If you’re running a small business, chances are you’re going to be working with a tight budget. However, a small budget doesn’t mean that you can’t succeed at online advertising. There are so many resources out there that offer small businesses the chance to develop their online advertising, so take some time to research and find which opportunities work best for your business. But don’t just jump into the world of online advertising without preparing a thorough strategy, we have compiled a list of our biggest top tips for advertising online with a small budget to help you get started.
Determine your Goals
First things first, identify your goals and what you’re wanting to achieve from your online advertising efforts. Perhaps you’re wanting to increase brand exposure, drive more traffic to your website or increase online sales. You may have more than one goal in mind, but identifying what you are wanting to achieve allows you to keep track of the results and thus measure whether or not your efforts have been successful in achieving your goals later down the line. It’s also important to regularly review your goals, and alter them if necessary. For instance, you may have started with the intention of increasing brand awareness. Now you have achieved that, perhaps you want to alter this goal and focus your advertising efforts on building trust with consumers. Targets and goals must continuously be reviewed so that you are able to determine results and decide whether or not you are ready to introduce new goals to your strategy.
Determine your Budget
Once you have set your goals, the next step is to decide on your budget. Although at this stage, your budget is most likely going to be quite strict, taking the time to determine exactly where your money is going to be spent is really important for making sure that you stick to it. Carefully selecting exactly where you are spending your budget also means that your budget is being spent on the channels and methods that are the most appropriate for your business and its goals.
Set Yourself Apart from the Competition
Nowadays, there are thousands of companies selling online so it’s really important that you can set yourself apart from your competitors. The last thing you want to do is spend your time and budget on the most basic of online advertising, to then find yourself blending into the background. There are lots of ways that you can develop your brand without spending a lot of money, and once you have got your branding, you need to make sure it is consistent across all of your digital platforms. If your branding is professional and consistent across platforms, potential consumers are more likely to trust your brand. Although this process can be very time consuming to begin with, building the bridge between you and your customers is integral for future growth and development.
Develop your Strategy
Before you even put your online advertising into action, you need to have a defined strategy in place that not only details everything we have already mentioned, but demonstrates exactly how you intend to achieve success. Having a strategy to refer to provides you with that safety net for when things don’t quite go to plan. This also means that your strategy needs to be reviewed and revised on a regular basis, making sure that you take into account what worked and what didn’t. Making adjustments along the way ensures that you are learning what works best for your business whilst also ensuring that your budget is being spent suitably.
Whether you decide to invest your online advertising budget into Facebook ads to boost engagement from your social media following, or you think Google AdWords works best for getting your website seen on the first page of a Google search, it’s important to remember that although budget can play a big part in online advertising success, it can also lead to a wasted budget if it’s not implemented strategically. Spend plenty of time optimising and developing your strategy – taking the leap into online advertising can come with a big learning curve so making sure that you are able to learn and adapt is absolutely essential. Just remember, don’t let a limited budget hold you back – there is plenty of online advertising opportunities out there for small businesses, it’s just about learning what works best for you!