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What’s the best advertising for a small business?

Chris Bardsley / 28 April 2021

Are you struggling to get your business or brand heard? The business world can be a very saturated market, whatever industry you’re in, so that’s why it’s important to keep on top of your advertising strategy.

Unfortunately, for most small and local businesses, it can be difficult to compete with big national franchises. But if the coronavirus pandemic has shown us anything, it’s that people are more willing than you’d think to support smaller, independent companies and brands. 

So, that being said, how can you find those potential customers?

There are, of course, a few traditional methods of advertising that still perform well, such as newspapers, TV and radio advertisements, and even word of mouth. However, if your small business is looking to quickly grow your customer base and boost your earnings, then investing in digital advertising is one of the best ways to achieve this goal. Digital forms of advertising are rapidly beginning to overtake their traditional counterparts, and it’s not surprising to see why.

Digital advertising gives your small business access to a mass market at a reasonably affordable cost, and unlike TV, radio, or print advertising, it allows you to get personal with each individual customer. Not only does investing strategically in digital advertising give you a high return on investment, but it also brings valuable new business to your brand.

If you’re unsure how to advertise and promote your small business to new customers, we’ll explain everything you need to know in the blog below.

Let’s get started.


How can I get my small business noticed?

One of the best ways to advertise your small business to the world is through digital marketing. By marketing your small business online, you have the potential to reach thousands of new customers through just a few simple clicks. 

So, where do you start? 

If you haven’t thought about setting up a digital marketing strategy yet, it’s time you did. Having a presence online is a must-have for any business looking to succeed in 2021. By not having one, you’re already behind your competitors, because you can bet that they’ll have an effective marketing strategy already set up, pulling new business left, right, and centre. 

If you want a slice of the action, consider trying the following forms of digital marketing for your small business:.


The best types of advertising for small businesses

Social media advertising

This type of online advertising is one of the most popular and successful choices for small businesses. Why? Well, social media is free to set up, and paid advertising on these platforms is relatively affordable. Not only that, but you can be very selective with the audience you want to target. 

For example, let’s say you own a DIY store in Trafford, Manchester. Through social media advertising, you can narrow down the audience you want to target so that only people of a certain demographic living within a mile radius of your Trafford-based store will see your ads. 

If you want to be even more specific, you can target customers based on their likes. You could tailor your ads so that people who like the TV show ‘DIY SOS’ will see them. Compared with traditional forms of advertising, social media has so much more potential for your small business.

There are three main social media platforms you can choose to advertise on, including:

Facebook is probably the best option for most small businesses due to the sheer number of users and the low cost of their ads.

Instagram: This platform is a great choice for any small business with a highly visual brand that is looking to appeal to a younger customer base.

LinkedIn: Advertising on this platform is more expensive compared with the other two, but it’s definitely the best option for small businesses that are B2B.

Email marketing

Email marketing is a very underrated method of advertising, especially considering it’s been around for quite a while! When done correctly, email marketing allows you to send your customers regular emails, letting them know about any new promotions, specials, and products your small business is offering.

They’re also a good way to ask your existing customers for online reviews. If you build up your online reviews, it can help your small business show up in local Google search results, encouraging customers to come to visit or spend money at your business. The sooner you start collecting email addresses from your customers (whether it’s in person or via your website), the sooner you can start giving your business a boost to stand out from your competitors.

Pay-per-click advertising (PPC)

If you don’t have a big budget to play with when it comes to advertising, then PPC could be an option for you. 

With PPC, you pay a fee every time someone clicks on one of your ads, whether it be through a search engine or another means, although search engines are the most common. If you bid on an ad placement within Google Ads, you’ll set the maximum price you’re willing to pay for a potential customer to click on your ad. If someone sees your ad and doesn’t click on it, then you won’t be charged. 

Essentially, PPC is a way of buying visits to your website, unlike drawing in those visits organically through SEO. For example, if you were to bid on the keyword ‘DIY tool shop Manchester,’ your ad could show up at the very top of the Google results page, albeit as a sponsored link.


Is there any way I can advertise my small business for free?

If you really don’t have the money to spend on paid advertising, then there are some ways you can still promote your business online for free. 

However, sometimes putting a bit of time and money into paid advertising can really go a long way in helping your business succeed. One of our List & Found clients saw a 1000x return on their ad spend when they invested in advertising for their business. 

Focus on social media engagement

Organic social media will help you build a relationship with your customers over time. It can help you with your advertising efforts, as it allows you to:

  • Grow your brand’s presence 
  • Communicate and retain your existing customers
  • Convert new customers 

Organic social media is a much slower process than its paid counterpart. While it is completely free, be prepared to spend a lot of time experimenting with it before you see results. For best results, you should combine elements of both organic and paid social media.

Optimise your website 

Focusing on your website’s SEO (search engine optimisation) can help boost your ranking in search results. Why does this matter? It’s significant because it makes your site more visible to users, and that means more traffic and more opportunities to convert potential customers.

Similar to organic social media, you can’t expect to see instant results like you would with paid advertising, but in the long run, SEO is something that’s definitely worth investing in.


Does your small business need help with your B2B digital advertising strategy?

If this all sounds very confusing, complicated, or too time-consuming for your small business, then why not enlist the help of a dedicated B2B marketing agency? 

At List & Found, we’ll help you create a custom online advertising strategy that’ll get your business noticed and get more customers through the door. We’ll find the right channels to connect you and your customers. Get in touch today!

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