Small Business

Where to Begin Your Advertising Efforts in Chicago

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Chicago is an extremely influential city located in the Heartland of America, and it offers a huge market of both locals and tourists alike. It’s known as an international hotspot for advertising, and if you have your own business, it’s definitely a great option for increasing your brand awareness and overall sales. But where is the best place to begin your marketing endeavours in the Windy City? Who exactly should you be targeting and how? Here are a few simple and practical ideas for developing your marketing strategies and upping your advertising game, specifically in the city of Chicago.  

The Commuters 

Chicago, like most cities in the Midwest, is full of commuters. There are over 10 million people living in the suburbs of Chicago, and one of the most classic (and effective) ways to reach them is through the use of outdoor advertising. Chicago billboards have a big impact on consumers in the area. Well-placed billboards in key areas of the city and surrounding neighborhoods can really boost your business exposure and advertise to a wide range of potential customers. Billboards also have the added advantage of being able to combine outdoor advertising with digital campaigns as well by drawing customers in and then directing them to your online marketing resources. 

The Tourists 

Of course, since Chicago is such a popular vacation destination, you’ll want to think of tourists as well when planning any marketing schemes. One fun and effective way to reach groups of people directly is through the use of guerilla marketing. Guerilla marketing refers to the use of unconventional or surprise interactions meant to promote a business or product. It could be something as simple as passing out flyers or free samples at a local event or something as elaborate as a flash mob or public art installation. Chicago is a trendy city with very diverse groups of people, and to really market to them individually, sometimes you gotta get a little creative. 

The Internationals 

Interestingly, Chicago is not just an American tourist destination, it’s also a place with a lot of international business travel. O’Hare International airport is one of the busiest in the world and is another great opportunity for commercial advertising. Airports have ad options everywhere, and you can be guaranteed they will be well-trafficked. And your transportation-related advertising doesn’t have to stop with flights. Chicago also has an incredible ground transportation system, including an elevated train, droves of buses, and several taxi and ride-share services. These are other potential marketing possibilities, which not only have the benefit of mass viewership, but might also be mobile, spreading your publicity all across the city for the same affordable price. 

The Young Crowd 

Another group to think about when advertising in a contemporary city like Chicago is the youth. More modern forms of advertising, such as sticker marketing would go a long way with the younger crowds in Chicago. Sticker marketing is a great way to find brand loyalists and potentially spread your advertising efforts into a wide variety of markets with the help of “brand ambassadors”. Customization is a trend beloved by younger populations, and since everyone loves free stuff, passing out stickers gives potential customers the feeling of added value, which goes a long way in building brand loyalty. Stickers also have the added benefit of being one of the more permanent forms of advertising, so long live the bumper sticker!  

The Homebodies

Now that we are firmly in the Digital Era, we must also consider those who really prefer to stay home and do their browsing and shopping online. Digital marketing and the integration of multiple strategies is a great way to reach this group of consumers and to make sure you’re leaving no stone unturned. By having an online presence, you’re making sure that customers can access whatever you’re selling at any time, day or night. It’s also a great way to get people to continue sharing and spreading your message whether through their own social media platforms, in online reviews, or even just by liking your page. 

Chicago is a diverse and modern city, so it makes sense that your advertising efforts there should follow suit. Covering your bases and finding out which strategy or combination of strategies works best for you and your company is exactly where you’ll need to begin. Remember the old stand-bys while at the same time flexing your creativity and more modern senses, and Chicago will be begging to hear more!

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