Ways to advertise your business

Advertising is an effective way to communicate with your audience about your products and services. It is a paid form of promotion, so it needs to deliver meaningful, clear results.

Role of advertising

Advertising is part of the promotional mix and is often the most visible aspect of marketing. It’s an important part of the ‘P for promotion’ component in the 7 Ps of marketing toolkit.

Advertising enables you to:

  • reach your audience through targeted media channels
  • communicate with potential customers on a large scale.

Benefits of advertising

Advertising can help you achieve your marketing objectives. It’s a powerful and effective way for your business to:

  • get noticed
  • be understood
  • stimulate action
  • achieve an outcome.

Advertising is about ‘spreading the word.’ It’s about telling and selling the story so people know, trust and remember your brand.

Through words, sounds and images, advertising can connect on an emotional level, beyond purely functional and rational benefits.

  • It’s what you say.
  • It’s how you say it.
  • It’s how you make people feel.

Find inspiration

Think about your favourite brand advertising. How does it make you feel? How are those feelings created?

Do an online search to find examples of successful advertising campaigns that helped to speed up business growth and make brands famous.

Plan your advertising

While developing your marketing programs, you may have identified an opportunity or need to run an advertising campaign.

Before you start, you need to know if you’ll:

To plan your advertising campaign, follow these steps.

1. Define your objectives – your key performance indicators (KPIs)

2. Decide how much to spend – your budget

3. Decide who you’ll target – your audience

4. Create your unique selling points (USP) – your messages

5. Pick your type of advertising – your channels

6. Organise your schedule – when you advertise

7. Review your results

Types of advertising

Understanding available advertising channels will help you make the right decisions for your business.

A successful advertising campaign will:

  • increase awareness of your business and products
  • attract customers
  • generate sales.

Whether you’re encouraging new customers to buy one of your existing products or are launching a new product, your brand is more likely to stand out if you use the right creative (images, video, or other advertising formats) in the right environment.

You may find that you get the best results by using a combination of channels.

For each advertising type, consider the:

  • potential reach
  • cost (media, creative and production)
  • call to action (how you want people to respond).








Action items

Video: Developing your marketing activities

Watch our video to help turn your marketing strategy into an action plan of activities to promote your business and grow your sales.

Topics include:

  • an information checklist before you invest in marketing activities
  • how to progress from a strategy to an action plan
  • exploring activities like advertising, PR, and sales promotions
  • understanding the ‘who, why, what and where’ of marketing.

Top 10 tips for effective advertising

  1. Use your distinctive brand ‘look and feel’ and be consistent.
  2. Make sure your creative concept is persuasive and memorable.
  3. Try to appeal to the senses and connect on an emotional level.
  4. Include a strong call to action so customers know what to do.
  5. Be unemotional about channel choice – focus on the customer.
  6. Integrate channels so they work together and play their roles.
  7. Tailor your creative execution to suit the advertising medium.
  8. Double check that all information is up to date and accurate.
  9. Ensure your advertising quality reflects your business quality.
  10. Confirm that your advertising remains compliant with regulations.

Start advertising

There are 3 key components to deliver an effective advertising campaign.


Plan, review, select and book the space for your chosen channels.

This may involve dealing directly with representatives from media businesses. Remember to focus on your objectives and use your negotiation skills. For example, you may get a discount for booking multiple spots at the same time.


Work out the overarching creative concept for your campaign.

Based on your brand positioning, unique selling point and customer needs, you will need to come up with the ‘big idea’ for your advertising campaign. This creative approach will include both visual design and copywriting.


Develop and roll out the creative across all media channels.

You will then move onto campaign roll out based on your style guidelines. Take a big picture view of the role of different channels and how they work together. And make sure you supply files on time and in the right format.

Make sure you manage your internal communications before you go live.

Working with external agencies

Would your business benefit from getting professional help to plan and run your advertising campaign?

Be realistic about your internal capability and capacity. Consider the advantages and disadvantages of doing it yourself compared to engaging with specialists.

Measure and analyse

If you invest in advertising your business, you need to know the results.

As an example, let’s say you run a boutique shoe store and through the planning process you set 3 KPIs for your advertising campaign:

  • increase visitors to the store by 10%
  • boost existing product sales by 5%
  • continue to improve brand image.

Monitor your business

Assess the results

Do a review

Advertising regulations

Before you start, you need to understand the laws and regulations associated with advertising.

Your advertising must always provide customers with the ‘whole picture’.

  • It must be factual.
  • All discounts must be genuine.
  • The overall impression must not be misleading.

Also check the requirements for running promotional competitions.

Australian Consumer Law (ACL)

The ACL was introduced on 1 January 2011 to protect consumers and ensure fair trading across Australia. The ACL is contained in the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 and is national, state and territory law.

The ACL covers key areas that relate to advertising, including:

  • misleading or deceptive conduct
  • false or misleading representations
  • unconscionable conduct
  • representations about country of origin.

Avoiding unfair business practices is a handy guide that explains the ACL in simple language with easy-to-understand examples. The guide also outlines the penalties that apply for businesses that break the law.

You can find out more information from the regulators of the ACL:

Industry self-regulation

The Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) Code of Ethics is the self-regulatory system. This system is focused on socially responsible advertising in the context of prevailing community standards.

In addition to the AANA Code of Ethics, there are a number of product, audience and channel specific codes. Visit Advertising Council Australia to find out what is relevant for your industry and business type.