Advertising a small business. There are endless combinations of different ways to promote your business to try to get in front of your target demographic, but we hopefully can help you with how to make an informed decision. As a digital content agency that specializes in small business growth, we have experience creating advertisements for small businesses all over the country.
We aren’t talking Rolling Stone, Time, Car & Driver, or any of the big name magazines that you know my name. 99% of the small businesses that we work with couldn’t afford to run a 1″x1″ square in any of those, hell, I know we certainly can’t. Traditional advertising for small business would be trade show magazines, local magazines for your region (think Cleveland Magazine Clevelanders), or industry-specific magazines. These are great alternatives if you are 100% sure that your target demographic will be the ones reading. Do yourself a favor when you take out an advertisement, hire a graphic design company. I’m not saying that just to sell you on our wonderful design services here at duo, I’m saying it because this ad is going to take an investment on your behalf, don’t let your ad suck. No, it shouldn’t be made in Microsoft Word, and no you can’t use your clip art logo. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever been told is that your business should look as big as the clients you want to attract. Sending over a shit ad is going to lead to shit results, end of story.
Facebook ads are a business owner’s dream. We’ve run hundreds of different ads for various small businesses and each and every one of our clients are surprised by just how detailed we can get with the targeting. Did you know that you can target people by demographic, location, annual household income, browsing habits / interests, and by other pages they like? That hardly even scratches the surface to the specifics of how well you can target your ads on Facebook. Advertising on Facebook is much more than just boosting a post. Look at it this way…if you boost a post it will get to more of your people that follow you, and possibly some of their friends. If you setup a targeted ad campaign, you can get in front of your fans / followers, your neighbors, your favorite dog walkers in the area and more. You can even target them based on whether or not they have been on your website. Have you ever seen those creepy ads that pop up on Facebook after you’ve looked at some new clothes online? That’s some of the targeted advertising that you can take advantage of with Facebook.
Have something visual that you can share with your fans / followers / friends / potential clients? No better platform to do that on than Instagram. Instagram is incredibly effective for attracting new fans and followers. The use of hashtags, targeted advertising and something visual to catch people’s attention all help it to be a terrific small business advertising platform. Think about it this way, if you run a bakery and you are not putting most of your content on Instagram, you are missing out on a ton of eyeballs. Everybody likes to drool over great-looking food, especially sweet treats. You can use many of the same targeting methods on Instagram that you can on Facebook. You can even use Facebook Ad Manager to manage your Instagram ads! Now, if only they would allow you to schedule Instagram posts…we’re waiting on you Instagram.
Are you a B2B company that’s trying to attract more clients / customers? There’s a good chance that LinkedIn is going to be the best advertising platform for your business. Chock-full of business owners, decision makers, C-Suite and director level personnel that’s all neatly organized, it really is a B2B-ers dream scenario. There aren’t an insane amount of people advertising on the platform either, which increases your odds of being seen, and decreases your CPC typically.
Listen, I’m not going to act like this blog post is going to give you the exact answer you’re looking for. The best advertising solution for your business is the one that is going to reach your target demographic in the most impactful manner. Notice I did not say the cheapest avenue is the best avenue. The biggest thing to keep in mind is that you are paying money to be featured on a platform and to get in front of people. If you base that solely on the costs you are already behind the eight ball. Costs are super important, but conversions are the biggest factor. I’d rather convert 5 leads at $2 per click rather than 20 people click at $0.50 per click if it means I’m targeting people that are more likely to work with me. If I run an ad on Facebook for Duo, we will get clicks but will get very few conversions (meaning, very few will actually reach out to us). If I run a similar ad on LinkedIn, I will probably get people that are willing to request a proposal from us! If you have no clue how to get started with this sort of thing, please reach out to a marketing company. Our job, which is measured by KPIs, is to get to your target audience and make them fall in love with you.