In order to thrive, every small business needs customers. But customers won’t know your business exists if you don’t put it out there. That’s where promotions and marketing come in!
While you know you need to be advertising your small business, you may not know where to start. Fortunately, there are several avenues you can take, free and paid, to get your business in front of ideal customers and start making sales.
Run Paid Ads
Many small business owners find success with promotion by running paid ads. While this does cost money, it takes less time than some of the free advertising tactics. Paid ads provide immediate exposure, while other advertising strategies take more time.
1. Google Ads
If you have the budget, Google Ads is great for advertising your small business. Your products could show up on search engine result pages and the Shopping tab. While Google Ads provide quicker results than other options on our list, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t come with its own set of challenges. You’ll need to learn about the best types of landing pages to use, bidding, how to control your ads budget, and much more. And you may not have the time to learn and adapt your Google Ads to make them more successful.
2. Facebook Ads
Google isn’t the only place you can run PPC ads to increase traffic and conversions. Facebook is another popular platform where small business owners advertise their stores. Many even prefer it over Google Ads because of how specific you can get with your target customer. Facebook allows businesses to target customers based on marital status, gender, interests, job, and more.
3. Instagram Ads
Just like with Facebook, Instagram ads target customers specifically through demographic data. This social media platform allows 5 kinds of ad options, including photos, videos, carousel, stories, and collections. Instagram also prides itself on making sure the advertisements users see on their feed feel as native as regular posts. If you’re a small business wanting to take advantage of paid ads, Instagram is a great option. According to the platform itself, about 60% of users say they discover new products on the app.
Optimize Your Website for SEO
Your website is an essential tool in your marketing belt. You may not think of it as helping get your name out there, but a website makes your business seem more legit to potential customers. In order to get your website seen organically (and for free), you’ll need to ensure you’re following SEO best practices.
4. Implement Keywords
Your website will not gain organic traffic without putting work in up front. Google and other search engines will “promote” your website for you if you optimize your site based on SEO expert recommendations. But in order to show users your product, search engines need to know what your website is about and what you’re selling. That’s where keywords come in.
Keywords are the backbone of SEO. Without them, search engines won’t know how to show your website to users searching for what you provide. First, you’ll need to figure out what the best keywords to target are using a keyword tool. Once you have a list of keywords you want your website to rank for, you’ll need to incorporate them in headings, titles, content, blog posts, etc.
5. Start a Blog
You’ve probably heard people say that your website needs a blog. How can posting a blog help with advertising your small business, you may wonder. That’s where SEO steps in again. Search engines reward websites that consistently post new and updated content with higher rankings (paired with other SEO best practices, of course). Blog posts are also a great way to get your website to rank for keywords, establish your business as an authority in your niche, and create a community with customers.
6. Improve Site Speed
SEO isn’t just one type of tactic; it is several that work together to improve your rankings. And an important factor you may not know about is site speed. You’ve probably experienced it yourself: a website won’t load quickly, so you click off and never go back. You definitely don’t want that to happen to your business! To keep customers on your site and let search engines know users will have a good experience on your site (which is why site speed matters), you need to ensure your site speed is within the acceptable parameters of Google. You can check your site speed and find improvements on Google’s PageSpeed Insights.
Take Advantage of Free Google Resources
As the most popular search engine, Google has created several free tools for business owners to use to help them make decisions, improve SEO, and even promote their business. We’re going to share some of the programs you should be using to get your brand out there.
7. Use Google Search Console
Google, the most popular search engine in the world, has created all kinds of free tools for business owners to use. Google Search Console is a fantastic instrument to improve your website’s SEO. In order for your website to rank on search engines, they must index your pages. This simply means that they use robots to crawl through the pages and determine what they are about and which keywords you’re trying to rank for.
Google Search Console itself provides detailed data about how your website is doing for specific keywords. You are able to see what queries users are typing in to find your website, making it a great tool to find keywords and add them to content. You can even submit new and updated pages in this tool, and Google will crawl them, hopefully bumping you up in rankings (if you follow other SEO best practices).
8. Google Business Profile
If you’ve typed in a business name on Google, you probably have seen the little card that pops up on the right hand side. This is known as a Google Business Profile. It highlights your offerings and allows you to add essential information, like phone number, address, hours, and more. You can even add posts, respond to reviews, and show up in Google Maps for locals!
9. Google Analytics
One tool people swear by to help with advertising your small business is Google Analytics. It provides you with in-depth information on users’ interactions with the website and marketing campaigns. You’ll learn all kinds of valuable information about customer behavior, including what works and what doesn’t so you can pivot your efforts.
Share on Social Media
Social media is a popular way to advertise your small business. It’s free, and millions of people use various platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and TikTok. Some people even utilize more niche social media like Pinterest or Reddit. You should create accounts for your business based on the social media platform your ideal customers are using.
10. Engage with Followers
People are on social media for a primary reason: to connect and find community with other people. They don’t want to be bombarded with ads, promotions, products, etc. all the time. They want to feel a sense of connection, and that’s where engagement comes in.
You could post great content, but if you’re not interacting with people that interact with your posts, you won’t continue to grow. To get great engagement, you will want to post content that’s valuable to your target customer. You’ll want to relate to the problems they’re facing and empathize with them, because it ensures they feel heard while you share who your brand is.
11. Join Online Communities
Due to people’s desire for community, several social media platforms have created groups for people to join. They can be about anything, from TV shows to dog breed fanatics. It’s a place where people can share their love for the subject, and it’s a great way to promote your business. Some of the ways you can join online communities include asking to join Facebook groups, joining LinkedIn groups, and posting in related Reddit threads.
12. Create Shops on Social Media
A more obvious way to advertise on social media is to take advantage of shopping features. Recently, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok have added a shop feature. They don’t take target customers to your website, but you can create your own shop on the platform of your choice. It’s almost like an extension of your ecommerce website, because you’re still making sales for the business!
Network in Person
Your local community is a fantastic place to start advertising your small business. You have so many avenues to try, and if you have a brick and mortar location, in-person networking could boost business significantly.
13. Attend Networking Events
Almost every city has networking events, or events where you can network, even if that isn’t their sole purpose. For many of these get-togethers, people in similar lines of work come together, which is a great way to meet people and your name out there. For product-based businesses, you could use trade shows and markets as a networking opportunity!
14. Reach Out to Local Press
While it may seem old school, reaching out to local press is still a fantastic way to promote your business. They typically are always looking for fresh content to share with their audience, so it’s a win-win for everyone. You could even reach out to bloggers, newspapers, or other online publications to contribute or ask for a piece on your business.
15. Partner With Other Businesses
If you’re on social media, you’ve probably seen businesses partnering together. This promotion strategy is a great way to grow your brand awareness. You’ll want to look for non-competitive businesses that have similar target customers as you. This could look like hosting events for other business owners, sharing brick and mortar space for their products, or creating some kind of bundle of products. You can be as creative as you like to maximize your partnership!
Advertising your small business is essential to growth and the ultimate goal: making more money. It takes time, effort, and even monetary investments up front before you may see the results, but it’s worth it once sales come rolling in.
Perhaps you’re ready to promote your store through email campaigns, PPC ads, or SEO content marketing, but you don’t feel ready to take it all on yourself. Luckily you don’t have to! Reach out to our digital marketing experts to learn how we can help you reach your goals!