What Makes You Stand Out From Your Competition?
People come in contact with advertisements from all types of businesses all the time. Small businesses are always looking for smart, cost-effective ways to advertise. With a bit of imagination and lots of hustle, you can get big advertising results with even a tiny advertising budget. It is also important that business owners understand the basics of creating a good advertisement. The core principles of how to produce a proper advertisement apply to practically anything you may want to use as a promotional tool. This includes:
- Online advertisements
- Fliers and other mailers and handouts
- Magazine and newspaper ads
- And more.
What will make your potential customers buy your company’s product or service versus going with one of your competitors? That’s what you want to figure out and focus on with your advertisements. Show your potential customers why your business is their number one choice and why they shouldn’t even consider your competitors.
With the right strategies in place, you can use advertising to drive leads, sales, and ROI, no matter what size you are.
What To Include In Every Advertisement
- Your logo or business name. If your logo or name doesn’t contain what you do, make sure to clarify that in the ad.
- A CTA (call to action) with supporting contact information. Say exactly why people should contact your business and what you can do for them. For example, “Call us at (888) 000-0000 to save money on home insurance today.”
- Supporting visual elements like a photo or graphics. This can be your logo, a picture of your business or a graphic related to your business.
- A powerful headline. People scan things quickly. This is why you have to make sure that your advertisement actually grabs and keeps their attention.
- An offer they can’t refuse. Whether you’re offering an unbeatable price, a free trial or free shipping, going out of your way to provide your customers with a good deal will help you be successful.
- Create a hierarchy of information. Every piece of information in your ad should be weighted according to its importance. It’s hard to read an ad in which everything is the same size.
- Remember, less is more. Don’t overwhelm people with information. Keep it as simple as possible while getting useful information across to the viewer.
- Use your space wisely. Don’t use every inch of white space because you can. Leave some “breathing room” so people can digest your message.
Advertising is important and good advertising is what will help your company succeed.
Using Google Ads for Small Business Advertising
Online advertising is generally more cost-effective and more effective, period, because you’re able to target your advertising budget at a more select group of people, and closely measure how that audience responds to your advertising.
One of the most measurable forms of online advertising is paid search marketing, a system that allows you to place advertisements in the search results when people are searching for products or services related to what your business offers. Because Google is the world’s most popular search engine, Google’s search advertising system, Google Ads, is the most popular platform for this.
To learn more about how Google Ads work, check out:
- PPC University: A free learning resource that will teach you the basics of PPC.
- How the Google Auction Works: A visual primer on how Google’s AdWords auction works. It all starts with a keyword…
- How to Advertise on Google and Grow Your Business: A beginner’s guide to getting started with Google advertising.
Low-Cost Ways To Promote Your Business
Most small businesses are working with a limited marketing budget and few in-house resources, so they are always looking for affordable advertising ideas. Remember, you still need to find ways to make a big impact with your marketing.
Add Your Company to Business Listing Sites
Business directories are not just a digital version of the Yellow Pages where users have to flip through pages to find what they’re looking for; they are comprehensive platforms that enable potential customers to instantly identify, learn about, and contact businesses relevant to them. Here is a list of business directories and listing sites to which you can add your business:
- Google My Business (this one is important)
- Angie’s List
- Better Business Bureau
- City Search
- Bing Local
- Yahoo Local
Google My Business is a big one for any business these days. It serves to give local businesses free advertising on Google in many ways. First, it is the means by which your business appears on Google Maps, Google Search, and Google’s Knowledge Panel. Second, you can create a Q&A section to highlight important features and increase customer confidence. Third, you can collect Google reviews which is perhaps the most effective organic advertising. Finally, you can post promotions, events, news, and products to your profile.
Social Media Advertising
Posting on social media is free, and even though we’ve all been bombarded with social media clutter and thinly veiled sales pitches, there are still many ways for small businesses to spruce up your social media presence without spending lots of money. Publishing engaging and relevant content is key. In addition, paid advertising on popular social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram is another attainable and effective way to advertise your small business.
Facebook Ads is a great approach to social media. About 80% of Americans use Facebook, and more than half of U.S. residents use Facebook several times a day! Facebook has some of the best targeting tools in social media advertising. You can focus and target your ad to reach exactly the demographic group that best matches your ideal audience. For example, you can target your ad to reach an audience based on age, gender, geographic location, interests, behaviors and whether they’re already connected to your business on Facebook.
Learn to Use ‘Help A Reporter Out‘
Help a Reporter Out is a free way to get publicity for your business by signing up to be an “expert source” for reporters who are looking for people to interview. Whenever you see a reporter’s query on HARO that suits your skills and expertise, you can offer some quick insights. This method will gain your business exposure in different online publications, and also allow you to begin defining yourself as an expert in your industry.
Develop Winning Email Marketing Campaigns
Social media gets all the hype, but email marketing is still a reliable way to reach your audience of customers and online fans/followers. The best part about email marketing is that it’s extremely cost effective while also being far-reaching. The costs involved to send mass emails are minimal. The time it takes to develop the message and design the email content is also minimal compared to other tactics.
Email marketing is an effective tactic for reaching and engaging new leads, no matter where they live or spend their time online.
All you need to have to get started with email marketing campaigns is someone to create the email content and a platform you can use to send it. Most email marketing platforms like MailChimp and Constant Contact have a free account that you can use to get started.
Advertising Your Small Business Professionally
Small business owners should never feel like their budget is too small to get good marketing results. No matter what business you’re in or what you sell, there are lots of ways to use ingenuity, hustle and hard work to promote your business. And if you’re ready to invest some money in buying ads or paying for creatives, ARA Digital Marketing makes it easy to find exactly the right advertising opportunity at a scale that suits your needs and your budget.