123rf13624460 largeSponsorships, partnerships, TV, and radio advertising are often overlooked as good marketing techniques. If you have the budget, one or more of these methods may be the right choice for your business. Don't discount these methods, even if you're a small business; they can be cost-effective ways of getting more customers.

Partnerships and working with other businesses

Partnerships involve creating mutually beneficial relationships with other businesses. These might include:

  • Having products or services that complement each other's businesses,
  • Promoting and recommending the other business to your existing customers,
  • Using each other's distribution and marketing channels to reach more people,
  • Providing background services to another business, that they then promote as their own.

[quotes]Partnerships sometimes involve paying the other business.[/quotes] (This could be you if your company or organization has many customers and contacts it can leverage.) This could include a fixed amount or varied amounts based on referrals or some other basis.

Whatever type of partnership you choose, make sure there's a proper contract in place that defines exactly what each business will do. This should include any terms you've agreed to, payments, goals, measurements, and time lines.

Sponsorships and supporting other organizations

Sponsorships help improve the visibility of your business and your brand. They're a good way to show a community how much you care about good causes. [quotesright]People are more inclined to trust a business with the same values as their own. [/quotesright] Sponsorship and support can help enormously. You could start your sponsorship and support by:

  • Providing free services to a charitable organization or non-profit,
  • Devoting the time of you and your employees to a good cause,
  • Donating money, food, and other resources to a good cause, and/or
  • Supporting a local sports team or community organization.

The size of your sponsorship depends on the size of your business and your marketing budget. Small businesses will probably want to support their local organizations and charities. Larger businesses might look at countywide, statewide, or even nationwide organizations.

Radio and podcast advertising

[quotesright]Radio advertising is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to reach customers.[/quotesright] Local radio stations are dominated by small business advertising, and it's one of the easier ways to reach large numbers of people. If you want to try local radio advertising, below are some things to bear in mind.

  • Consider using an advertising agency. An agency can guide you through the process for radio advertising and will know the best rates and stations to advertise on.
  • Understand payments and fees. You will need to pay for the original creation of the ad, advertising agency fees, and a fee every time your ad is broadcast.
  • Stand out from your competitors. It's worth spending some money on ad creation and using professional actors to help your ad stand out.
  • Measure your advertising effectiveness. Setup some measurement to track how much trade you're getting from your ad. This might be a special phone number or a coupon or promotional code.

Another broadcast medium that's becoming very popular is podcasts. These are audio programs anyone can download and listen to on their smartphone or computer. The ads have much higher "engagement" rates than many other types of advertising, and [quotesright]podcasts are listened to by millions of people each week. [/quotesright]

It's often the host of the podcast reading your message, so you won't need to hire actors to record your ad. Podcasts have a national reach, and are perfect for online and national organizations. There are several specialist advertising agencies for podcasts. 

TV advertising, locally and nationally

Radio advertising is popular, but for the most visibility, [quotesright]there's no substitute for TV. [/quotesright] A good TV ad can share your products and services with a very wide audience. If you can get their attention with high production values and a compelling message, you can significantly increase your sales.

All the advice for radio ads applies to TV advertising as well as the guidance below.

  • Make sure you use a reputable advertising and marketing agency.
  • High production values are essential; try a few different ideas, so you can see what works best.
  • The fees in TV advertising are substantially higher, you want to get a good return on investment.

[quotesright]A combination of sponsorships, partnerships, and traditional advertising can help you reach a wide audience. [/quotesright] Done intelligently, it also allows you to focus narrowly on market segments that share the same interest, ethos, problems, or aspirations that your product or service targets.

If you have the marketing budget, it's worth exploring all your options, and expanding your reach, visibility, and sales.