17 Advertising Ideas for Small Businesses That Works

Advertising Ideas for Small Businesses - sociallybuzz
  • Andre Kay
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There are many advertising ideas for small businesses that require little or no cost, so a small business owner doesn’t have to break a bank to market their business. 

Even though small businesses are often characterized by tight advertising budgets, the importance of advertising to small businesses cannot be overemphasized. You may choose to spend thousands of dollars on paid advertisements, work with influencers, and employ a premier advertising agency. The good news is, you don’t have to. Many free or inexpensive advertising solutions exist that will draw in website traffic, in-person visits, and scale sales.

In this article, you find valuable ideas and tips for small businesses you can use to advertise your offers and get your business in front of your target audience.

Recommended: Social media stats and trends for small businesses

Online Advertising Tips for Small Business Owners

Below are advertising ideas small business owners like you can leverage to grow online.

Utilize Google ads

Google ads connect your business with your target audience through text-based ads or image display ads on other websites. The text-based ads help your business feature prominently in search results with related keywords or phrases. 

You can get precise while using Google ads. For instance, you may focus on customers who live within the locality of your store or those who look up the products you sell.

Google ad is a good advertising option that gives a solid return on investment. But as a small business owner, you might again be considering the cost. Google has offered a solution for new Google ad users here. Check it out and utilize the credits they offer to test the different advertising methods and ascertain whether they will provide a profitable return on investment for your business. 

Are you tired of losing money trying advertising and marketing strategies and techniques that doesn’t work? Sociallybuzz is your solution. We have been helping small businesses since 2009 grow their customer base and revenue through online advertising.

With performance max feature in Google Ad, we were able to triple our clients “return on investment.” Check out our case study below about Google Performance Campaign.

Below are one of the most effective advertising ideas that works for any business.

Set up and optimize a Google Business Profile 

Google My Business or Google Business Profile is a free advertising tool that manages how your business appears in Google search results. 

What makes this advertising idea lucrative is that it doesn’t cost you money to get free listing on Google Business. Also, you will be getting free leads from Google as long as your listing is predominantly ranking on Google.

The image below are restaurants getting free organic traffic from Google taking advantage of Google Business Profile.

restaurant near me - google search

Recommended: Advertising Ideas for Restaurants

Think of the cost of a Google Search ad for your business that is specifically targeted to your neighborhood; you can achieve the same results for no cost by setting up and optimizing a Google My Business account. Google pulls information about your business and displays it to users when they type related keywords.

Provide your business information including name, address, contact information, work hours, and website. Add location-based key terms that people are likely searching for in your description to make it easier to be found. Use beautiful images and videos that show the inside and outside of your business to invite clicks and engagement. Respond to reviews and engagements professionally. 

Utilize email marketing

Email marketing is one of the advertising tools that give a profitable return on investment. You can use email marketing to get your business in front of potential customers while using it to maintain and strengthen your relationship with existing customers.

Email marketing: Sociallybuzz.com
Email marketing: Sociallybuzz.com

Email marketing offers potential clients and consumers useful information about your business. It helps you promote your business, generate interest in it, and turn leads into paying customers. You can utilize the following advertising tips to get your email marketing to yield the best results:

  • Ensure that each email contains an offer that motivates your readers to take the next step.
  • Use attention-grabbing and thoughtful subject lines.
  • Motivate new website visitors to sign up for your newsletter by providing a bonus content item, coupon, or discount in exchange for subscribing.
  • Don’t be hasty. Deliberately nurture your subscribers until they are willing to make a purchase.
  • Keep track of your progress and conduct A/B tests to determine which offers and copy your list mostly responds to.

Create and publish content 

Creating and publishing great content is one of those marketing tools that are highly effective in attracting traffic to your website. The good thing is, that you don’t need to pay for this. 

Sharing thought leadership content related to your industry helps demonstrate your mastery, authority, and your desire to educate or inform your audience. Use concise and comprehensible terms that answer the questions of your audience.

Google prioritizes high-quality content that is best tailored to answer the various questions users are asking. Make sure your content is great and up to par. 

Start a blog

Content Marketing shouldn’t be a one-off strategy for advertising your small business online; starting a blog is a smart way to make content a regular part of your advertising strategy. Blogging is a completely free tool to market your small business online by sharing stories about your business and providing relevant information that your potential customers are looking for.

Blog posts don’t have to be long and complicated—speak in simple terms, focus on a different topic with each post, and naturally integrate the keywords your audience is likely to search. 

Blogging enhances your online visibility by strengthening your overall SEO, driving traffic to your website, and increasing user engagement.

Use retargeted ads

With this advertising tip, you can easily increase your conversion rate. How do you get shoppers who leave your site without purchasing to finish the sale with retargeted ads? 

