I’m a big proponent of helping small businesses improve their organic search standing, I love the concepts around content marketing and audience building, I think there is great value with social media if managed properly and I’ve seen awesome success with email marketing when it comes to up selling and increasing repeat business.
With that said, I’ve realized more and more over the past year or two that the SINGLE most valuable strategy for small business marketing (and where we generally start our service offering for most clients now) is with online advertising, specifically through Facebook, Instagram and Google.
While many other aspects of marketing and online marketing take months or years of grunt work to gain traction, and most are difficult to measure…online advertising is the opposite. It’s HIGHLY measurable and you get feedback as to how well your campaign is performing within days or weeks at the most. The problem with many marketers and agencies is that they have incentive to steer you away from a paid ad spend and into services they can bill for. If you’re budget is $2,000 per month, the agency often wants that entire budget going toward billable services. If you’re allocating $500/month toward an online ad spend…that’s lost money for the agency.
Here’s why online advertising is a MUST for small businesses looking to market more effectively and efficiently in 2016…
- It’s highly measurable — you can see the name, phone number and email address of every lead generated if set up properly.
- It’s affordable — most of my small business clients are spending between $200-500 per month on their ad spend and many are seeing exponential return on investment.
- It’s fast — You don’t need to spend months, or even years, to build up your presence to the point it producing any measurable new business for you. Within days or weeks you’ll be able to tell how much value your ad campaign is delivering for your business.
- It’s easy to test — With online advertising we can test variables to improve the performance of the campaign over time. This can be done because everything is highly measurable.
- It’s easy to target your ideal customer — With options ranging from demographics, interests, geographic area, gender, age and more…you won’t experience a more targeted ad experience than that of Facebook/Instagram. Google allows you to target users ACTIVELY searching for your product or service. This eliminates waste.
With that said, you have to make sure you’re setting up these campaigns correctly and that the proper tracking mechanisms are in place. Call Tracking, a carefully crafted landing page or website layout and the ability to track any form submissions are a must. Fortunately, this can all be done for minimal costs (usually no more than $30/month).