Small Business Advertising Ideas can be easy and difficult at the same time. Easy, because there are limitless options. Difficult, because you have to choose one that best fits your small business, bringing you ROI on your spent budget.
Advertisements are the most common and popular ways of reaching out to the customer and an effective way of brand exposure too. With the changing decades, with the new evolution of marketing, advertisements are changing too, in their forms and types.
Then again, small business has budget constraints. So, you have to strategize very carefully on which advertisements to spend and which can possibly bring you the ROI you expect with creative online advertising ideas. Besides, it is significant to study the target market to know which advertisements bring their attention to you most.
So here are top promotion ideas for you to choose for your small business, classified under 7 sections.
39 Small Business Advertising Ideas To Boost Sales
In-Store Promotional Ideas
Table of Contents
- 1. In-Store Banners
- 2. In-Store Branding
- 3. Flyers in Local Areas
- 4. Brochures
- 5. Graffiti Ads
- 6. Hype Advertisements
- 7. Local Event Ads
- 8. Newspaper Advertisements
- 9. Magazine Advertisements
- 10. Editorial Ads
- 11. Radio Ads
- 12. Movie Theatre Ads
- 13. Vehicle Ads
- 14. Car Stickers
- 15. Human Billboards
- 16. Other Support Media Ads
- 17. Gift Giving Sponsors
- 18. Pop-up Ads
- 19. Paid Search
- 20. Online Newspaper Ads
- 21. Google My Business
- 22. Catchy Email Signature
- 23. Email Newsletters
- 24. Online reviews
- 25. Business Awards Badge
- 26. Social Media Posts
- 27. Messenger Ads
- 28. ‘Learn More’ Ads
- 29. Social Media Celebrity Endorsement
- 30. Blogging
- 31. Video Ads
- 32. YouTube Video Ads
- 33. Coupons/ Discounts
- 34. Punched Cards
- 35. Customer Reference Ads
- 36. Augmented Reality Ads
- 37. Occasional Ads
- 38. Shelf Advertisements
- 39. Local Chamber of Commerce
- Wrapping Up
1. In-Store Banners
Banners are one of the most common traditional advertising ideas. Do not just hang banners in different places of your local area (according to target market). However, if you have a store for your small business, place a banner outside your store.
The contents of the banners can be anything, depending on the type of your business. It may be a showcase of various products you sell or the discount you are providing or simply an advertisement for your business. Whatever it may be, make the contents clear, specific and inspiring. Inspiring to bring the audience to you.
2. In-Store Branding
Brand your local store. No matter how cost saving you want to go or how small your storage space might be, there is always an opportunity for branding. From designing the wall to place decorate the furniture, everything counts as exposure. You might place a shelf in your store and keep the brochures or you might place the award badge on your walls.
You can be cost-effective and still plan out for branding too.
Local Creative Advertising Ideas
3. Flyers in Local Areas
Start exposure from your local area by distributing flyers. This can be an effective way to make your customers know about you. If your local area is not your target market’s place to live or visit, then distribute flyers on the places they possibly go.
This is an important form of advertisement for your small business. Make a brochure containing the whereabouts of your business, your products, your USPs, your contacts. You can distribute them too, instead of flyers. When customers visit your store, you can hand them too.
5. Graffiti Ads
One of the unconventional and cost-saving ways of advertisement is this. You can decorate the walls of your targeted area or even your own store walls by graffiti. Of course, determine first, if this advertisement matches your business type too. For instance, this might be not a good fit for the B2B type of business.
6. Hype Advertisements
When you are launching your small business or when you are launching a new product, you can create a hype. This helps to raise curiosity among your target audience. And they might start to look for answers to their curiosity which is your small business.
The hype can be banners, posters or even those large balloons. Hype can be implemented through any form of advertisements. What matters is the content. The question mark contents, the willingly incomplete contents about your business or product can be hype.
7. Local Event Ads
Sponsoring an event or even participating in an event might not always be budget friendly to your business. But do not miss out the chance of poster creative advertising in local events. Look for opportunities in such events to advertise your small business.
Print Media Promotional Ideas
8. Newspaper Advertisements
You can make use of this print media ads if your target is mass market. For saving up cost, you may go for local area newspapers too. Once again, the content is important.
9. Magazine Advertisements
If your target market is any of the magazine readers, you can post your ads there too. Magazine advertisements have become creative overtime too. Often companies provide coupons or discount card as a form of advertisements in the magazines. You can apply that plan too.
