Digital media is part of the fabric of our lives; it has become inextricable. Every hour of every day, people are checking in, browsing for ways to make their lives better, educating themselves, and much more. That's why figuring out how to advertise a small business online is so important. It puts your brand right where your consumers are at the right time, with an unparalleled level of targeting and accountability.
Digital advertising strategies have been shown to contribute directly to business growth. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, for example, is one of the best conversion tactics because it's closest to the beginning and end of the customer's purchase journey.
The reach of digital may seem astronomical compared to a newspaper ad or a billboard, but it's inherently local. Digital browsing leads directly to local shopping: 88% of consumers will follow up a smartphone search with a visit or a call to their local store. So when thinking of ways to advertise your business locally, digital is a highly effective place to start — especially when it's paired with traditional media.
Small business advertising ideas: Why a blend of digital and traditional methods works best
Digital advertising offers many opportunities for effective, localized marketing, but it is best used as part of a hybrid approach. Traditional media formats such as radio and TV are still remarkably effective at reaching, influencing, and driving consumers to act on an advertising message. Add this traditional pulling power to the targeted approach of digital, and you can create a compounded positive effect for your advertisements.
For a campaign, the power of traditional advertising and the efficiency of digital combine perfectly to create a best-of-both-worlds presentation for your brand. This efficiency is especially important for local and regional businesses, which often have finite advertising budgets.
A hybrid approach allows you to get the most out of your marketing and advertising investments. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, a small business or startup should be spending about 8% of its gross revenue on marketing and advertising. Some experts recommend even more than that if the industry is particularly competitive. Every penny of that investment counts, so it's vital you learn how to advertise your business locally.
How to promote your business locally using digital strategies
When considering how to advertise a small business, a set of digital strategies will help you achieve your local marketing and sales goals. Here are four local advertising ideas you can use to build your digital marketing tool kit:
1. Identify your target consumers.
To employ digital strategies effectively, you must cast a net that draws in consumers who are likely to love your brand. The net shouldn't be too wide or too small, but it should be big enough to capture the right people — those who are in your vicinity, who share your values, and who experience the pain points you're solving.
Start by discovering the demographics that make sense for your business. You can use Google Analytics to obtain a picture of your current and target audiences. Where are they? What do they do for a living? What do people who love your brand have in common, and how could you deepen your impact on this demographic by appealing to their aspirations or needs?
Once you've discovered more about your audience, you can tailor your messages to fit them. That way, your ads are more likely to land and drive your target revenue growth.
2. Own your value proposition.
Choosing a value proposition that your brand can own and articulate will help you differentiate your brand within busy digital channels. This proposition should spell out the unique selling point of your product and define your brand among the competition.
If you set out to own a particular position in consumers' minds, that's how they will view you. This helps you send clear messaging to your audience and build clear creative in your advertisements.
Make sure the value proposition you're espousing in digital channels is consistent with the overall values you've chosen to represent your brand. Brand and marketing consistency is all about bringing a specific feeling to your customers through your messaging that remains the same across every channel and asset.
3. Choose channels that represent your brand.
As you create digital media campaigns, you may find yourself asking, "Where can I advertise my business that will give me the best chance of reaching my target audience?"
Choose the right media environments for your message, and your target consumers will easily be able to find you. These are the environments in which your consumers feel safe, to which they already have a positive attitude. When you appear in these trusted places, you make it easy for consumers to act on your message now (or at a future time).
Find the right channels by using analytics to learn where your consumers go online. Do they have Facebook accounts? Are they more likely to be on Instagram? This is the kind of information that will help you understand how to promote your business locally and allow you to target and tailor your messages.
4. Attribute to attract.
Connect your digital strategies to your ROI directly by implementing attribution capabilities. This will allow you to see whether your local advertising ideas worked. According to research by Salesforce, top marketers are revamping their marketing strategies, and 41% of organizations are using marketing attribution models to understand the impact of their actions.
If you can implement the appropriate attribution capabilities for the channels you choose, you'll be able to decipher which message and advertising units work best and most efficiently. Study the results and calibrate your next campaigns accordingly — then rinse and repeat.
These are just a few small business advertising ideas that should kick-start a new digital life for your brand, allowing you to reach local consumers. Tap into the power of all the channels at your disposal to stand out online while standing out for the values that define you.
For more information about how to advertise your business locally, contact us today.