Here’s a myth: Advertising is way too expensive for small business owners and solopreneurs.
In the past that might have been the case. Many small business owners and solopreneurs wouldn’t have had access to the advertising mediums available – namely expensive print ads, radio ads, and television ads.
However, with social media, blogs, and other advanced technologies, advertising has become much more affordable to the average small business owner.
Not only is it a viable way to grow your business, but it can be an extremely profitable way to grow.
These days, all you need to do is pick your ad network, drive traffic to a lead magnet, and nurture leads into a sale.
No more expensive media buys and super expensive creative purchases.
Below are five affordable advertising platforms that small business owners can use to get new customers, generate profits, and grow their business.
Have you ever noticed the ads on the sides of your favorite blogs and thought: this blog would be perfect to advertise my products and services on?
If you’re like me, you must think that to advertise on one of these blogs would cost you a fortune.
Buysellads.com allows you to buy ads on third party blogs without breaking your budget.
Here’s how it works:
First, you browse their network of blogs to see which publication will most effectively reach your audience.
Note: Before you buy ads of any kind, make sure that you have a clear understanding of who your customer is, and where they hang out online.
Once you pick the blogs you want place your ads on, you then get to pick the location. For instance, you can place it on the sidebar, or on a flash page. Obviously, the location you choose effects the cost of the ad.
Next, you’re going to upload your creative. This is the ad itself.
After you’re done paying and the ad has been up for a while, you can analyze reports and optimize the ad. This includes A/B testing ads and discovering the ads and blogs that are converting best, and canceling those that are underperforming.
With BuySellAds, you can spend a few hundred dollars a month all the way up to $100,000 a month and beyond. But the cool thing is you have complete control of the process.
Before we talk about Google’s Remarketing platform, let’s get everyone caught up to speed about what remarketing (also known as retargeting) is.
Google defines remarketing as:
“Remarketing lets you show ads to people who have visited your website or used your mobile app before. When people leave your website without buying anything, for example, remarketing helps you reconnect with them by showing relevant ads as they browse the web, as they use mobile apps, or as they search on Google.”
You’ve no doubt experienced these ads for yourself. Have you ever wondered how a certain brand or company seems to be on every single website you visit?
That’s not an accident. These companies have been remarketing to you. You’ve visited their website or checked out their blog, and they want you to come back.
With Google’s Remarketing platform, you can set your daily budget and limit the cost you wish to pay per click making remarketing an affordable way to reach more targeted customers.
Other benefits to using Google’s remarketing are:
- Standard remarketing: Show ads to your past visitors as they browse Display Network websites and use Display Network apps.
- Dynamic remarketing: Show dynamic ads to past visitors with products and services they viewed on your website as they browse Display Network websites and use Display Network apps.
- Remarketing for mobile apps: Show ads to people who have used your mobile app or mobile website as they use other mobile apps or browse other mobile websites.
- Remarketing lists for search ads: Show ads to your past visitors as they do follow on searches for what they need on Google, after leaving your website.
- Video remarketing: Show ads to people who have interacted with your videos or YouTube channel as they use YouTube and browse Display Network videos, websites, and apps. (source)
Another retargeting platform is Adroll.
Unlike Google, Adroll allows you to retarget on various social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter and they buy all impressions on your behalf (there is a two week free trial to get you started).
Unlike Google, Adroll will help you optimize your ads. They have a team of analysts who are constantly working to keep your click through rates high and your costs low.
And with Adroll the average company makes $10 for every $1 spent. (Source)
Facebook Dark Posts
“The single best advertising digital product that I have seen since buying the keyword “wine” on Google in the year 2000 for ten cents and nobody rebidding me up for nine months is Facebook Dark Posts. – Gary Vaynerchuk
Back in the old days of Facebook, if you wanted to market your business and generate leads on Facebook, you would have to spend hours building your audience and engaging with them.
For many small business owners, there just isn’t enough time in the day to do this.
Facebook Dark Posts, along with their targeting options, allows you to market to everyone on Facebook who wants your product or service.
For instance, if you run a local marketing agency, you can set your targeting with the following credentials:
- Small business owners,
- Online spenders (Active), (have actually bought something with Facebook’s third party advertisers in the past 30 days)
- Gmail Users (I find Gmail users to be the highest converting)
- Business marketing (people who buy items related to business marketing products and services)
- Training and publications (Are trying to improve their business)
- In your home town
Then you can create your Facebook ad or digital flyer that will be seen by only those people who are not only interested in what you’re selling, but have also spent money on it.
Granted, you might only reach 1500 potential people, but if you convert 20 of them into customers, then you’re winning big!
Outbrain is a platform that allows you to amplify your content.
According to Outbrain, the platform allows you to “Grow your audience by distributing your content on other sites, where people are looking for something new to discover. The audience coming from Outbrain is already in content consumption mode, therefore more engaged and more likely to stay longer.”
In other words, if you’re a content marketer looking to reach a new audience, and grow your blog and are pressed for time, purchasing ads to your content might be the way to go.
No doubt, you’ve seen ads from ads from Outbrain in action, and didn’t even know it.
As a small business owner, you can get new customers one of three ways: either spending hours creating and promoting great content and spending time networking at events and on social media sites.
Or you can spend money buying ads on one of these affordable ad platforms. Or you can do a combination of ads and social media.
There is no right way or wrong way to do it. If you have more time than money, you’ll probably want to take advantage of the “free” ways the internet offers to get customers. While you’re at it, you may want to look at these online business tools to also help you.
But if you’re strapped for time, but still want to grow your business, purchasing ads might be the way to go.
Liam Martin is a co-founder of Time Doctor which is software to improve productivity and help keep track and know what your team is working on, even when working from home.