2% of your total sales revenue is the optimal amount to spend on business advertising.
However, this is only the benchmark, and other factors come into play.
For your advertising efforts to be meaningful, you also need to look at past experiences, the size, and stage of your business, your objectives, and how competitive your industry is.
Without considering all these factors, spending the benchmarked amount might deliver dismal results. But what is probably more important than your budget is your advertising strategy.
We have outlined seven best offline and online small business advertising ideas to help your business soar.
Top Small Business Advertising Ideas and How to Get Started
Three-quarters of Americans go online every single day. It makes sense that you do so as well.
Aside from the numbers, online platforms provide access to, online advertising also yields good results cost-effectively.
However, certain markets do better with offline advertising methods than with online ones. Some do well with a healthy mix of both.
The following are some ideas to ponder on.
1. Social Media
Social media accounts are free, as well as easy to open and run.
They are also perceived to be a more relaxing form of advertising as compared to traditional media.
The options are endless as well. You can post about new product offerings, you can tell your story, and you can communicate your product promotions.
By creating great, enjoyable content, your viewers can share your links and information out, virtually doing some of the heavy lifting for you.
Successful blogs fashion themselves as the go-to sources of information. They provide actionable information and pull in readers over time.
A good blog advertises subtly. It does not mention products or do a hard sell on any of the products or services a company offers.
Instead, the information provided adds value to the readers. This could be anything from product demos to maintenance tips and how-to guides.
You can link the blog to your social media accounts and vice versa so as to grow the numbers.
However, be aware that your numbers are dependent on the quality of your blog. A one-time blog post that goes un-updated for months won’t cut it.
This needs to be a sustained effort to maintain and steadily grow your readership.
You must also make it interactive; make it easy for people to subscribe and to ask questions.
All other publication rules apply. It must be easy to read. Have a good balance of text and graphics and ensure all scripts are error free.
Include videos and pictorials as well.
If you host your blog within the confines of a company website, explore the SEO processes that can help grow your readership.
3. Leverage Online Reviews
For someone that has not used your services before, reviews tell them what they need to know.
The information that comes up then dictates whether they will do any business with you, or move on to the next one.
For this reason, it’s key not only to learn the information that is out there about you but also, to ensure you have numerous positive reviews.
To increase this number, request your customers to leave reviews. You can do this on your website and social media handles.
It’s also imperative to take time to respond to reviews.
Thank the authors for the good ones and seek clarification from clients who leave less than flattering ones.
The people reading these reviews will also look to see how you treat disgruntled clients.
If you seem eager to resolves customer complaints, you have a higher chance of winning client over, despite the negative reviews.
4. Email Marketing
This is an excellent way to keep your current client base engaged.
You can use various avenues to get emails. These can be in-store signups as well as on your website and social media handles.
You can also offer something in exchange for a signup. These can be product promotions information, coupons, free product tutorials, and so on.
5. Referral System
This takes the typical online reviews a step further.
With referral systems, you should take the initiative as a business to see how your existing customers can help bring in others. You, however, have to give something in return.
One way is a direct referral system for discounts. Here, each client that refers another gets a discount on their next purchase.
The potential of this is immense.
6. Direct Mail
Mailing remains one of the best ways to advertise.
In modern days, a letter in the mail is unlikely to be an advertisement.
If indeed it’s an advertisement, this gesture is even more appreciated.
This is, however, useful in smaller communities where the mailing will not cost an arm and a leg.
To accompany the letter, have some promotional items enclosed.
These could be catalogs, brochures, coupons, and even your business card. A good printing company will work with the idea and specifications you have in mind. View more here about that.
7. Event Sponsoring and Community Participation
You can put your name on small community events that will not eat up your entire advertising budget.
You can have the event area decked out in your brand colors and logos. If it’s a new product on the market, you can have a product demonstration stand and even give out some product samples or company swag.
This is one way to get your name known. The company swag helps with brand recognition and awareness long after the event.
If you are unable to sponsor an entire event by yourself, you can get authorization from an event organizer to have a stand during their events at a fee.
Ready to Grow Your Business?
Evaluate these small business advertising ideas and pick those that would be most effective for your business.
Also, remember to measure results from time to time and see those that work the best for your enterprise. You must also keep in mind that advertising is not a project that has a start and a completion date.
It is something that you must continually do to achieve top of mind awareness.