After a strenuous year and a half, many small businesses have been eager to restart their businesses in the wake of the pandemic. In a recent poll, 58% of small business owners said they were looking to increase the frequency of their marketing message in Q2 of 2021, while nearly half said things were already better for them now compared to a year ago.
What’s also interesting is that 70% of small business owners said they’re looking to add more types of media into their marketing mix, and 36% say they will add more types of media to their paid strategies to deal with the competition.
Even though most small business owners know that digital ad campaigns are an important way to attract more customers, it can sometimes be difficult to know which are the best online advertising channels to start with. In this article, we look at the three top paid media platforms you should be using and why they are an effective way to grow your small business.
3 best online advertising channels for small businesses
1. Facebook Ads
There was once a time when Facebook was sniffed at by a lot of marketers. If people were only on the platform to play games and chat with their friends, why would they be interested in a company’s washing machine ad?
However, today Facebook is a very different beast, and has become an effective paid marketing channel for SMBs. No longer do users on Facebook solely “mess around” on the platform. They take part in vigorous debate, they browse the Marketplace, and they interact with their favorite (and least favorite) brands.
Simply put, the purchasing intent of Facebook users is real. And so are the numbers:
- Facebook has more than 2.8 billion active users worldwide.
- 18.3% of U.S. adults made a purchase through Facebook in the past year.
- The average return on investment of Facebook advertising is between 400%-450%.
Advertising on Facebook is a no-brainer—the pricing model is one in which you pay every time someone clicks your ad. Compared to Google, clicks are relatively cheap, averaging at about $0.50 to $3.50, depending on your industry.
Facebook also offers granular targeting options, allowing you to exclude and include a number of different types of audiences. Indeed, the audience targeting is arguably Facebook’s biggest strength, something no other marketing platform can match, not even Google. From targeting consumers who’ve made a prior purchase to targeting those who are interested in something as niche as organic food, Facebook offers a small business many options.
How to take it further
Paid social ads are the fourth most popular way for consumers to find new products, offline or online. But that’s not just Facebook—it includes Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and more. Facebook may be the “big daddy,” but it’s important to branch out into other areas of social media.
- Instagram is a great place to start for B2C companies, given that it’s incredibly easy to enable Instagram Ads directly within the Facebook platform, plus 40% of the U.S. population is on Instagram.
- YouTube is another great option with 81% of U.S. adults reporting they’ve used it. With YouTube, you have access to a massive, engaged audience, if you can get your video strategy right.
- B2B businesses should definitely take a look at LinkedIn. Twenty-eight percent of U.S. adults say they use LinkedIn; it’s a thriving hub of engaged professionals, which has only increased in activity lately.
- Twitter is a great platform if you have content to share. Nearly a quarter of U.S. adults say they use Twitter, and from an advertising perspective, Twitter Ads are really cheap, too.
- If your audience is millennials and Gen Z, do not ignore Snapchat or TikTok; 25% and 21% of U.S. adults respectively are on these two platforms. Marketing messages may require some extra creativity, but the effort should be well worth it.
2. Google Ads
Google is another one of the best online advertising channels for any small business. Google has more than 87% share of the worldwide search market and processes over 3.5 billion searches per day. Whereas Facebook has the best targeting options in marketing, Google has arguably the most remarkable marketing intent tool. The words and phrases someone types when searching on Google can tell you exactly what a person wants and when they want it.
For example, someone searching for “prices for boilers in Toronto” wants to see prices for boilers in Toronto—and that is what they will see in the search engine results page (SERP). You won’t get that in any other form of advertising; Google revolutionized the marketing game in this respect.
Google also offers display ads that appear on third-party websites and are specifically shown to users based on their browsing habits. These ads offer audience targeting options that are similar to Facebook’s, but not quite as extensive.
In terms of pricing, just like Facebook, you pay every time someone clicks your ad. Things are a little more expensive on Google than Facebook, with the average cost-per-click (CPC) between $1 to $6, depending on your industry. While this may sound like a lot, for every $1 spent on Google Ads, an average of $8 is made in revenue.
How to take it further
Once you’ve gotten your Google Ads up and running, set up a Microsoft Advertising account and import your Google Ads into the account. You can easily have two identical campaigns running concurrently on two separate platforms.
Microsoft is home to a vast audience in itself, reaching 63 million users that Google does not; it also reaches a very different audience, one that is more affluent and educated than Google. The cost of clicks on Microsoft Advertising is about one-fifth the price of Google Ads. There is also the Microsoft Search Network, which means your ads will show up on Bing, MSN, AOL, and Yahoo. There is also an option to advertise on LinkedIn.
Aside from Microsoft and Google, it’s worth taking a look at Taboola and Outbrain which work similar to Google Display Ads. Both platforms populate the ‘‘recommended for you’’ boxes found at the bottom of articles on sites such as BBC, CNN, The Guardian, etc., and are based on reaching the right target audience at the right moment when they’re most receptive to new messages.
3. Amazon Advertising
It’s projected that Amazon’s market share of the U.S. e-commerce market will reach 50% this year, and 49% of U.S. internet users typically start their search on Amazon when digitally searching for a product. If you’re not already selling on Amazon, it’s definitely time to set up shop and get access to Amazon’s huge audience.
If you’re looking to advertise on Amazon, the company also uses a CPC system like Facebook and Google. On average, Amazon advertisers pay $0.81 for every click, which is cheaper than both Facebook and Google.
How to take it further
It’s important to not put all your eggs in one basket with Amazon. Though Amazon owns such a high market share, you should still have your own website as well as advertise elsewhere. About 80% of Amazon sellers sell on other platforms.
If you haven’t done so already, set up a website and a Facebook page, and advertise on sites such as Etsy, eBay, Pinterest, etc.; turn yourself into a multidimensional marketer. Multichannel marketing is a must.
Become a multidimensional marketer
Now we’ve explored the best online advertising channels in the digital marketing world, let’s go over the value of multichannel marketing.
Each of the platforms we’ve discussed in this article doesn’t have to be used in isolation. In fact, to get the most out of your marketing endeavors, you want to be popping up in as many places as possible, so you’re hitting different audiences, building your brand, not relying on external companies, and, quite simply, getting more sales.
This isn’t something you need to do right away. Steadily build yourself up. If you think Facebook Ads is the best online advertising channel with which to start, get it working and then move on to another platform. There are so many great options out there to help you move forward. That’s the beauty of digital marketing—there are endless opportunities to help you grow.
Post by: Tom Mortimer
Original post: https://www.allbusiness.com/best-online-advertising-channels-to-grow-your-small-business-148469-1.html