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Shared And Trade Advertising

One of life's basic rules goes something like this: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. That can be the case with used cars and blind dates. But every once in a while you'll find a great deal that actually turns out to be a great deal. Generally speaking, the price of a product or service is directly related to quality. Higher priced goods are better quality, while poorer quality fetches a lower price. Past experience can lead to prejudice, status can determine value, and both can hike costs.

No one should have to settle for second-best because of budget constraints, especially small business owners. Fortunately, there are creative ways to get both great quality and affordable prices. If you have a product to offer, but don't have a large advertising budget, there are different ways to get the effective advertising you need. Shared Advertising Sometimes other businesses are willing to share advertising expenses with you. By sharing your resources, you'll both target more customers for less money.

Don't worry if the products or services cater to the same market, although naturally the ad will be more effective for both parties if it's targeting a shared market. As long as both products offer different benefits, and you are not direct competitors, this method can work very well. You should be able to differentiate your product to make it address a particular need. Remember that the sole purpose of this ad is to get exposure for your product. The principle of shared advertising is one of the oldest in the books, perhaps as old as trade itself. The Internet is a great resource of shared advertising. By placing your advertisement on another individual's or company's website, and returning the favour, both parties will receive double the exposure and frequency of hits. Again, shared advertising is most effective if it appeals to the same target audience. It goes without saying that an ad for senior's health products may not get great results if paired with a punk rock clothing store. Small businesses often encounter big budget blocks when dealing with ad agencies.

It's a catch-22, because you can't make money until your product has been advertised and sold, but the agency won't advertise your product until you have the money to pay. There are no guarantees in advertising, because so many variables determine whether or not a product will sell. When your advertising budget is limited, you can register with a joint venture facilitator to be matched to another party with similar needs. Trade Advertising Also called "bartering", trade advertising is exchanging your product for advertising space. Bartering for ads can give small businesses excellent opportunity and value beyond what they could normally get, even with a bigger budget. Advertising on the radio, cable and your local newspapers or magazines can give a definite perceived value for your product; but by trading your goods or services, you haven't spent a bit of cash. Many station managers and publishers, especially local media, need products or services that you may be able to provide. It's a win-win situation. Even more value can be found in an endorsement agreement. Convincing a radio or television host to endorse your product is the best form of advertisement you can get.

You will provide the host with your products or services up to an agreed amount, and he or she will say wonderful things about your company on the air. You can't put a price on this type of broadcasting power. If you don't have a formal agreement in place, you can often gain an on-air "thank you" just by dropping off some sample products. For example, if you're in the restaurant business, drop off some sandwiches or pizzas for free on-air kudos. Some stations or publishers will offer trade at full face value, others will consider a half trade-half cash agreement, and some might not barter at all. Don't be afraid to ask. Getting started is the toughest part of owning a business. You need to be able to expose your product or service to as many people for as little cost as possible. Trade and shared advertising are two ways to take advantage of big opportunities for your small business.


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