Saturday, 6 February 2016

How to advertise small business with small budget

This article is a complete guide to small business owners who wants to create brand awareness, generate leads and close deals via sponsored advert on the various digital and non degital media channels

Digital medium helps businesses to run targeted and measurable add campaigns.
It includes online platform like social media, keyword search optimization, content optimization and offline platform like SMS, MMS, TV and Radio.

The advent of the digital media era is a win win scenario for small businesses because it enables them to reach millions of customers and clients in real time at less or zero cost.

Cost effective paid digital media advertising platform are:

1. Google AdWords
AdWords is a pay per click(ppc) Service which enable business to Place and run add in search results. Introduced on October 23, 2000 by Google. In 2014 alone, AdWords accounted for 89% of Google total revenue. This figure implies that advertisers are finding AdWords more helpful.

Reasons to use Google AdWords
One of the main  advantage that online marketing has over traditional marketing Channels like TV or print is that it is extremely easy to measure(John Rampton wrote on Forbes).

Cost per Click(CPC) help advertisers to plan the actual cost and worth of potential customers using keywords.

Finally, despite the fact that ads is displayed in search results, advertisers only pay per click(PPC). Even with small budget of $100 per month, most small businesses can run measurable AdWords campaign.

Target actual customers
By signing up for adwords, Google shows your add campaign in your actual customers search results. This is good for conversion rate. AdWords has customization features for specific keyword search.

2. Facebook For Business
Facebook For Business is use to drive online sales and create brand awareness.

Facebook as a platform was initially known as a social utility that connect people, with friends, upload photos,  share links and video. However, with the introduction of Facebook video auto play and instant articles, Facebook is not only world number one social network but also a powerful online advertising platform.

Reasons to use Facebook for  business
»Facebook has approximately 1.04 billion daily users as at December, 2015. In addition, the average  smartphone users spend 1 out of every five minutes on Facebook(Matt sweetwood). An average Facebook users spend 55 minutes on Facebook daily.

» with $1 per day, advertisers can set up various advert like page likes, click to business landing page and boosted pay based on 1000 people reached. The good thing is that small business can choose daily minimum threshold and maximum budget per day. Moz found that $1 per day can increase audience reach by 4000.  To sign up for the Facebook add, kindly log into Facebook and click 'manage add' in the top drop down menu.

With Facebook, small business can increase interaction, reach and followers at an unbelievably small budget

3. Targeted Builk SMS campaign
Advertisers in association with Telcom firm use bulk sms to run targeted ads campaign.

For instance, assuming a real estate firm has a property to sell in lagos. The firm will approach a telecom operator, discus the specific class of people that might have the income to buy the property. The Telecom firm use Customer Relationship management(CRM) or agility to Identify the target and send bulk sms.

Targeted bulk SMS advert connect businesses with the actual target. This helps to avoid unnecessary expense by sending sms to every body.
Reasons to use mobile bulk SMS advert

It support both online and offline mobile Device
 Most mobile phone and device with subscriber identification module(SIM) receives and send Short Message Service(SMS). This is important especially in developing countries where some people can't afford internet cost or remote areas where there is no internet.

Can be done in any language
This add campaign support local languages. SMS targeting specific class or individuals can be written in local language. This increase conversion rate because of trust.

Cost effective
Small business with small budget can afford bulk sms advertising cost because of its flexibility.

However, this service depends on the prevailing law of each country. In Nigeria for instance, there is no law prohibiting third party campaign.

4. Local Business Directory
Listing your small business on various local business directory could be rewarding.

Most small business with small advertisement budget can list their business on local business directory.

Most of the local business directory are totally free while few charge a token.

Reasons to use local Business Directory
listing your business on local business directory enhance the visibility of your brand.

For instance, if most of your potential customers are residing in Lagos, why not consider listing your business on because that is Google's number Lagos business directory.

I was searching for the nearest driving school few weeks ago and the search engine brought out a local business directory close to me.

5. Product Review by thought leaders or influential bloggers
Sponsored product review in your industry by thought leaders add some credibility to your product and many will be willing to do it if offered something  to use for free says Daniel Weaver.

However, you should avoid paid review because consumer protection council in most countries are against it.

Why thought leaders?

Thought leaders are influencers with huge online network and social media followers. They are highly respected expert.

Any positive review by them could create more positive reviews by their followers.

6. LinkedIn for Business

LinkedIn is a large online community with over 300 million professionals. LinkedIn for Business is designed for small business with small budget.

Nearly everyone surfing the internet on LinkedIn and its audience partner site see the LinkedIn for Business add.

There are two basic ways of advertising on LinkedIn

1. Pay Per Click where you specify the maximum amount you can pay per click and set the maximum daily budget
2. Pay Per 1000 Impression where you specify the maximum cost for each 1000 time the add is shown.

Why LinkedIn?
Before deciding to advertise on LinkedIn, you should try and set goals and do personal research to know if LinkedIn is the best option.

People are on LinkedIn to make new connections and find new jobs, your offer should target such people. For instance, an executive search firm could make lot of progress with linkedln for business.

Ted pedromou in his book ' the ultimate guide to linkedln for business' explained how you can generate leads and close deals within a short time on linkedln.

7. Bing Ads 
BING ads run on bing and yahoo search engine and its syndicate partners such as amazon, monster, webMD and CNBC.

Why Bing Add?
Google adword is the most popular and largest search ads network, small businesses can use Bing ads to compliment their adword.

Less people advertise on bing. Therefore, the amount you bid before your ads reach target customers on bing could be a lower(David Waring).

8. Banner, sticker and branded T-shirt
Banner, stickers and branded T-shirt were formally the most popupar and cheapest way which small businesses can advertise with small budget but now taken over by social media.

Though, might not be the best advertisement strategy but still one of the most popular strategy of advertisement by Restaurant, event houses and religious organization.

9. Word of mouth advertisement
This is the cheapest and simplest means of small business advertisement.

Word of mouth is a very effective marketing and advertisement strategy. 

However, it must be back up with action because we have heard of people advertising their product with mouth but not using it.

For instance, assuming the CEO of Apple telling his friends to buy iPhone but himself is maybe using android. His advertisement may not be effective.

10. Celebrity ambassador ads
Small business like fashion outfit will do well if associated with a known face or popular celebrity.

The best way to do it is to strike a long term deal with the celebrity and spread the payment over long period.

The other way is to offer to give something to the celebrity, some  of them will be very happy you use their picture in your shop.

11. Business Card ads
A well designed business card is irresponsible. Business Card is a silent and powerful first impression advertising strategy.

Business card advertising strategy will still be in the picture for a very long time. In extreme cases, the quality of a business card is used to judge the quality and class of the business.

The truth is that most small businesses understand the power of business card but are reluctant to explore it.

12. Twitter for small business advertisement
Twitter is a Micro blogging platform with over 300 million registered users.

Twitter for business advertisement is specifically designed for small business on advertisement budget.

The options available is promoted account, promoted tweets and promoted trends.

Kristin Hines, a freelance writer said Twitter for small business is important for those that wants to increase Twitter followers, create brand awareness and promote tweets to relevant audience.

A new follower could cost between $.01 to $1.25 each. A click on tweet could cost $.01 to 0.75.


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