10. Editorial Ads
You can publish an article that talks about your business, the industry you set foot in, the benefits of the products, the prospects of your business. Through this article, you are actually making an advertisement for your business too.
Traditional Advertising Ideas
11. Radio Ads
Among the traditional marketing ideas, you can implement this one if your budget allows you a little heavy. Since there are no visual contents you need to be working on here, this can be a bit tricky. Contents that catch the attention of listeners is not as easy as it sounds. You need to work on important key points to be delivered on the ads.
12. Movie Theatre Ads
This can be a bit costly too but worth the exposure if your target audience is movie lovers. All you have is few minutes to grab their attention and make an image of the mind of the audience.
Remember, the audience in theatres mainly goes for the movie. Ads may irritate them and they tend to block out the messages in ads. So make sure to craft an attention-grabbing ad.
Support Media Publicity Ideas
13. Vehicle Ads
You can wrap a poster around your business or vehicle or any particular vehicle and there you go! Your ad is ready to roam around the city or area! Often you can see taxi cabs wrapped with ads. You can try that too if your budget allows you.
14. Car Stickers
If vehicle posters are too much to handle, you can go for car stickers. A car roams around various places and if you set a sticker of your logo in it, your brand roams with the car. Result- the possibility of maximum exposure. You might need incentives for the car owners for their permission to put stickers. Maybe a discount to them or a one-time offer will work as an incentive.
15. Human Billboards
You read that right. Among the Outdoor Advertising Ideas, this may actually cost less compared to others. You can hire volunteers, make them wear your branded t-shirts and distribute your brochure or flyer. Instead of distribution, you can ‘form’ this human billboard for any other creative advertisements too. You may even arrange a flash mob.
16. Other Support Media Ads
Ever wondered about the small ads in the shopping cart, street signs or street benches? Yes, they are a great source of exposure. Why don’t you try those ads for your small business then?
17. Gift Giving Sponsors
Often your target audience attends events with raffle draw or event games. You can sponsor the prize of winners in such cases. This draws the attention of your target audience. You might also note the impulse of your audience about the prize. The prize can be your products, coupons, vouchers, etc.
Online Advertising Ideas
18. Pop-up Ads
You might have noticed various ads popping up now and then in various websites. In the era of internet, target your potential customers through these pop-up ads. You might research which sites they are most likely to visit and put up your ads there. Very effective for online small business advertising.
19. Paid Search
Do you want your web address to come up first when your target customers search for products related to you? Then go for paid search. Given this point, you must research what keywords your target audience uses the most in search engines.
20. Online Newspaper Ads
The print media might not post online what they print always. There are sometimes separate agenda for online and print contents of the same newspaper company. In either case, adding your ads here is also an effective medium of advertisement.
21. Google My Business
Enlist your small business in “Google My Business” and help customers find you easily. The process is easy and absolutely free! It also helps to build up your free website. Moreover, you can engage with your customers too and learn how to build up the exposure of your business.
22. Catchy Email Signature
Your end signature at the end of your mail acts as a brand exposure too. You do not have to be too fancy and give a lot of thought behind it. Just after your polite ‘Best Regards’ ending, putting up your logo and necessary contact points of your small business acts as an ad of contacting you.
23. Email Newsletters
When your target audience visits you, take initiatives to take their email address them. Once you are able to get your audience to subscribe to your business website, you can email them your business newsletters. Your newsletters can include regular achievements of your business and your vision.
This can be an influential advertisement since your audience will be more prone towards being your client/ customer.
24. Online reviews
People tend to believes in reviews more online. It is more effective when they believe that reviews about you are not paid. Although you cannot control the natural or credible review totally, you can initiate or inspire your customers to rate you.
To put it in another way, after you serve the customer, request them politely to put a review for you. This is another effective way of online small business advertising.
25. Business Awards Badge
There are lots of business awards competition online where you can participate and strive to win the business awards badge. Upon winning the business awards badge, promote it everywhere around. On your websites, on your business social profile, even your local store. This will increase the credibility of your business.
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Social Media Promotional Ideas
26. Social Media Posts
Among the Social Media online Advertising Ideas, this is one that has the potential to influence your target audience most based on the contents of course. Be sure to update regularly on your business social accounts.
The online reviews apply here too. Be interactive with your followers and be an active respondent to their queries. Do not only generate attention catching posts but also the interactive ones.
