To many mid-size and small business owners, the word ‘advertise’ is synonymous with radio commercials, billboards, and even snail mail flyers. In simple terms, many small business owners think you have to spend a fortune to advertise a product or service effectively. While this may have been true decades ago, the business world has now changed. If you want to promote your business and reach more potential customers, you must advertise in places where their attention is at.
It, therefore, does not come as a surprise that today, the most effective marketing strategies have one thing in common – simplicity. It gets even better with the fact that this advertising campaign stands out as cheap and effective. You don’t have to go far to notice how simple advertisements come in handy.
Look at what big corporations are doing in a bid to reach out to their existing and potential customers. They keep their advertisements simple in a way that connects to their audience. This returns dividends within a short time. So how exactly should you advertise as a small business owner? Take into account the following small business advertising ideas.
1. Social Media
It goes almost without saying that a social media marketing strategy stands out as the most powerful advertising tool in the business world today. It is easy to understand why. In the US alone, up to 11 people join social media sites like Facebook and Twitter every minute. That’s not all. More than 70% of North Americans are avid social media users.
So if your business is not making the most out of social media, you’re losing out. It is also worth noting that’s social media advertising comes along with so many benefits. For starters, it guarantees low barriers of entry. All you need is your phone. There is also the budget factor which makes social media a great advertising avenue for small businesses.
A Facebook video advertisement will most likely cost a lot less compared to a 30 second TV commercial or even a radio spot. Remember, you can customize your social media advertising as much as you want. You can also choose to make it brief or elaborate.
2. User-Generated Content
You probably don’t know this yet, but more often than not, the best advocates for your business or brand are your existing customers. With that in mind, check your customer testimonials or go through the ‘community’ tab on your Facebook page. Take note of what customers are saying.
Are they showing the results of your hair or skin care product? Do they tag their friends on your page? Are they taking snaps of your hot menus? Take advantage of user-generated content as much as you can.
Use snaps, positive reviews, and testimonials to make a collage of happy customers. Be sure to get permission from whoever posted pictures of the services you offer on their social media timelines.
3. Answer Common Questions
Take time to find out what people say about your products or services online. It won’t take you long before realizing there are common questions nearly all customers ask from time to time. These frequently asked questions can also help you advertise with ease. Use the questions to provide value to your audience. This is one of the easiest ways to create loyal customers.
Always remember that if one customer is asking a question, other customers also have the same problem in mind. Yelp, Facebook, and Amazon reviews are all great places to find out what customers are asking. One of the best marketing efforts is taking the time to engage with your potential customers and answer their questions.
Take your time to come up with a list of all common questions. Then come up with a simple but branded graphic that provides straightforward answers. Be sure to post the replies on appropriate social media platforms. This is one of those simple but effective small business advertising ideas.
4. Embrace Video Content
This is a no brainer. Experts predict that by 2020, 80% of internet traffic will be solely from video content ads. Around 90% of consumers in different markets attest that video content contributes to the choices and decisions they make on whether or not they should buy a product or service.
Product and service demos live tours, and even animated content are all excellent ideas you can use for video content. Use videos to teach a new skill as well. Grab a tripod or even an employee, find a quiet spot to film and make a video. That’s all you need to start.
5. Refer a Friend Program
While you look for new marketing ideas is important not to forget those strategies that are proven to be effective. You will be surprised at how fast word-of-mouth marketing goes. Use it to channel the enthusiasm of your customers to their friends. All you need to do is to implement a ‘refer a friend’ reward program. This will quickly broaden your customer base and enhance your reputation.
The good thing about this is how your customers will be the ones doing the advertising for you in exchange for an appreciation token. So ultimately, it is a win-win situation for you and your customers. This is another of those useful small business advertising ideas.
Keep the rewards simple. You can, for instance, choose to give a percentage off the net purchase to the customer who referred a new customer. Then make sharing and the whole referral exercise easily by incorporating social media share buttons on your website.
6. Host Business Events
Nothing creates excitement around the business like events. With the emergence of social media, this tip comes in handy for spreading the word. Create content for your event pages then use captivating graphics to grab the attention of your audience.
Make sure your event stands out for so many reasons. Surprise your customers with gifts! Slash prices for some of your most frequently purchased products. Take action and implement these small business advertising ideas right away.