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Where to advertise my business

Where to advertise my business

Customer Acquisition


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min read

Advertising has long been an important part of marketing. Our minds might jump to outrageously expensive traditional forms of advertising – like a big network TV spot. But clearly that’s not the type of advertising that’s best suited to a small business.

So how do you know where to start? Your advertising choices are likely driven by your budget, but don’t let that limit you. You might also have the goal of trying to reach a local market. And sometimes, that might not be as expensive as you thought. If you’re currently using your budget as your deciding factor, then take some time to step back and evaluate your options. It’s quite possible that it could cost you less money than you anticipate – or previously experienced – with the right strategy in place.



Traditional Advertising for SMEs


Although much of our advertising has now become digital, let’s start by taking a look at some of the traditional forms of advertising that small businesses might be interested in.


Outdoor Advertising


One of the most obvious forms of outdoor advertising is a billboard. A billboard has the advantage of targeting people in a specific location – like right by your brick-and-mortar business.  The disadvantage could potentially be the cost. The price of a billboard rental varies based on location, size, and length of rental. But, surprisingly, many billboards are affordable to small businesses. https://www.marketingdonut.co.uk/media-advertising/billboards-and-outdoor-advertising/outdoor-advertising-making-a-big-impactIn addition, more billboards are moving to digital screens so the cost to produce the ad is falling as well.


Another type of outdoor advertising is a vehicle wrap. The advantage this type of ad is that you can move it around to target different locations. It’s also a great way to get additional use out of vehicles associated with your business by turning them into ad space.



Direct Mail Flyers


What’s great about direct mail is that you can choose to send your ads directly to potential customers based on their postal codes. This is the reason that it’s long been a favourite for small businesses. You can choose to target people that you know are local to you. What’s also good is that if you decide to include a promotion such as a discounted rate, you can use it to track the effectiveness of the campaign.


While it can be costly to print, there are ways to make these costs more reasonable, such as choosing standard paper stock sizes and limiting the distribution to a small area.  


The Local Paper


Yes, some communities still have local newspapers! Their ad spaces are typically economical to purchase and you know your audience will be local.


Digital Advertising for SMEs


So here’s the problem with the traditional forms of advertising – they’re not online so you can’t track results very easily. In some cases the benefits might outweigh the disadvantages. But often, being able to spend small amounts and see if the ads are working makes using digital much more attractive to small businesses.


Google Ads


These are incredibly popular and an instant go-to if you’re considering online advertising. Google Ads are divided into several types, the most applicable being search, display, video, and shopping.


Google search ads: come up during a web search. They are text only ads and appear similar to atypical search result.


Google display ads: are image or video ads that appear on websites that are part of the Googledisplay network.


Google video ads: are the video ads that appear on YouTube.


Google shopping ads: these come up in web searches and are specifically formatted to showcase products for sale.


To find out more about Google Ads, click here.




Facebook offers extensive options for paid advertisements. It’s a natural place to advertise simply because it’s so popular. It has nearly three billion users  from all over the world. What’s great about Facebook ads is that there are extensive ways to narrow down your audience.


When choosing Facebook ads, you also have the option to advertise on Instagram, which is part of the Facebook network. Instagram can be a great option for small businesses that have appealing images or video.




LinkedIn is a growing social media channel to use for advertising. It makes a lot of sense if you are targeting other businesses. That’s partly because you have the ability to filter your audience by job title. The entire LinkedIn network has a more professional tone and is focused on professional networking.


If you have an applicable product or service LinkedIn can prove to be fruitful. A word of caution, the ads here tend to run at a higher cost-per-click because it’s about quality of leads rather than quantity of leads.


The best place to advertise your business


There isn’t a one size fits all solution to choosing where to advertise your business.  While traditional forms of advertising remain, digital options are rapidly gaining momentum and have become the go-to for many SMEs because of their versatility and ability to provide results. Regardless of what combination of advertising you choose for your business, it’s always important to make a plan first. Properly measure your outcome and determine if your strategy is getting you the results you’re aiming for.


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