There is a big dilemma facing Small Business:
How do I advertise my business?
The internet is one big advertisement right?
Wherever you go you are plastered with ads, popups, email blasts etc… you don’t want to see the ads? Than pay me you are told. You are profiled based on your demographic, geographic, shopping history and many more traits that advertisers can find about you…
The big question, is any of this doing anything for the average Small Business owner’s advertising efforts, the answer is most likely a BIG NO! This is the Dilemma –
Most of the time you will not see ads for mom and pops or local dry cleaners, or your etsy shop owner or ebay seller – the ads you see will be from the bigger players with the bigger budgets…
So where are the Small Businesses turning to online??
1) They are told you need a Facebook Page, very true – In today’s society you need a Social Presence, Some customers will like to check your facebook page and its good for the search engine ranking as well.. How much SALES will an actual small business derive from a facebook page, its to be determined and depends on the nature of the business and following you can create about your business, product, or service. A facebook paid ad will certainly ramp up views of the ad and allow you to target a specific demographic, but can be costly for a Small Business with no to Small Advertising budget.
2)Website – This one is purely obvious, but with millions of websites, unless you are promoting it, you are just like a storefront business on a backstreet without a sign, and not many, if any at all customers will come inside.
3)SEO & Pay per click – Here’s a big one many people are touting, and its definitely big if you can take advantage of it. Again, this sort of becomes an advertising budget game, because the bigger players or players with more clout, can sometimes own the market or the 1st 2 pages (which are the only pages that matter). This should definitely not be ignored, because these are the customers that are looking for you – hot and ready buyers vs passive buyers that you may find on a facebook.
4)Marketplace / Classified Websites – Here’s one that the Smaller Businesses are certainly turning to for instant exposure. The key here is instant exposure, the power to be able to place an ad, many times for free into a crowd of people seeking what you are selling is what is appealing to many Small Business Owners, online sellers and advertisers. Another nice part about a marketplace is you can think of it as a an online mall and a website as a one off store… So the nice thing about the mall (marketplace) is you get the traffic, which can sometimes result in unintended purchases.
Now you can see the big Dilemma facing Small Business, where do I turn, where do I promote my business??
There are lots of options, but if you don’t have a big budget marketplace and classified websites are a great place to start, to gain some instant exposure and awareness and point people back to your website.