When it comes to marketing your small business, and trying to get ahead there are a few roadblocks many small business owners face. These include:
- Lack of Funds
- Lack of Time
- Lack of Knowledge.
So how do you tackle these? Well…it depends on what the issue really is.
Usually business owners that lack time & knowledge, tend to hire someone to advertise their business for them but what if you lack funds too?
Well you’re going to have to figure it out for yourself for the time being, but that’s where this blog post comes in.
Here are 10 of the BEST ways to advertise your business to the right people, at the right place, at the right time.
- Social Media: This one is kind of a no-brainer, however there are many practices that can help you grow your social presence without spending a dime. Even if you aren’t going to be doing the social posting yourself, it’s still important to know how it works. Check out this post by CoSchedule to learn more about organic social growth. If you have any money for marketing (which you definitely should) a good idea would be to look into paid ads. Social Media offers some of the cheapest ways to get your posts/ads/business in front of more eyes and are perfect for upcoming promotions, displaying your best work, and getting more people interested in you.
- Google Search Ads (PPC): It’s no secret that Google is an absolute GIANT, which is why it’s landing in the second spot. On average, businesses make $2 for every $1 invested when using Search Ads so take that how you will. If you are unfamiliar with the term “pay per click” it means you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. One of the major downsides to this though, is that like social media, there’s a lot of market saturation. While this can be a low cost, high turnover form of marketing, the big players with bigger wallets tend to win.
- Video Content: This ties directly into social media, however it’s important enough to be it’s own point. One important thing you will learn is that good content is king, and video content is king. Video is the best, for quite a few reasons. Since there’s visuals paired with audio, it tends to keep the viewer interested more than if it was just words and a picture. This directly correlates with the average attention span being 6 seconds, which is unfortunately lowering more and more.
- SEO: For business owners, SEO is very important for many reasons. The internet is a highly saturated place, and you are competing against hundreds, thousands, even millions depending on where you are located, and the type of business you are. SEO helps you organically build up your Google Search presence, which can be done for free. If you end up hiring someone to do this for you, it’s worth noting that SEO isn’t a one and done deal, you have to do SEO year round to see effective results. If you only do it for 3 months, you might experience growth during that period but once you stop doing it you will fall back down the ranks and end up at square one.
- Email Marketing: Believe it or not, Email Marketing is an effective tool for re-targeting previous customers, and keeping them in the loop. Giving people incentives (Such as deals, promos, etc) to join your email lists can help increase signups, and ultimately sales. Just make sure you are following the CASL regulations or you can get in serious trouble. While the open rates for emails have dropped substantially in the past 15 years, they are still a very viable tool because the people that actually open your emails are interested in hearing from you.
- Google Display Ads: Google lands another spot on the list. What are display ads, and how are they different from search ads? Well simply put, Display Ads are a form of “push” advertising, where as Search Ads are a form of “pull” advertising. Search ads show up when users search for something, and are most commonly text based ads. Whereas, display ads are visually based ads perfect for showing off products, and carrying emotion. So why is this one lower on the list? Well budget wise, search ads tend to be better for lower budget startups, and smaller scale business.
- Niche Marketing Tips: Niche marketing in this scenario refers to smaller, less “mainstream” forms of advertising that can carry large impacts. Some of the best forms of niche marketing, are custom work apparel, vehicle wraps, banners/decals, signage….real life things. These “real life” tactics take your marketing beyond the screen, and help your brand get in-front of more eyes through different channels. The more you get your logo in-front of consumers, even if it is low key, still helps them recognize you. If someone sees your Facebook ads, then sees your vehicle wrap in traffic, then sees your shirt at a store, these are all different ways to increase awareness and eventually get more business.
- Encourage Reviews: Reviews on almost every platform affect your SEO, credibility, and profits in ways you can’t even imagine. If you can ask customers to leave a review on socials or on Google, it can greatly benefit you. Especially if you pair that with a coupon for their next purchase, this encourages them to review you and return back for more business.
- Print Ads: Back around 30 years ago, print would have topped this list. However, the world of digital has shaken up traditional advertising media quite substantially. Does this mean that it is no-longer a valid method of advertising? Not at all. Depending on your target audience, your business, or your industry, print advertising is still a very attractive way to advertise. Keep in mind though, print advertising is more expensive than social media, however people tend to trust print ads more than digital ads.
- Engage with Local Community: Now this one takes the last spot, but not because it’s the least effective. I put this in last place, because it depends on your business, your budget, and your goals. All the factors come into play here, however as far as trust goes this is the way to build up the most trust. Participating in charities, events, giveaways, contests, etc will show that you care about the community, and that you are a responsible and ethical business.
One of the best things about advertising/marketing is that it allows you to be creative, with tons of different platforms and mediums to get your message across. While this list isn’t the end all, be all, it’s still based on previous experience with campaigns and clients, and what performed the best short term and long term.
Thanks again for sticking around and reading the blog! Hopefully this can help you promote your business. and if you have any questions/feedback feel free to reach out to our social channels!