Have you noticed the billboards at Yonge Dundas Square lately? They're hard not to notice, that's the point. As the billboards, video screens and signs religious recruiters carry at the corners get bigger and brighter a very weird thing starts to happen, you don't notice them!
In a world where advertising is invading more of the landscape both online and offline it is ultra difficult to get noticed as a small business. In Toronto's attempt to mimic New York's Times Square it seems like the advertising budget for an effective marketing campaign in the heart of the city is getting bigger and beyond the reach of a local startup or community company like yours.
But consider this, your weakness can also be your strength. For those companies with small budgets, small staff and small client lists the advantage is small decisions for small improvements with small consequences. When I get overwhelmed by the limits of my small business I remember, I might be small but I'm nimble. I can invest a little time and money into experimenting with different types of advertising to get noticed by my perfect niche market. Your company might not be able to reach a lot of people but you may be able to reach a few very loyal customers. You have very little to lose by trying a new method of getting noticed through the noise.
So if there is a mode of advertising you haven't tried yet, do it! You may be small but you are nimble. Here are links to a few advertising methods I've dabbled in lately. They aren't billboards but they might be worth a try:
Adroll, retarget people who have already been to your website and are interested in your products.
Facebook Advertising, obviously.
Instagram Advertising, create your campaign on Facebook and watch it roll out on your Instagram feed. New features will be released throughout the year so look forward to hearing a lot more about Instagram!
Black Bloggers United, over 300 black bloggers across North America.
Pattison Outdoor, TTC buses and streetcar adverts are handled by them. Contact someone for a quote to get your company featured on a platform near you!
I hope you try at least one of these platforms if you haven't already used these before. Experiment for at least one week and let me know how it worked (or didn't) for your business in the comments below. Go forth and be nimble!