shirts cheaply made, maybe just for yourself to wear, then you can print the design on your home computer. Purchase iron-on paper at your local office supply store. Then print your design on the paper and simply iron it onto a white t-shirt.

Other printing services may offer other apparel that you would treat in the same manner as t-shirts.

Car Magnets

Transit advertising spans your message across a large area, and can often be expensive for a small business. An affordable method of transit advertising is car magnets, and most sign printing shops will offer them. Car magnets are the economically friendly transit advertising method allowing you to advertise your business on your own motor vehicle.

Head down to your local sign shop and order two car magnets, one for each side. Most sign shops will design the sign themselves for you, and you'll be able to specify text, colors, and images. Usually a car magnet cost around $30, a quite affordable price for the business they can potentially bring in. Make sure to include a phone number or email address in order for people to contact you.

Now that you have your signs created just place them on the sides of your vehicle. As you do your day-to-day driving hundreds of other drivers will see your car magnets and are now potential customers. They now potentially can serve in word-of-mouth advertising or become customers themselves.

A note of advice when using car magnets is to drive "considerately." You now have a sign representing your business on the side of your vehicle. Reckless driving, rude gestures, and inconsiderate actions will project a negative image for your business - something that you don't want.

Other affordable transit advertising includes bumper stickers and window decals. Window decals are offered at most sign shops, and are treated in the similar manner as a car magnet. Bumper stickers can easily be printed on your home computer with special paper you're able to purchase at your local office supply store. You can also get them professionally printed.

Promotional Goodies

Promotional goodies are a great method of advertising, but the cost can add up over time. Promotional goodies include branded items such as pens, coffee mugs, and key chains. The largest plus is that they're very easy to carry around and constantly remind people about your business.

The price of a promotional item varies depending on the item. The most effective promotional items are pens, as people are always in need of a writing tool. When they go to use their pen, with your companies contact information on it, they'll be reminded of your business. This is the same for other promotional items, except that pens will be used more often.

Places to get promotional items printed are:

Branding

Branding is permanently placing your business' logo (or other image) in a target market's mind. This is done by constantly showing your logo to the target market through advertising, public relations, and sales promotions. Advertising methods that were discussed above are excellent examples of branding.

If you project your logo to the target market through t-shirts, business cards, flyers, car magnets, and promotional items you'll find your efforts will improve your branding. Not only will potential customers know of your business, but they'll increase referrals from people who aren't even previous clients.

Summary

There are many affordable offline promotional practices. We looked at using flyers, business cards, apparel, car magnets, and other branded items. Expand your advertising horizon by using inexpensive promotional methods.