The wonders of advertising are no secret to anyone- be it a small business or enterprise. Most often, people believe that small businesses do not have the same reach as a big establishment, but that’s not the case at all. Small businesses hold the appeal that attracts customers by catering to them at a personal level. This makes all the difference between small business advertising and large-scale marketing plans. 

As a small business owner, you may often underestimate the power of advertising and promotional activities. There are advantages to being a small business in the competitive market of today. 
Despite the billions of dollars spent by conglomerates to launch an extensive advertising campaign, they lack something—a personal touch. The key to effective advertising is being real. This is where small businesses shine and turn their customers into loyal ones and often indirect brand ambassadors. 
Building onto this, small businesses have the edge over their competitors even though they have a fraction of their budgets.

7 Inexpensive Small Business Advertising Ideas for 2021

Things changed for the overall business ecosystem in 2020. This holds true for almost every business, irrespective of their size, but particularly for small businesses. 
There are several varied options that can be adopted by small businesses that don’t factor in a boatload of capital. Go through these small business advertising ideas to see which one clicks with you and could bring you the desired results.

1. Use Bing Advertising for Promoting your Small Business

Google is a mammoth with astronomical revenues from search ads, but that’s no reason to ignore Bing. Bing owns 3% of the market share and owns Yahoo and AOL, turning 13.7 billion searches per month.  
With Bing, you can avail an amazing opportunity to generate search leads at a much lower cost, which all advertisers could use. 
Bing gives you access to almost 46.7 million non-Googlers worldwide. These span all interests, ages, and demographics. Since most brands are busy fighting over Google Ads, you can make the most of the lowered competition on Bing. 
With the support of paid search advertising behind you, running your small business will be convenient and stress-free. 

2. Use Facebook Ads to create brand awareness and get cheap clicks

Before getting lost in the alluring world of Facebook with over 1 billion users, it’s important to know what you want to achieve. 
Facebook ads are a potent tool for small business advertising and a must-have for every marketing campaign.  So how exactly are Facebook ads effective for your small business? There are several mediums of marketing ranging from email marketing, sponsorship, and social media posts, but how do Facebook ads factor in?
There are two major benefits of using Facebook ads for small businesses:

  1. Targeting: you can cast a net on your target audience by using the hoard of information Facebook has collected from its millions of users. You can target people based on age, language, interests, and location. 
  2. Transparent reporting: Facebook offers several KPIs that can help you assess the success of your advertising campaign. These include reach, total spend, CTR, and cost per click. 

3. Create a Free Google My Business Profile

Local businesses have harnessed the potential of creating a Google Business Profile, making it one of the most effective advertising strategies of all time. Your business shows up on a local section of Google Search, Google Maps, and the Knowledge Panel for branded searches with this free listing. 
Your local listing on Google My Business serves as a virtual billboard. It tears through the noisy online marketing making you more visible than ever. Make sure you optimize your Business Profile through verified ownership to rank higher on Google Maps. This eCommerce marketing strategy for small businesses will bring about expected results, including:

  • Becoming visible in local search results 
  • Converting potential customers 
  • Turning past customers into returning ones
  • Making your online ads more effective
  • Appearing credible online

4. Create engaging posts on Instagram to utilize social media advertising for your small business

What makes Instagram a worthy investment when it comes to advertising for small businesses, you ask? Well, apart from its 800 million users, selling on Instagram is a lot easier when compared to other social media platforms. Users falling between the ages of 20 and 36 prefer to shop online and conveniently make up most of the users of Instagram. 
Building a social media engagement platform for your brand is a free way to give your small business the push it requires. This gives you a canvas on which you can convey your brand’s story and build trust with your audience. Not only does this drive traffic to your website but also builds a dialogue with followers. 
You can run polls and gather feedback. Also, recycle longer content into quick informational posts that are easier to digest. 
The only thing to consider is to ensure consistency on your Instagram account by being constantly active. 

5. Start a Blog to engage with your audience

Businesses today are going through change mainly owing to technology and consumer demands. In an effort to stay afloat, small businesses need to develop a robust online presence and engage meaningfully with their customers. A proven way of doing that is by starting a blog. Blogging is inexpensive and is ideal for driving traffic to your site. Blogging holds some fantastic benefits which you can tap into quite easily. 