27. Messenger Ads
Facebook is the most popular social website and so is its messenger. You can create ads on Facebook where customers can be directed to your inbox if they click the ad. Hence, build such contents that customers are inspired to buy or at least have queries about you.
28. ‘Learn More’ Ads
Another power intensive ad is ‘learn more’ feature in social media, mainly on Facebook, Instagram, etc. You can tag this ‘learn more’ with your social media ads where the audience will be directed towards your website once they click it.
To demonstrate, you can put a picture of a dress collection of your boutique and once customers click on the ad, they’ll be able to see its features, price at your website.
29. Social Media Celebrity Endorsement
Social Media Celebrities can bring you a lot of followers when they endorse your brand. So, this can be a good strategy for your ad contents, whether a visual or video content. Moreover, these influencers can talk about your products or services too. This makes a good influence on your sales.
Blogging about your business, products, and services can be a good source of advertisement. This also educates your customers about you, your products and helps to build up relation with your customers. Promote your blog writings in your social sites and initiate an interactive comment section.
31. Video Ads
TV ads may be too expensive for your small business. However, the best alternative option can be making quick video ads and post on your business social accounts. Another key point here is that it is better the videos are short, quick and effective. The audience is reluctant to hold patience to see long duration videos unless the content is attention-grabbing.
32. YouTube Video Ads
No, these are not the same as the above-mentioned video ads. You might have noticed small ads interrupting your actual videos. These can be a good source of strategy too. The challenging thing here is the ads are only of few seconds. So better make the contents worthy.
These type of ads also exists in case of Facebook videos.
Sale Support Advertising Ideas
33. Coupons/ Discounts
Provide coupons or discount tickets to customers as an incentive to bring them to you again. Though this is very effective, using them too often may generate a bad habit. A bad habit of customers willing to take your products or services only if they get discounts.
34. Punched Cards
These days there are punched cards given to customers where the card is punched every time they buy the product. After a certain number of punches in the card, customers are given gifts, free products or refills.
The main advertisement to be done here is making the offer known to the target market. Spread through your target market about the punched card offer. This will not only expose your brand but will initiate a boost in the sales too.
35. Customer Reference Ads
Need an immediate increase user number of your products? Customer Reference works wonder in this case. Arrange a strong referral ad in this case. The reference doesn’t work that easy. Your ad must benefit both the referral and referee. This can be done either through online or traditional advertisements.
36. Augmented Reality Ads
One of the most creative and fast growing advertisement is the augmented reality ad. It has become the source of game-changing in advertisement competition. Before you try it out, do research about different successful campaigns that boosted sales for a business.
In case of interaction with consumers, this form of advertisement is probably winning the clutter.
37. Occasional Ads
It is important to realize that your target market connects to you more when your ad contains emotional contents. Customers tend to choose you more when they can relate to you. With this in mind, create ads on important occasions like national holidays, international women’s day, Labor Day, earth day, etc.
38. Shelf Advertisements
Many often you make your products available at different stores. You can advertisement there too. You can sponsor your own brand’s shelf at the store. Your own shelf advertises your product in a distinctive way.
39. Local Chamber of Commerce
Register your small business in the local chamber of commerce. The plus point here is that you will get a chance to advertise your business products among the many as this chamber sponsors.
Whatever advertising way you choose from the above mentioned Small Business Advertising Ideas, there can be a possibility of a backfire of expected reaction. It all depends on the nature of your target audience. Therefore, whatever you do, study your target audience beforehand. Sum up their interest, behaviors before creating an ad. You can try experimental marketing ideas to see their response to trial too. Hence, do not just align your advertisements with your budget, align them with your target market too.
Marketing is a world of creativity evolutions. There is no hard and fast rule in the business world in continuous change. You can even come up with your own offline or online advertising ideas. Got any? Share in comments.
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Jamil Ahmed is the CEO of “Reinforce Lab”. He is a Pharmacist with experience of working in several pharmaceutical companies for over 5 years in International Business. Jamil Ahmed (@ahmedjr_16) is a Digital innovator, Personal Branding, Small Business, and Marketing consultant. He was named as the Top 3 Business Intelligence Marketing Influencer in 2018 by Onalytica. He was also Top 20 eCommerce Online Seller & Influencer by SaleHoo and Top 8 eCommerce Influencer by FitSmallBusiness. He regularly shares his tips and tricks for effective Personal Branding, Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Small Business, Entrepreneurship, and Latest Technology Integration in Business by building relationships, and by telling stories. Read more about him.