Small businesses have a hard time surviving in a highly competitive environment. Most of them are a one-man show, and it is extremely hard for just one person to manage daily operations, develop products, attract new customers and keep them loyal. One of the biggest challenges for the small entrepreneur is advertising efficiently on a limited budget.
Advertising is like the gladiators’ arena of modern days. The big players get the entire spotlight because they can afford to invest in large outdoor banners, TV ads, and big splash ads in popular magazines and newspapers. And the little guy has to be content with the leftovers – small and obscure magazines and radio stations, or online banner ads on small websites with little traffic.
So today we’ve decided to do a little brainstorming and come up with 5 simple and effective advertising ideas for small businesses. Here’s what we managed to put together and share with you:
1. Cultivate Popular Bloggers
Blogging is a lucrative business for a lot of talented people. They have a lot of followers and get revenues from various affiliate marketing links and from reviewing local businesses, products and services. Very popular bloggers are extremely picky when it comes to what they promote on their website, but the second wave, just breaking out from the crowd, is eager to build solid relationships with local businesses.
What you need to do is find bloggers who are popular in your local area, where you sell your products and services. You want to make a splash and have an impact in the area where your potential customers are located. Cultivating bloggers is not extremely hard – offer them free samples of your products, ask them to test them and, if they like them, to write a review about them. It is as simple as that.
2. Brand Your Car
If you are driving your car or truck to fulfill your business engagements, do not forget to brand it with your business name and contact details. You have no idea what a big impact this seemingly unimportant form of advertising still has. All it takes for getting a new customer is for them to see your car parked or driving in traffic.
After all, why would top companies still brand their cars, if this type of free advertising were obsolete? (Plus, a branded business car dissuades potential theft and vandalism attempts)
3. Always Have Business Cards with You
That small oblong piece of embossed paper with your name, company name and contact details, is still one of the most important tools for doing business and advertising your small company. Wherever you go, either to meet a potential client, to buy supplies for your business, to attend a business event, have a sufficient supply of business cards with you and offer them to everyone you meet. In the digital age, a business card is considered a special form of courtesy, kept more carefully and with higher chances of being used than your website URL written in the corner of a business presentation or brochure.
4. Invest in Social Media Advertising
Social media is the modern age version of the public square, where people meet and discuss, share information, and seek references and recommendations for products and services. Ads posted on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn are extremely effective – a lot of small companies thrive and have a solid customer base solely from social media advertising and marketing.
5. Use Free Notice Boards
Local supermarkets offer notice boards where people and small businesses can post ads. You should not overlook the potential of this free advertising medium. Prepare a simple flyer with a compelling headline and a great call to action, and post it on various notice boards around the city.
These five simple ways of advertising your small business are perfectly adapted to your small budget and very effective. For maximum impact, you should try all of them and keep looking for every opportunity to make your small business known to potential customers.