Retargeting uses cookies — small pieces of data stored by a web browser — to show your visitors relevant ads that remind them of their preferred products and services from your store or send them emails that serve as reminders of products they did not purchase. 

Whether they’re surfing their favorite website, social media, or checking out your competitors’ websites, retargeted ads keep your products in customers’ minds when they’re browsing the web. 

Retargeted ads are a crucial tool for boosting sales.

Do a giveaway or host a contest

A product giveaway or contest is an easy approach to encourage new people to visit and subscribe to your social media channels or website. Giveaways and contests function as forms of advertising that you can use to reach a large audience via their participation.

You don’t need huge money to do an effective giveaway. Giving low-cost branded items like t-shirts or mugs can be an excellent approach. But you have to make it attractive and trendy.

Contests work best when the prize is directly tied to your business. Consider a free product.

Host a free webinar

A free way to advertise your business is to host a webinar. Decide from the outset what your objectives for the course are. Are they to raise brand recognition, generate leads, or turn a profit? You can generate some extra cash depending on how you go about it.

Even if you don’t think of yourself as an authority in your industry, host an expert or a friend who is knowledgeable and engaging. 

If you have a physical store, hosting a free webinar brings customers who might not otherwise visit your location and spreads the word about your business.

For example, a social media management company could offer a free webinar about a developing social media platform to educate customers and create new leads. 

Marketing Tips for Small Business Owners 

On this section you will learn small business advertising tips to generate leads, traffic and get targeted customers to your business.

Create creative and helpful videos

Video content is a great way of engaging consumers. Creative and helpful videos are especially good for demonstrating how to complete a task, like recycling a product container or installing a television decoder like the one below:

Although it can be expensive to have a professional video produced and uploaded to YouTube, you don’t necessarily need to hire a professional. You can utilize social media platforms like Instagram, Tik Tok, and Facebook. 

You can create videos on product demos, instructional, and how-tos, infographic slides, interviews with employees or industry experts, and Behind-the-scenes footage of what it’s like to work at your business. 

Be open and honest. Include your brand message or a personal note to the video. Finish with a strong call to action, for example, “Call us to schedule an appointment!” Then proceed to publish the video on all your social media platforms.

Host a social media contest or giveaway

Hosting a social media contest or giveaway is strategic marketing that might only cost you a few dollars.

The idea is smart, effective, and worth it as the number of participants generates new leads. You can offer a product at no charge or contribute towards a special prize such as the latest smartphone

There are many social media contests or giveaway ideas out there you can utilize to draw attention to your business. The main goal is to raise awareness of your brand and expose new customers to your products and services by asking participants to like, follow, or tag your business on social media. 

Advertise on Facebook

While you have to spend more for big results, Facebook ads accommodate slim advertising budgets. Over 1.4 billion people use Facebook daily, making it the most widely used social media platform. No matter your type of business, Facebook has an audience for you.

Small businesses have a variety of advertising alternatives, such as expanding the audience of a post or running product-promotional adverts.

You can also start conversations with customers and potential customers on Facebook using the Messenger platform. This way, you make it easier for customers to reach out to you.

Check out our post on the best Facebook Ad Audience You Should be Targeting for Maximum ROI.

Use LinkedIn

Linked is an effective social media platform you can use for advertising your small business. Be active on LinkedIn if your business targets professionals or other businesses. Even though LinkedIn ads are more expensive than ads on other social media platforms, they may be more targeted. 

Another way to optimally use LinkedIn for advertising your small business is by going into dialogue with your connections, joining and contributing to forums, and sharing your offers and blog posts.

Share posts on social media and tag customers while at it

Sharing posts on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and more can encourage organic sharing thereby generating leads. 

Creating posts that express your brand personality and increase engagement helps build a social media community. You can run polls, request feedback, promote your blog posts, and directly engage with your followers to communicate your brand message. You can also use excerpts from longer pieces of content to make shorter, more comprehensible posts.

You can tag your loyal customers while sharing your posts on social media. Tagging your devoted consumers, brand ambassadors, or even nearby businesses and suppliers on social media can increase your business’s organic reach and potentially win more clients. Additionally, you can encourage your followers to tag your brand or the location of your business on their social media posts.

When using social media platforms, always think of consistency, commitment, community, and collaboration. 

Recommended: Benefits of social media marketing for small businesses.

Use hashtags

Using hashtags on your social media posts is a free way to broaden your reach and grow your small business. 

You can use trending hashtags to reinforce your brand identity, but don’t only use them. Use more precise hashtags when providing resources or advice. Don’t disregard location-based hashtags if you’re running a local business. Remember to use customer hashtags. To ensure that your posts are seen by the intended audience, use a variety of hashtags. 

