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What To Know about Business Advertising

Sorting through the multitude of advertising options can get overwhelming for some small business owners as they decide on the best fit for their marketing strategy and budget.


To help guide your assessment, take a look at these advertising trends and a quick review of a few basic principles of advertising.


Traditional types.Marketing experts say small businesses should consider traditional advertising, such as TV, radio, and print ads, including local media and mailers, as a cost-effective means to promote their brand.


More than half of the consumers polled in a survey by MarketingSherpa said they often or always watch traditional TV ads and read printed ads they receive in the mail from companies they are satisfied with.


“Adding traditional, local media to a small business' marketing mix can be an effective way to reach target audiences within a specific geographical area,” writes Erica Sweeney in a Business Insider article.


Paid search.Paid search advertising, also known as PPC or pay-per-click, lets you use keywords to increase the chance of your business being seen in search engine results when consumers search for your type of business, product or service.


With 28 percent market share, Google ranks as the top platform for digital ad revenues, reports Statistica. Facebook is next with 18 percent share and Amazon in third with 7 percent, according to the research data company.


Businesses that use PPC ads, which include search, display and social media campaigns, have the potential to expose their business to a larger, more diverse audience, increasing their brand’s overall reach.


“Functionally, what happens is that you pay for the ad only when users click on it, incentivizing search engines to show it to the most relevant audiences,” writes Kati Terzinski in a post for Pyxl, global digital marketing agency based in Nashville.


Social media.Digital marketing experts say businesses with smaller budgets can benefit from advertising on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn.


One of the biggest advantages of social media advertising is the ability to target specific demographics and pinpoint your audience.


Facebook is a powerhouse when it comes to targeted advertising, declares NerdWallet writer Elizabeth Kellogg.


Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and What’s App, recently announced that some of the more “daunting aspects” of running ads on Facebook, including targeting new customers and retargeting past ones, have been automated.


“If you have a specific audience in mind, you can hone your Facebook ads with extreme precision — based on a narrow set of unique interests or on recent behaviors like whether they’re currently planning a vacation,” writes Kellogg in NerdWallet.


“Even when people don’t make an immediate purchase, they may end up liking and sharing your business. This helps in building a database of potential customers.”


Sponsored content. This is when you’re paying an influencer to post content that speaks positively about your business, products or services.


It’s become so popular that Instagram created a Branded Content Tool for influencers to use. It has a line below the influencer’s name and “Paid partnership with [insert your brand].”


Small businesses may not be able to afford big celebrity-sponsored content but can use micro-influencers in their industry to promote their brand. While they may have smaller followings they are still influential in certain areas, notes Kellogg in the NerdWallet post.


Also, micro-influencers might post about your company in exchange for free products and offer lower prices than bigger name influencers.


Some Basics

Even while technology has led to increasing avenues for advertising, the marketing basics still apply, says Allen Adamson, adjunct professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business in a Business News Daily post.


“The basic principles of how you market and build a brand haven’t changed — despite what everyone says — in the past 10 or 15 years,” says Adamson in the article by Bennett Conlin. “What technology has done overall is magnified what was always true.”


For example, the best place for your small business to show up remains in places where your audience, i.e., current and potential customers, will see it. Also from the basics book is the need to create ads that are relevant and eye-catching.