Top Advertising Tips For Small Businesses

Entrepreneurs have more options than ever when it comes to advertising, even as a start-up or an SME. Even if you’re on a small budget and can’t afford advertising like national TV adverts or a full-page spread in a big newspaper, you can still get your business and your message in front of relevant potential customers without blowing the budget. 

Image – free for commercial use

Small business advertising can be tough if you’re on a tight budget, but there are some advertising options that are completely free or suitable for small budgets. 

  1. Sponsor a radio contest or giveaway. A good way to get your message out to radio listeners without paying for adverts is by sponsoring a contest. Offer up a product of yours as a prize or sponsor a special prize, like a cruise, in exchange for the station giving credit to your business. 
  2. Find the right format for a newspaper advert. Newspapers are a brilliant way to reach local customers. Restaurants, bars, and cafes ought to target the weekend entertainment section. If you’re a service provider, you might be better to focus on classified adverts, which are usually cost-effective. Some newspapers will offer advertorial options that will let businesses sponsor written content in order to educate about what they offer. 
  3. Create a magazine advert. Magazine ads are a useful format for businesses that have a heavy emphasis on visuals. Trade magazines are useful if you need to cater to niche followings or specific industries. 
  4. Get radio stations to broadcast live from your business. Radio personalities sometimes like to set up shop at a local business that are hosting events or other promotions. If you have something interesting going on, get them to come to your business, and broadcast from there for the day, talking about all the fun that your customers are having. 
  5. Create cable or local TV ads. TV commercials are a traditional advert format. Don’t worry about national networks if you’re on a strict budget. As a small business, you’ll have better luck targeting local news stations or cableTV, depending on what fits in with your budget. 
  6. Advertise at local movie theatres. Get your message in front of local customers when they’re most likely to be paying attention, when a movie is about to start. Theatres often offer advertising options to local businesses, to air before they show the trailers. 
  7. Sponsor a trade show or other industry event. If your business is focused on a specific industry rather than a set geographic area, then you will do better exhibiting at trade shows or sponsoring industry events, where you can reach your ideal target market. 
  8. Set up a Google My Business page. Google will pull information about your business from your Google My Business listing. These listings are free. Keep it up to date and accurate, with your company name, website, contact details and opening hours so this information can be easily found. Load your listing with attractive images and offers to encourage engagement and clicks. 
  9. Buy search advertising. Google AdWords or Bing Ads will bring you shoppers who are looking for particular items. These adverts will help to feature your business more prominently when people are searching for relevant phrases.
  10. Use retargeted ads. Increase your deal close rate (conversion rate) through retargeting. Retargeted ads are delivered to people after they leave your website. The ads remind them to go back and purchase the item they were browsing, for example. 
  11. Sponsor article content. You can share thought leadership content by working with blogs or other online publications to publish sponsored content that is relevant to your industry. 
  12. Place banner ads on a local or industry website. Create online ads with a visual focus, like banner or sidebar display ads. Place these ads on relevant sites for your businesses. Most ad spaces like this are sold at a flat fee or per-impression rate. 
  13. Sponsor products on ecommerce platforms. If you sell your products on large platforms like eBay, Etsy, or Amazon, then you can pay to boost the visibility of your offering so they will show up in more customer searches. 
  14. Engage through native online ads. These are adverts that fit with the style and functionality of the other content of the website where they are featured. For example, if you wanted to advertise on a site that has video content, create a short video ad that will fit into the design of the site seamlessly. 
  15. Start an email newsletter. Send out promotions to customers who are already engaged with your business via email. Offer incentives to encourage sign-ups. 
Phillip Neho

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