The teen market is extremely lucrative; however, accessing the market and ensuring your limited marketing dollars don't go to waste is not always an easy feat. Small businesses looking to capture teens' business have to start by asking what teenagers really want and taking a long, hard look at where advertising efforts actually will pay off.

Find Out What Teens Really Want

As with any advertising campaign targeting teenagers, it's wise to start with market research. Teens are particular about what types of businesses they want to buy from and have a track record of supporting businesses with a strong image they can identify with. Teens usually can tell when an ad is produced by someone who is not in their age group and is unaware of their true desires and opinions; more often than not, they see such ads as condescending or disrespectful. Just as many ads go unnoticed because if poor placement choices. To combat these challenges, consider employing a small focus groups of teens from nearby schools to help you figure out trends, attitudes and desires. You also could employ these same young people as brand managers, and send them into their normal social environments with your products and recommendations.

Go Online

Teens make up one of the largest growth sectors of online traffic, and a vast majority regularly research and have bought products online. If your business does not have an online presence and store and you're looking to target teens, this must be a top priority as you allocate your marketing dollars. Hiring a tech-savvy Web and social media employee who is young and grasps current trends is one of the best ways to manage your online brand. Using your business' website to reach out through social media is an essential tactic for interacting with teens, as they place high value on the ability to access information immediately.

Go Where Teens Go

When considering offline advertising for teens, identify where your target market will see your ads. You could produce posters to place at skateboard parks, gyms or college laundry rooms. Think outside the box about where you can buy space for your ads that is outside of traditional print advertising standards -- what the adverting industry calls alternative out-of-home advertising. Do your best to reach teens when they're in a relaxed, receptive mind frame and also aim for placement that puts your target in a good position to quickly buy what you are selling. For example, try placing an ad for sporting equipment near a ball court.

Try Some Humor

Humorous ad campaigns have a good reputation for being some of the most memorable in history. Consumers enjoy being entertained and prefer it to straight advertising pitches. Humor also helps you emotionally connect with your audience. Using good humor can get you sales, but getting a humorous message right can be tricky. Test your campaigns with small groups to ensure your message is funny. Employ a few teens to help you design or narrow down your choices for design, and you're more likely to succeed with this strategy. In a best-case scenario, you can merge humor and your social media strategies to create something viral that resonates deeply within your target market's community.