9 Advertising Tips for Small Businesses
If you’re a small business, you might find it difficult to spread the word about your company. Whether you’ve just rolled out your store or website, or if you’ve been around for a few years, finding the right avenues to advertising is still a top challenge for small business owners.
We’ll cover a few tips that you can get started with today to improve your small business advertising.
1. Improve Your Google My Business Profile
A free, local advertising tool, Google My Business is perfect for getting your company some much needed presence in search. Google My Business affects how your company displays in Google Maps, Google Search, and Google Knowledge Panel.
When filling out your information on Google, don’t overlook this critical asset. You can highlight the important features of your business, and instill customer confidence.
For more information about improving your business’ relationship with Google, check out our article here.
2. Boost Your Local and Global Search Rankings
If you want to improve your company’s digital presence, start with search engine marketing. Rising in the ranks for your businesses’ terms-of-interest will benefit you in more ways than just having a claim over Google. Many web visitors will turn to your site for useful information, eventually converting into customers.
SEO has two primary focuses: local and global. If your business has a physical location, you’ll need to make sure to invest time into local SEO so that you see the foot-traffic you’re hoping for.
If you’re a web-only platform, you can still benefit from local search, but you must understand the implications of global SEO more broadly, in order to optimize your site for attracting visitors from around the globe.
If you want to learn more about how to win SEO, read our in-depth guide here.
3. Make Use of Email Marketing
Email marketing is perhaps one of the oldest, most reliable forms of advertising. You’re able to reach your customers’ inboxes directly, and you’re not concerned with impressions. In many ways, email marketing was the predecessor to loyalty programs.
If you’re a small business, you can create automated emails for when customers sign up for your newsletter, welcoming them to your platform/site.
You can also send out coupons and sales to drive more repeat buyers to your digital or physical storefront. Reportedly, people check their email as many as 15 times per day–the odds are in your favor!
Get the scoop on how to do email marketing well from our blog here.
4. Advertise on Social Media
Social media is here to stay. If you’re a business and you’re not leveraging social media tools, you’re missing out on a huge revenue stream. Really! More than 50% of revenue across 14 industries is generated from social alone.
If you’re having trouble deciding which channel to start with, look at where the majority of your customers engage you. Facebook? Instagram? You want to start with a solid follower-base, or your warmest leads.
Once you have a process for buying on social determined, advertise to find out which customers/personas convert. Take those findings and keep repeating the process until you have a steady stream of customers.
Trying to make the most of your social media strategy? Learn the biggest mistakes businesses make when selling on Instagram here.
5. Start a Loyalty or Rewards Program
When you’re starting out your small business, or trying to retain more customers, a tried-and-true method for keeping customers coming back is a loyalty program. In fact, a 5% increase in customer retention can result in up to a 95% increase in profits.
For a local store, you may want to consider a punch-card system. If you’re an online store, you may want to reward customers for spending up to a certain amount.
If your promotion drives enough value for your buyers, you’ll likely see an increase in visitors, due to word of mouth. If you really want to scale, make sure to announce your new promotion on social media!
Looking for inspiration for your next loyalty program? Read on how to sell more using promotions here.
6. Join Facebook Groups & Quora Forums
For all of their quirks, Facebook and Quora can be great platforms for discovering new leads. Using these social strategies will surely get people thinking your brand is a leader in your field.
If you join the right Facebook groups, you’ll be able to promote your content and answer questions from all over the world. Let’s say you sell special pet products.
There are plenty of dog- and cat-related meme groups on Facebook that might like to check out your pet products. Or better yet, you might be able to offer some advice on a pet-related question that comes through a pet-owners Facebook group.
For Quora, the strategy is similar. You fill out your profile and decide which verticals you’d like to specialize in. Once you’re set up, questions will come across your dashboard and you can help answer them.
Let’s say you sell kids’ toys. You can answer all sorts of questions about kids’ toys, from their design to why kids love them. If you provide a well-thought out response, people will upvote your answer and you’ll rise to the top–similar to Google Search Rankings.
No matter what you do, do not randomly promote your content on any platform. You actually take away value from your brand, and negatively affect the communities you claim to want to be a part of.
It’s a delicate balancing act, but always defer to not selling in these contexts. Give the right answer as best as you can, and, most likely, the right people will follow.
7. Create Eye-Catching Marketing Collateral
Infographics, blogs, and interactive tools are powerful advertising tools. People love to share visual, easy-to-understand content. Sharing content is the best way to organically drive up referral traffic and backlinks, which helps shape up your presence in Google overall.
While there are many expensive designers out there who specialize in business-related infographics, you might be able to pick up some of the slack yourself.
There are many different kits, packs, and other tools that provide the artistic elements to make a knockout infographic–you just need to provide the content.
If you’re looking to educate your audience, start visually! Learn how to create high-quality content here.
8. Get Familiar with Influencer Marketing
Influencer Marketing is one of the best advertising platforms in the current digital landscape. By partnering with an influencer, you’re already showing off your products/services to a niche audience.
Over 70% of marketers agree that the quality of customers and traffic from influencer marketing is better compared to other sources, like display ads, email marketing, and even social media marketing.
What your small business gains from influencers is trust and positive brand reputation. Just make sure you work with an influencer who is perfect for your brand!
Read more about how to engage influencers here.
9. Develop a Customer Referral Program
Ever used UberEats, AirBnb, or DropBox? All these companies offer their customers one thing: referrals. Whether it’s a free month of service, a free product, or just plain old cash, rewarding your current customers for bringing new customers to your site is one advertising method that just works.
More than any other form of advertising, word-of-mouth is powerful stuff. Friends telling friends about your business can result in higher earnings over time.
Check out our section on affiliates and referrals here.
If you’re a physical store selling goods, we recommend opening a digital store! It’s another great way to secure business, and can actually act as a solid marketing platform for your brick-and-mortar location.
If you’re selling online already, we hope these tips help you shape up your advertising strategy for your business.