Best Online Advertising Strategies For Small Businesses
Running a small business has always been tough and challenging. Luckily, today online advertising helps promote brands and companies of any scale. And a small business is no exception. In this article, you will find the best advertising strategies for small businesses, their advantages and disadvantages, and trends for 2021.
Online advertising strategies
So you’ve decided to advertise your business online. A logical question arises: where to begin? There are several options to choose from. You can start with social media, videos, or PPC advertising.
Social media marketing provides businesses with plenty of opportunities. Millions of people spend hours surfing social networks every day, and some of them are your current and potential customers. Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and TickTock can offer you a lot more than just likes. They humanize your brand, increase brand awareness, generate leads, and boost sales.
But you shouldn’t try to cover all the existing social media networks straight away. If you do, you are likely to end up wasting your time and money. Don’t rush ahead and take it step by step.
Step 1: Define Personas
Before you register your corporate account on some social network and start posting, you need to understand several things: who your clients are, what content types will be useful to them, and what social media they prefer.
Collect the information from all the resources, conduct research if possible, and define your Personas – generalized characters representing your current clients. Avoid making up things. Rely only on actual data about your clients that you had before or acquired after the research.
In the Persona profile, describe as many details relevant to your service or product as possible. If you promote educational platforms, include the school background in your Persona. In case you offer corporate taxi services, the educational background of your Persona probably doesn’t matter.
Customer personas will allow you to understand the way your business is helpful to clients and provide you with ideas of how to improve your product or service. You will also understand what kind of posts your customers might enjoy. Don’t forget to include clients’ favorite social networks in your Persona profile as well.
Step 2: Start posting on your clients’ favorite social networks
Check out Persona profiles you have for the favorite social media channels of your customers. Register corporate accounts on these platforms only. If there are too many of them, create accounts only on social networks where most of your Personas spend time (or the most profitable ones).
Pay attention to platforms that offer the best return on investment (ROI) as well. The ROI rate that you can get on social media also depends on your business type. For instance, Instagram is a network for people who love observing fancy things and beautiful lifestyles. That’s why you can easily imagine good sales of clothes or beauty products via Instagram. On the other hand, if you target people from particular industries or occupations, LinkedIn provides the best opportunities.
Step 3: Run the ads
If you’re going to run paid ads, make sure you focus on the most important social networks. Every network has its algorithms for showing ads, and the more data the network has, the better it works. You’ll see better results spending $500 on Facebook ads, rather than splitting the whole sum between Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Quora, and Twitter. Don’t forget that you should focus on the social networks that are popular among your clients.
Additional step: Collect your customer feedback
Another great use of social media for business purposes is collecting customer requests and issues. Using pre-built chatbots and applications, you can connect, for example, Facebook messenger to your customer support Trello board. Whenever a customer leaves a question or reports a bug via Facebook messenger, your support specialist will get a Trello notification. It’s a good way of letting your customer reach you and get help using the most convenient channel.
Social media allows you to listen to the voice of your customers, get inspired by their requests or questions, and improve your product or service. You can also use your client feedback to create helpful posts.
Video is a cool advertising channel, but when it comes to a small business, the question of budget and time arises. Outsourcing video production to a freelancer or hiring an experienced specialist will probably be too expensive for a small company.
It all becomes less complicated if you have a person in your team who would like to work on video content production and promotion. But you still will have to pay for additional courses or workshops for this person to get better results faster.
There is one more important thing that you need to remember when investing in a YouTube channel, Snapchat, or TikTok. Your investment requires time to payback. If getting quick results from your online advertising campaign is crucial to you, it’s better to focus on another strategy.
PPC is one more great online advertising strategy. It will help your small business to catch the attention of potential clients when they are actively looking for something on the Internet. Here is how you can launch a PPC advertising campaign:
Step 1: Create a search queries list
Compile a list of search terms (queries) you want to target with your ads. Having a search terms list in place will help you bring your ad to, so to say, the right people. You’ll be able to reduce the number of useless ad impressions produced by an off-target audience. Sometimes it might seem that your ad doesn’t get enough impressions, but the thing is that all the clicks will come from your target audience, not from a bypasser. This way you’ll attract the right people to your website — the ones who are likely to buy something from you, not the ones who will leave it a few seconds after they launch on your website.
Step 2: Launch the ad based on your search queries list
After you’ve launched your ad, pay attention to its performance reports. If you work with an agency, be sure to request those reports and the list of search queries that triggered the ads. You will need this data to tweak the search terms lists based on the results to help your ad reach your audience. Keep in mind that external specialists often lack domain expertise, so give them a helping hand with picking the right keywords.
Online advertising trends for 2021
We’ve already described the proven strategies for online advertising. Anyway, times are changing, and some new advertising trends have emerged.
Mobile-first thinking is one of the recent trends. However, before following this trend, think about whether it’s relevant for your clients. For example, people tend to search for professional services from desktop devices. In many other cases, the mobile-friendly approach is critical. E.g., consumers prefer using their mobile phones when they order a pizza or buy various types of goods online.
Storytelling and sincerity
One more trend that a small business can leverage is storytelling and sincerity. It helps increase your clients’ trust and loyalty, attract leads and improve your brand’s image. For example, a CEO can share some great news about the company on social media or publish an inspiring post about business challenges and how to face them. It will help build connections with the audience and make them feel related to your business. People are more likely to buy from brands whose CEOs and top personnel have a personal brand.
You should be careful about covering conversational and sensitive topics. Better discuss posts like these with your colleagues before posting.
Online advertising strategies provide small businesses with plenty of opportunities. Now, you know how PPC campaigns, accounts on social networks, and video content helps small companies generate leads, win new customers, keep the existing ones, improve the brand image, increase ROI, and a lot more. We hope that you will use these strategies for the sake of your business growth.
This article has been published in accordance with Socialnomics’ disclosure policy.