Especially compared with more traditional forms, digital advertising opportunities allow your small business to compete more effectively with much larger corporations.
Platforms like social media sites, video hosts, and mobile apps offer unique ways for any organization to spread the word about products and services.
Of the available online tools, Google Ads represents the most popular platform and the largest opportunity. Google's advertising system allows you to reach current and potential customers through search ads, display ads across the Google Display Network, and remarketing to those who have shown interest in your business.
As a small business, your strategies will be different from larger corporations – but the right methods can give you the advantage in reaching the right customers.
Intensify Your Focus on Local
Smaller businesses have a much greater ability to target a specific geographic area. From radius targeting to selecting specific areas of interest (airports and commercial areas), you can be extremely detailed in choosing who will see your ad.
Paired with criteria like demographics and time of day, you can ensure that your ad money goes toward reaching customers most likely to purchase – and you won't be wasting money promoting to customers outside the area you serve.
Another key way to take advantage of local marketing is to make full use of Google My Business. This free business listing is a way to not only ensure your information on Google is accurate, but also to engage with current and potential customers.
Make Better Use of Negative Keywords
Along with knowing the key characteristics of your ideal customer, it's also important to have a detailed understanding of non-ideal customers.
The more precisely you can identify those individuals you aren't selling to, the better you can refine your search advertising through negative keywords.
As a small business, you again have the ability to be far more specific in the search phrases that you eliminate from your targeting group. This is another tactic that can help your small business get ahead by only paying for ads to those who are most likely to become a customer.
Focus on the Entire Purchase Journey, Not Just the Sale
Most businesses, especially multi-national corporations, focus their search strategy on the end of the sales funnel, where decision turns into a purchase.
You might consider promoting a free how-to video to introduce your brand, or a case study to help inform decision-making as well.
By including the awareness and consideration stages in your search or PPC strategy, your small business can reach and develop a relationship with potential customers much earlier in their purchase process, giving you the advantage when they are ready to buy.
Take Time to Use Schema Markup
Schema markup, also known as structured data markup, is website code that gives search engines additional details about your business, from your services or products to the content on a specific page.
This information appears in search results, giving not only Google but potential customers further information that shows the values of your brand.
This process may seem complicated, but with few businesses taking advantage of schema markup, it represents a huge opportunity for your small business.
Provide a More Compelling Call-to-Action
Whether you're working on a standard search ad or a display campaign that will promote your brand across multiple sites, the call-to-action (CTA) is an important part of your strategy.
Most organizations know that the right messaging is essential to a successful campaign, but as a small business, this is the opportunity to show what makes your brand different from the competition.
Ensure that you stand out with a CTA that highlights your local presence, personalized approach, or added benefits that you offer as a small business. These unique features are a clear way for your ads to outpace the competition in attracting customer attention.
Take Advantage of Smart Campaigns
Designed by Google to allow businesses like yours to create effective ads in less time, Smart campaigns represent an ongoing strategy to optimize your ad spend.
Whether you're looking to drive more phone calls, online purchases, or visits to a brick-and-mortar location, this system lets you upload ad content, including text and images, and Google will test different combinations of those assets to find the most effective campaign.
Although other methods may give you more control of your ad campaigns, the Smart campaign system lets you get up and running more quickly – and lets you provide feedback on how those ads are working for you.
Make Use of Budget-Friendly Tools
As you build up your online advertising system to perfectly target audience groups, producing the creative assets can get expensive, either in time or in ad dollars.
While hiring an agency to produce regular content may be out of the budget for your small business, there are other solutions that can help you produce quality, effective ads.
Platforms such as Creadits can provide a quick turnaround of creative ads focused on your business so that you can focus your time on other key business activities.
When it comes to your Google Ads strategy, being a small business can be an advantage – especially for reaching customers who are most likely to make a purchase.
The above strategies will help you make your advertising campaigns more effective in showing the unique features of your brand while displaying ads to customers at every stage in the purchase journey.