Small Business Advertising Guide: How to Advertise a Small Business

small business advertising guide

Advertising is a proven way to market your small business and gain customers and revenue.

But there are so many ways to advertise a small business, it can be confusing and overwhelming.  To get the best return on your advertising spend, we compiled the insights and advice from a number of sources. The guide includes insights from experts to small business owners, along with our Editors’ guidance.

In this Small Business Advertising Guide, we walk you through how to advertise your business. We answers questions such as what advertising is and what types of advertising are out there to choose from. And we show the relative costs for each and even places where you can advertise for nothing or for very little cost.

We also walk you through a simple step by step process to set up a small business advertising campaign.  And if you need some idea starters, we’ve got those too.

Business Advertising is Thriving

You hear lots of things online about how about how this type of advertising or that type of advertising is supposedly dying.  The reality is, the advertising market is growing every year, as the Standard Media Index shows:

small business advertising guide

Even banner advertising and display advertising has been predicted to have died years ago. But to roughly mimic the words of Mark Twain, rumors of its death have been greatly exaggerated.  

The Online Advertising Revenue Index, tracked by Ezoic, shows that online advertising is also showing strong healthy growth.

“As for small businesses interested in advertising, there has never been a time in history when it has been easier to reach your audience. Digitally you can find the exact type of person you want to target, understand the cost to reach them, and objectively measure the impact of that ad on your business goals. In the history of advertising, we’ve never had this granularity of data. It only makes sense to take advantage of it,” Tyler Bishop, Head of Marketing for Ezoic told Small Business Trends.

Despite wild fourth quarter swings each year due to budget cycles, the overall trend line is going up as this index shows:

small business advertising guide

And projections show that growth will continue. Business advertising is expected to grow about 4 percent during 2018, according to forecasts from Zenith Media and Magna.  

In other words, even in today’s world of content marketing, social media marketing and more, advertising is still a thriving way to reach out and draw in potential new customers.

As you can see, a good deal of growth in advertising spend is coming from digital advertising. This includes online advertising and mobile advertising.  

But don’t be too quick to ditch your ad campaigns in local newspapers, print magazines, cable TV and the like.  Print advertising, radio advertising, TV advertising and other forms of traditional advertising are by no means dead – they still account for many billions of dollars of ad spend each year. Traditional forms of advertising will continue for years to come.  

It’s just that they are not growing the way digital advertising is.  Digital advertising, especially display advertising, is where all the growth is today.

Small Business Advertising Guide

In the following sections of this small business advertising guide, we bring you an overview of advertising options for a small business.

We also explain each of the options and how they work, along with cost estimates and benchmarks of what other small businesses spend. You’ll also find practical tips and how-to advice specifically for small business owners and marketing managers.  After all, what Fortune 500 companies do and spend — while it may be instructive in some ways — is often not relevant to a small business with 5, 10, 20 or 100 employees.  Instead, we try to make the information relevant to your size business.   

In this Small Business Advertising Guide, we walk you through:

Photo via Shutterstock

More in: 1 Comment ▼

Shawn Hessinger Shawn Hessinger is the Executive Editor for Small Business Trends and a professional journalist with more than 20 years experience in traditional and digital media for trade publications and news sites. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and has served as a beat reporter, columnist, editorial writer, bureau chief and managing editor for the Berks Mont Newspapers.

One Reaction
  1. I think that advertising is all about testing. It is finding that sweet spot where you can promote without losing any money.