Advertising small business is a challenge because you just don’t have the same kind of budget that your larger competitors do. Most of the time small business owners I talk to out in the real world can’t even really give me a good reason why they advertise where they do. They usually say something like “we have done it for years”, or “because the guy from the newspaper comes around every month”. Neither of those are good reasons.
The thing that is lacking is a plan. This is even more true online. Many people try advertising small business online by opening an Adwords account themselves and spending some money. Usually they don’t see the results they had hoped for and often become disillusioned with online advertising in general.
Other people get hooked into a deal with a fly by night marketing “expert” who calls them on the phone and pressures them into some kind of advertising plan that ends up costing the business owner much more than it is worth. Again, the business owner becomes disillusioned.
What is the alternative to those who would like to be successful at advertising small business online? First off, have a plan. Learn what your options are and how to best take advantage of them for your unique needs. The web is a complex place and devising a marketing strategy that consistently delivers a positive ROI is not an easy task even for an experienced specialist.
Hiring an ad agency that does advertising online for small businesses can be as easy as using a search engine to look up “Google Partners“. Google Partner Agencies have to pass a series of tests to demonstrate their proficiency in using the Adwords platform. They also have to maintain specified levels of customer satisfaction and re-test on a yearly basis to maintain their partner status.
I am a Googleartner and Google Ambassador for the Google Partners North America community on Google+. As such I get to interact on a daily basis with the 14,000+ members of that community, all of which are Google Partners. Because of this I can attest to the high level of professionalism and commitment that these agencies display on a daily basis and do not hesitate to recommend them.
Advertising Small Business In The New York Times
What about The New York Times though, wasn’t that the title of the article? Yes, and I want to use the Times to illustrate both the amazing opportunities available on the web and the level of targeting sophistication that even a small business can achieve when using them.
There are many reasons why a small business might want to have their products or services featured in ads in major publications. One would be to take advantage of the power of such an established brand by associating your own brand with it in the minds of those who see your ad there. Another reason might be that the readers of The New York Times represent your ideal customer demographic. Targeting those that read the Times regularly could be a good strategic move in that respect as well.
Of course you probably think that price is going to be the final, insurmountable obstacle. After all, how could a mom and pop store in a small town or a niche manufacturer afford the kind of budget that advertising in a national publication requires?
The reality is that, on the web, you can do some amazing things. Even a small budget doesn’t shut you down in the same way it does off the web. Many tip shelf websites that really would be out of reach in the traditional media sense are not so on the web. For the most part this is due to the power of Adwords.
In the video below I try to show how it is possible for anyone to advertise in major brand publications like The New York Times, Forbes, entrepreneur and others. If they have Adwords ads on their site chances are you can find a way to get your business or product into one of those ad spaces.
One point that I did not make in the video and one that should be made because it further illustrates my point is geographic targeting. Perhaps your service area is realistically limited to a radius of 25 miles around your brick and mortar store location. Geographic targeting lets you set it up so that your ad only shows to readers of The New York Times who are within your designated service area.
Another targeting feature that has become available fairly recently is the ability to target prospects by income level. The data for this Adwords feature comes from the US Census and is available in larger metropolitan areas but for the right sort of product it can add a new level of sophistication to your promotional efforts.
Creating and maintaining a positive ROI on your advertising investment is the obvious goal and Adwords makes it possible. I have always told our music and film clients about the power of using the established audience of major brands to promote their work. we have created many innovative and successful campaigns based on that concept. Now we are bringing that same powerful tool into play for businesses as well.
This is the kind of thing that only an experienced Adwords professional can provide. Would you have thought of the tactic described in this article by yourself? Probably not. Let me show you what else we can do to make your business rise above the competition. Give us a call or send an email today!