As a business owner, you already know that advertising is one factor of the equation necessary to growing your revenue and client base. But do you know which five advertising platforms are likely to give you the best return-on-investment for your rand? We’re here to help you find out…

 1. Television

Despite the booming growth in cell phone and internet usage throughout South Africa and around the world, more people than ever are staying glued to their TV sets. In South Africa, that figure amounts to 87 percent, according to a six-month report conducted by the South African Advertising Research Foundation (SAARF). That’s good news for businesses who advertise on TV because it means people are watching.

TV also gives businesses the best return for their advertising rand. Price Waterhouse Cooper found a few years ago that on average, an R1 investment in television advertising yields an R4.5 increase in sales. According to the same study, TV ads make the biggest impression on consumers, stick with them the longest and are more likely than ads run in other mediums to affect purchase intention.

2. Internet

In addition to television ads, it makes sense for your business to promote itself online. According to The Digital Media and Marketing Association, formerly the Online Publisher’s Association, internet usage in South Africa has boomed since 2003, when only 15,000 users had broadband service. By comparison, more than 1 million people used broadband internet service in 2008. That’s an insane amount of growth in only five years. The number of active South African blogs is also on the rise – from 600 in 2006 to nearly 3,800 in 2007.

Facebook is the top media site in South Africa, according to the Alexa top 100 websites. Nearly 800,000 people joined the South Africa Facebook network as of the end of 2008. By creating a Facebook page and Twitter account for your business, you’ll expose yourself to the more than 540 million users of Facebook worldwide and nearly 130 million Twitter users.

Placing a ‘Find us on Facebook’ logo is easy to ad to print and billboard ads and lends itself well to cross-platform ad campaigns. More than 30 billion pieces of social media content are shared online every month, as of the end of 2010. Why shouldn’t your ad, product or services be one of them?

3. Cell Phones

According to the AMPS 2010 study conducted by SAARF, 25.1 million South Africans have cell phones, while only 20.7 million have a flush toilet. It makes sense then that businesses want to advertise on mobile phones. According to BuzzCity, South Africa is the fourth highest ranked country in the world for mobile phone traffic. In the third quarter of 2010, more than 700 million impressions were made by advertisers on users and mobile phone ad traffic grew by nearly 20 percent.

4. Radio

Radio is almost as popular as television in South Africa. In fact, more than 91 percent of South Africans across the country reported listening to community radio in a seven-day period, according to the same AMPS 2010 six-month study conducted by the SAARF. When that figure is broken down further, listening levels are even higher in metropolitan areas (92.8 percent) and cities (94 percent). Commercial radio stations in South Africa, as well as community radio stations like Jozi FM and Ilitha Community Radio, offer opportunities for businesses to reach listeners and stretch their ad budgets.

5. Newspapers

According to the SAARF study mentioned earlier, South Africans have not given up the printed page. Of the 27 major weekly newspapers, 660 consumer magazines, 735 business to business publications and 470 community newspapers and magazines, SAARF found that 41 percent of metropolitan area dwellers read a daily paper and 66 percent read a monthly newspaper. Find the paper, and specific section of that paper, that fits your target audience and place advertisements on the days with the highest circulation to reach as many people as possible.

A wise advertising strategy places creative, persuasive ads in targeted TV, internet and cell phone spots. With a sustained, coordinated advertising campaign, you can reinforce your brand position or generate awareness of your products and services throughout South Africa, and beyond.

Article by: Nicole Schmoll