If you are one of those rare businesses that have such a gifted product that you do not need to advertise, then congratulations. However, in my experience, most small businesses need some type of advertising to consistently bring in a steady stream of business.
Having “consulted for” and “implemented advertising strategies for” thousands of small businesses in my career, here are the Top 5 advertising techniques that will work for the majority of local and small businesses.
1. Facebook Advertising
Approximately 2,000,000 businesses advertise on Facebook at any given time. Facebook has an advanced targeting algorithm that lets you choose a specific audience based on demographics, behaviors, interests and preferences. Creating a Facebook Ad is fairly easy but setting it up for success may require some expert attention.
Facebook Ads work great for promoting events, local stores and restaurants, free offers, coupons, sales, and many other local types of businesses. And, unlike print advertising, radio or other types of traditional media which cannot accurately be measured, Facebook not only works but it can be accurately measured in terms of the cost per sale or the cost per lead.
2. Google My Business
Ranking your “Google My Business” listing for local search results within the Google search engine or Google maps is a very powerful thing. In my experience, most companies tend to underestimate just how important it is to have an up-to-date listing. Your “Google My Business” listing combines all your Google platforms in one place including your Google+ profile, reviews, access to analytics, Google insights and much more.
A GMB listing gives your business immediate credibility and maximum visibility and should be #1 on your priority list for advertising. Best of all it’s a free advertising technique. However, much like setting up Facebook advertising for success, a GMB listing requires proper attention from an expert authority to make sure that it is set up properly for success.
3. Google Adwords
Let’s face it, you and everyone else like you has been on Google at least once in the past 24 hours. When people want to find something, it’s usually the first place they look. And while your website may rank for specific keyword phrases in a specific area, you cannot rank for all keyword phrases in all areas. Therefore, your only recourse to advertise efficiently and cost-effectively is with Google Adwords.
Despite the fact that it is a paid advertising strategy, Google’s goal is to still deliver excellent and relevant search results to the user. There are ways to optimize your Google Ads so that you can buy traffic for less than your competitors. This will require expert advertising techniques.
As a digital marketing agency, we spend tens of thousands of dollars every month advertising on Google adverts for our clients. It is not an easy game to play. It can create immediate results but only if you have the proper experience. I would highly encourage you to seek out expert help otherwise you could end up spending a great amount of money without generating any results.
4. E-Mail Marketing
What most businesses fail to realize is that people don’t buy when you are ready to sell. People buy when they are ready. So, I frequently impress upon my marketing clients to consider setting up a proper e-mail marketing system. Why? Because, once you have an e-mail address, it is virtually free to continue to advertise. Once you build up an audience, you can use e-mail marketing to convert a percentage of those people each month and you don’t have to continue to spend money to get them to take action.
With an e-mail database, you can advertise specials, coupons, events and more. It costs you virtually nothing to do this.
Here’s an example of just how effective e-mail marketing can be. Let’s say you spend $3,000 this month on Google Adwords and at $20 per lead you now have 600 e-mail addresses in your database. How much money do you have to spend next month to get 600 e-mail addresses? Nothing, you already have them. But if you wanted to add an additional 600 e-mail addresses, all you would need to do is spend another $3,000 or perhaps even less because you learned a lot from the first 600 e-mail addresses such as who to target and when to target them.
5. Speak at Events
One of the ways that I have created a ton of business over the past several years is that I often speak at industry events, business conferences, trade shows and other speaking opportunities. While the thought of speaking in front of an audience may scare you, you can overcome that and learn how to become a powerful speaker. In fact, I have personally trained almost 1,000 speakers in the art of public speaking. I still do this a couple of times a year because I enjoy seeing the impact that good public speaking has on businesses.
Speaking events need you more than you need them. There is a system where you can find places to speak and you can measure the impact on your business immediately. I would highly recommend that you pursue this avenue and start establishing yourself as an authority within the business community.