  • Boost to SEO: all search engines are biased towards fresh, relevant content. This is your chance to rank higher in the search results by making sure the appropriate keywords are inserted into your content. 
  • Strengthen your relationship with customers: customer engagement has never been this easy. Blogging gives you a perfect chance to connect to new and old customers through personalization. 
  • Establish your credibility: blogging shows you’re the expert in your field. If your blogs fill an essential knowledge gap, then you will be considered the guru regardless of the size of your business. 
  • Sharing: your blogs can be shared on several platforms, which makes them the epitome of free marketing. 

6. Run a free webinar 

The benefits of webinars are many and are limited only by imagination. Webinars are the ultimate tool to capture leads and generate sales for your small business. People become aware of your brand through webinars, mainly if your webinars are focused on discussing your services or products. 

Webinars are an effective means of relaying information related to your field. This makes your business the ‘go-to’ brand in case of queries or advice. If your webinar answers crucial questions, then it can turn into a profit-making machine by charging the attendees an offer to download it. The many-pronged benefits of webinars include but are not limited to:

  • Short lead time since a webinar can be launched in 4-6 weeks without too much pondering over logistics.
  • Developing instant products through recordings.
  • There are no geographical limitations.
  • You can invite guests to speak on your webinars to share their insight with potential customers. 
  • An effective and inexpensive way to interact with your customers and still offer value. 

7. Conduct a Social Media giveaway

A whopping 3.81 billion people use social media, making it one of the best channels to grow your small business. Online giveaways fit in seamlessly with social media since it offers flexibility and freedom to marketers and business owners across all fields. A social media giveaway aims to make more people check out your website, buy a product, and subscribe to your email list. 

Your giveaway should be focused on your target audience by making sure the prize, language, and theme speak to them personally. Allow for multiple entries so that you can boost your ROI instead of the usual one entry per person. Use videos and pictures to reach a broader audience. Visual content brings a much higher reach since users thrive on exciting graphics. 

How to Put Small Business Advertising Ideas in Action

Now that you are cognizant about the latest and most cost-effective advertising ideas for small businesses—what’s next? It is drumming up an advertising campaign that outlines every step and how these ideas will be put into action. These steps include:

1. Define your advertising goals

Just hoping for ‘more sales’ isn’t a marketing objective. You need to be more specific and use the SMART method to detail your goals. It could reinforce brand awareness, find new customers, launch a new product, or create new content.

2. Choose what you want to promote

What will your advertising campaign promote? A product, your brand, a special discount, or a sale? It should be something that aligns perfectly with your advertising goals. 
As an example real estate business has been seeing a lot of competition lately and people are choosing various methods to promote it. There is one method which is very popular, using Digital Marketing to promote real estate business.

3. Identify your target audience

Describe your target audience down to a T before setting off an advertising campaign. Establish a buyer persona to hone in on your target audience if you want to reach maximum people with your advertising efforts. 

4. Where can you find your target audience?

It’s wise to research where your target audience hangs out to hit with maximum impact. Are they on Twitter? Or Instagram? Find out where they are before launching your campaign, or you may miss the mark altogether. 

5. Timing is everything

Small businesses are often looking for instant results, but not all advertising efforts bring forth immediate fruits. Timing is critical for an advertising campaign. Some may be launched at once, while others may need more appropriate timing.

6. Set up an advertising budget

How much should a small business spend on advertising? 

Free advertising is great, but you will need some sort of budget. Be realistic when deciding on an amount and contemplate a few things: including past advertising campaigns, the value of a completed sale conversion, and what others in your field are spending on their campaigns. 

7. Check media outlets

This is in line with where your target audience is and which media outlet will bring maximum brand exposure.

8. Create valuable and relevant content

The advertising message and graphics are of the essence when looking to go the whole mile. People resonate with professionally made stuff that they can relate to.

9. Measure results

It may be the last, but the success of your advertising strategy hinges on it. Based on your business goals, you need to assess your identified metrics to measure the success of your campaign.

Wrapping Up…

Small business advertising is not dependent on an elaborate budget but only on putting into use these effective ideas outlined above. No matter what you sell or which business you’re in, there are ways to hustle, use ingenuity and hard work to take your business to unprecedented heights. If you have a budget to invest, then that’s the perfect icing on top of an already delicious advertising cake. Don’t let quibbles hold you back from achieving your goals!