Advertising Ideas for Local Businesses

Below are advertising ideas for local businesses you should be using.

Check out the best advertising agency for small businesses in the US

Apply for business awards

Check out and apply for business awards in your industry. Your business will be exposed online and in print when you apply, which is most often free or only costs a few hundred dollars. 

Winners are usually invited to give live demonstrations on local news stations in their local markets. 

Most industry awards provide you with online badges you can place on your website. These badges can increase credibility and consequently, sales. Don’t just apply for every award you come across. Target those that will expose your business to your target audience.

You can host a business award if there are none in your industry or sponsor an existing business award. Doing this will get your business noticed and might even attract collaborations from other top businesses in your industry. 

Utilize direct mail 

People desire genuine and palpable connections with your brand in a world where everybody is going digital. Direct mail gives you just that. You can be sure that the right people in your local area are seeing your ads. 

In this era of personalization, direct mail is much more likely to be opened than email. The reward is worthwhile.

You’ll be distinctive and produce more lifetime value. Additionally, you’ll generate more recommendations, great reviews, and devoted customers. 

Even if you might need more than just sending out a single batch of mailers to generate a lot of revenue, running frequent distribution campaigns will enhance the number of impressions you have on your audience, promote brand recognition, and keep you in their minds.

Create business partnerships

Partnering with other businesses in your industry is a great way of reducing advertising costs while broadening your reach and increasing your audience. Partner with a business related to your industry with an overlapping audience. The brand you choose to partner with should not be a direct competitor.

You can structure the partnership however you choose. However, it should be a profitable partnership; interact with various businesses and evaluate them before making things official, have several conversations, be sure to set clear expectations and determine how you can work together.

Industry collaborations are effective marketing strategies because they give local and small business owners access to marketing expertise, technology, and customer bases that they would not otherwise have.

Attend local/networking events

Consider attending local events if you’re a local business, either as a sponsor, volunteer, or board member. Farmers’ markets, outdoor movies, holiday parades, food festivals, and craft fairs—you name it—are all acceptable local events. Just be sure to provide something that will interest your audience.

Participating in trade fairs and networking events in your industry is a fantastic way of advertising your business. You can get linked up with other like-minded business owners and find new marketing strategies to grow your business.

Additionally, some of these events offer premium seminars that will help you hone your business promotion skills, social media marketing, and other modern strategies that enhance sales.  

Check out this post about social media marketing for small businesses.

Create a referral program

Include a referral promotion on your business card or flyer that offers bonuses to customers who refer new customers. Customers referring and talking to their friends about your business is valuable for drawing new customers and scaling up sales.

If you don’t already have a referral program, the following statistics will convince you to do so.

  • Customers who were recommended by a friend are four times more likely to buy a product.
  • People have a 37% higher retention rate when referred by other customers.
  • 65% of new deals for businesses come from referrals.
  • 92% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know.
  • According to referral marketing statistics, leads from referrals convert at a 30% higher rate than leads from any other source.

Invest in your business cards

Investing in your business cards doesn’t mean spending more money. It simply means making the most of your business cards. Creatively designed business cards can serve as low-budget advertising. 

Give your business card to everybody you meet. Every handshake should be accompanied by a business card. Doing this will get many people to learn about your business even if they just took a cursory glimpse at a business card. 

You can add a discount code to the back of your business cards. People will be willing to buy from you if there’s a reward. Give satisfied customers a handful of your business cards — with or without a discount code — so they can share them with their friends and neighbors. It works well to promote referrals. 

Wrapping Up

Although having a million-dollar advertising budget would be good, you can still achieve great results for your small business with a low advertising budget.

The advertising ideas and tips listed in this article will help promote your business by driving traffic to your website, increasing your online presence, attracting new customers, and scaling sales. 

There are many reasons why a small business should advertise. Advertising is necessary for every business, whether small or large, new or established. It persuades potential customers to purchase the product or service you’re offering by placing your business in front of your target market.

However, advertising can be costly, particularly for small businesses. It can be frustrating when your budget limits how many people you can reach with your business. Small businesses with tight advertising budgets may find it difficult to spend $5,000 on an email marketing campaign or $104,700 on a 30-second TV ad. 

Although experts advise most small firms to spend about 7-8% of their total income on marketing activities, it can seem like a lot, especially if you’re starting. Many free advertising options are available to assist you in obtaining an optimized and cost-free online business promotion and various social media platforms to market your products and services effectively. 

About Sociallybuzz.

Sociallybuzz is digital and social media advertising company in the US. Since 2009 we have been helping small businesses grow online, leveraging social media advertising and digital marketing. Contact us for online advertising for your small business.

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