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6 Advertising Channels for Marketing Your Small Business Effectively

Traditional marketing strategies are almost a thing of the past in our digital world. If your small business wants to spend less money and get in front of more people, online advertising channels must be utilized. We live and breathe technology- the world is always in the palm of our hand or sitting in front of us on a desk. Cultivating a strong online presence is easy- with a little bit of work- and pays off big time compared to traditional advertising. However, there is no one

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size fits all marketing strategy for small businesses. The channels and methods you use will significantly depend on your product, target audience, budget, and intended goals. Research and “feel out” each channel before spending your entire advertising budget in one place. As with any marketing budget, always start small to test your campaign, and then expand when results prove your campaign to be effective.

1. Facebook

Facebook, with a userbase of approx. 2 billion, is- without a doubt- the first social media channel most small businesses go. Users can create an ad campaign and fine-tune their advertising target group, right down to their likes and favorite cereal. Facebook has a lot of online real estate to utilize for ads: news feed on desktop, right-hand side of pages, news feed on mobile, messenger app, and log-out page.

Since Facebook is the hot place to advertise, you might find yourself competing for prime ad spaces when many users are all betting for the same spot. This causes costs to increase (for you) and ultimately makes it more difficult for your local business to stand out while sticking to your budget. However, experiment to see what works for you.

2. Instagram

Instagram, a sister company to Facebook, is the best place to target millennials as well as young professionals in their 20s-30s. About 500 million users browse Instagram each day, which means your small business has a good chance of getting seen by someone who cares. Campaigns with visually pleasing content (that is also meaningful) get the most interactions.

If you prefer doing business on a desktop, this social media channel might not be the best option for you. Everything happens on mobile. However, if you don’t mind analyzing reports from your phone, give it a try.

3. Google Paid Ads

Similar to Facebook, Google Ads allows you to fine-tune your marketing campaign to be as effective as possible when targeting consumers. Millions of people rely on Google for search queries, so using Google Paid Ads will place your small business at the top of search results in the “ads” section. This is the listing that pops up above your actual search results.

For the beginner, this advertising channel might be difficult at first. It has a complex system that will take some getting used to, and costs can add up quickly as well. But once you learn the system, Google Paid Ads will become your favorite channel to use.

4. Email Marketing

Any skilled digital marketer will tell you that email is not dead. Email is a crucial aspect of any business- large or small. Customers who opt-in to receive your small business' emails care about your brand and your product. This generates leads and offers your company a chance to create personalized messages (more in-depth than a social media post) for your audience.

Businesses who don’t create effective messages for their emails will lose out on the benefits this powerful tool can offer. There is a formula for creating an effective email newsletter.

5. Twitter

Twitter is best for small businesses who love to communicate. After all, the platform is based off of 180-character messages. Using Twitter ads is relatively simple. You can set your target audience, budget, and other campaign details and then choose how you want your ad to be seen: promoted tweets, promoted accounts, or promoted trends.

Sometimes it is hard to create an impactful message that stands out against all the rest, but it is perfectly possible. Twitter users do have free reign to reply to other user’s tweets (even promoted ones), so be prepared if your message takes on a life of its own.

6. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the place to be for professionals of all generations. It is approx. the same size as Instagram, but with a more experienced, knowledgeable, business-like userbase. If your target audience screams "professional", then this is the social media channel you should use- especially if your marketing strategy is B2B.

While Facebook and Google Paid Ads can be pricey, LinkedIn can be even more pricey. The luxury of advertising to its users comes at a price, and video advertising isn’t that effective either. However, LinkedIn does offer a safe place to conduct business and, thus, reap the benefits of connecting with professionals.

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