There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it — learning how to advertise your business is hard. It should be as simple as making an advertisement, paying for it, and sending it off, but unfortunately, there are a lot more steps than that. At Business Warrior, we think it should be easy for you to get new customers. That’s why we’re going to help walk you through the basics of online marketing for small businesses.
Let’s get started.
The Basics of Advertising…Anywhere!
No matter where you advertise, the basics will always be the same. That’s because every ad is built off an idea, which is then designed to match your audience.
Here are the winning four steps:
- Have an idea
- Know your audience
- Attach a value proposition
- Make sure your audience knows what you’re selling
Let’s look at an example. Say you’re the owner of a small ice cream parlor in the heart of downtown. You’ve just created a new ice cream flavor: hand-churned peanut butter and chocolate chunk, and you want the whole city to know about it.
So, let’s follow the steps.
Have an idea: Advertise your new ice cream
Audience: Everyone loves ice cream, so this is easy. Make your ad cater to all ages, genders, and income levels.
Value proposition: What makes your ice cream better than the competition? You’re a local business owner who hand-churns your ice cream. Own that and put it in your ad.
What are you selling: The new flavor.
Then, you just have to make it. Write out the content (and know the length restrictions of the platform) and attach a great photo of your new flavor. That’s it!
However, chances are you’re not a local ice cream parlor. Your advertising strategy may be a little different to figure out. So let’s break it down even further.
The Importance of Knowing Your Audience
Online marketing for small businesses is only successful when you’re advertising to the right people. You can blast your ads to the entire country, but that won’t do you much good. In fact, it’s actually just wasted money.
Instead, create a targeted campaign. By that, we mean know who your audience is and show your ads only to them.
We hear you — limiting the number of people who see your ads doesn’t seem productive. However, think of it like this: it shows your business to the people who are most likely to buy from you.
How to Find Your Audience
If you’ve been in business for a while, then you likely know who is buying your product. If you’re brand new, then you probably have an audience in mind. To find your audience, ask yourself the following:
- How old are my customers?
- What income level does my product/service appeal to?
- Does my business cater to everyone, or specific occupations (such as plumbers, business owners, athletes, etc.).
All of that will give you an avatar — a profile of your audience — to go off of. This is vital for advertising! Different platforms, such as Facebook and Google, allow you to target specific ages, income levels, genders, hobbies, etc. It’s key to getting your business in front of people who are looking for what you’re selling!
Where Can You Advertise?
You can advertise almost anywhere. But here are some of the essential places for online marketing for small businesses.
Paid Search (aka Google and Other Search Engines)
Paid search is an online ad stream that gets almost immediate traction. Using a platform like Google Ads, you create a campaign to put your business in front of your audience. It’s as easy as writing your ads, putting a budget behind it, and letting them run.
When done correctly, your ads are delivered to your target audience who are actively looking for your services. Just like that you start appearing in front of searchers
Why Use Paid Search?
- See instant results
- You get all the data you need to improve your ads and get more customers
- You only pay for your ads to be in front of your chosen audience
- Gets your website on the first page of Google (ads appear on the top and bottom of Google searches)
Social Media (Facebook, Twitter)
You see social media advertising all the time, even if you don’t realize it. Those Facebook or Twitter posts marked as “sponsored,” “promoted,” or “advertisements?” Yup, that’s social media advertising!
Social media ads are just like paid search — they’re only shown to people you match whatever your audience is. When you post them, you have options to fill in their age, income, gender, and hobbies to help limit who sees your business. Again, this is a good thing! It means more people who are interested in you will be seeing you.
Think of it like this: You’re the owner of a petite women’s clothing store. Your audience is just that: petite women. Which means you don’t want your ads to be seen by males or non-petite ladies. You can target those people with remarketing ads, but that is a whole other story.
Remarketing and Retargeting Ads
These ads are used for both paid search and social media. They’re shown to people who have visited your website in the past but did not buy anything. You don’t need to target specific audiences with these ads because of that.
They’re great to make a new customer out of someone who was just browsing, who was looking for a gift, or who was looking for more information.
We all get those emails from time to time about discounts, newsletter, and special deals. Those are a type of email marketing. In truth, email marketing for small business can look like almost anything — informational posts, blog rolls, newsletters, discounts and sales, product highlights, anything that leads customers back to your business.
But email marketing is a slow roll. You’re not going to get hundreds of leads from it — in fact, you’d be lucky to have hundreds of people opening and clicking through the email. The point of it is to grab a select few people who are on the fence about buying from you and driving them right home — to you.
Which Method of Online Marketing is Best For You?
We can’t answer that in this blog — it all depends on who your customers are, where they are and how ready you are to start advertising. You can get your score to find out! Paid search is usually a safe place to start, though. With all of the different campaign options, you’re bound to find one that is right for you.
We can help you get started too. Business Warrior tracks your advertising readiness and scores your business so you can quickly see what you already have and what you’re missing. Not only that, but we empower you to take control of your advertising by walking you through each step to get your business on Google, Facebook, Yelp, and Bing.
If you need a little more help or don’t have the time, we have your back. Business Warrior’s Pro plan allows us to build and manage your advertising campaigns. It even includes $100 exclusively used for advertising to get you more customers, faster.
Access Business Warrior today and start getting new customers tomorrow.