The Top 6 Most Effective Small Business Advertising Methods
Small businesses and startups often ask, “what is the most effective small business advertising strategy that can scale with a smaller budget?” It’s not easy to figure out the right way to spend your limited time and resources. It’s also difficult to know whether it’s better to invest at the top of the funnel or at the bottom. The best advice we can give for that is to take a full-funnel approach because this is more sustainable over the long run.
However, with that being said, there are some strategies out there that will just be out of reach for small business owners – advertising on TV is an obvious one. So here are 6 of the most viable and effective small business advertising strategies that we recommend for small businesses or startups.
1.) Referral Networks
Referral networks are essential for businesses. These typically involve customer referrals, which are encouraged and promoted via rewards or discounts for each referral. Additionally, referral networks include b2b (business to business) referrals. Have you found yourself often telling customers, “we don’t offer/provide that here, but the business down the road does.” That’s an opportunity to get referrals in return!
Referral networks are even stronger in the white-collar professions. For example, a lawyer will refer someone to an accountant, then the accountant will refer that person to a broker. The only “risk” of referrals is that there is a “shared” reputation. You will be staking your professional reputation on the referrals you provide. So no matter what kind of company you have, ensure that your referral network all shares the same commitment to providing a quality experience as you do.
To wrap up on referral networks, also keep in mind that your competition doesn’t always have to be an enemy. If you happen to be too busy to take on some work, toss it their way. Oftentimes, they will return the favor. And besides, it can hurt your reputation to make a customer wait too long.
2.) Influencer Marketing
There is great value in being praised by a trustworthy and respected third party. There are two main benefits. The first benefit is that earned media and press articles will encourage people to place their trust in you.
And the second benefit is that you can leverage these outlets’ existing audiences to spread your message even further. Bloggers and influencers can also help with this by sharing your company with their followers, thus giving you an important endorsement with a potentially enormous reach. You can also pull some creative (and affordable if done right) stunts to attract the attention of your target audience or the media.
3.) Content Marketing
Making interesting and relevant content for your target audience will help you get more leads. That’s because you’ll be able to capture their interest and build trust with them over time. You’ll also have a better conversion rate after building up your brand, handling customer queries, and giving them more reasons to choose you.
Whether it be infographics, videos, articles, or eBooks, you should let the world know you can offer. Things you want to promote are your brand values, expertise, and what differentiates you from other brands. These will help potential customers make a decision and help those who are on the fence about your company “pull the trigger.” Excellent content will also be backlinked, featured, and shared around, thus making your domain authority even higher if you place the content on your website.
4.) Poster Advertisements
The majority of malls, public places, and supermarkets allow poster advertisements on their board space. This method can be hit-or-miss. The key is to give your poster enough visibility and include removable tabs that customers can collect in order to get a discount later on.
Also, set each location as a unique color. That way, you’ll know where the majority of your leads are coming from. For example, if a specific area is generating most of the leads, you can optimize your campaign to focus on that area more (cold calling, flyers, local media ads focused on those areas, etc.)
5.) Value Additions
Value additions are strong selling points for products and services of all kinds. While they may seem remarkably similar to free appraisals or coupons, their goal is to boost customer satisfaction and create a wider gulf between the business and its competition.
Some common examples of value additions are:
- Referral rewards
- Point cards
- Discounts for repeat customers
Value additions are important simply because they can be the deciding factor between your business and the other similar ones nearby. That preferred customer card or point card might be the difference between a sale or no sale, no customer, or a customer for life. It’s important to remember that you don’t need to promise the moon in order to provide value. You could also mention something that the customer doesn’t know about that adds value to your service or product. And be sure to highlight these value additions in your marketing materials.
6.) Print Marketing
Print marketing is an excellent way to augment all of your marketing methods, including digital marketing. Many companies today still rely greatly on print marketing, and it is still one the most effective small business advertising methods available.
The main benefits of print marketing include:
Print marketing materials can be held in the hands, and qualities such as texture and paper weight play an important role psychologically in influencing purchasing decisions.
The messaging on your printed materials can be taken and exchanged almost anywhere, on the go.
- Improved targeting.
Direct mail marketing can target at the geographical or demographical level.
- Print lasts.
Unlike a web page that can be loaded and forgotten unless bookmarked and remembered, a piece of printed material can be more difficult to ignore.
- Print garners trust.
Today, print is the most trusted type of ad, so if your business uses them, it will garner more credibility, which is important for a new business trying to make a name for itself.