Where Should I Advertise My Small Business Online?

Published on April 4, 2024

In today's massively digital age, having a vibrant and multichannel online presence is crucial for any small business

However, in such a rapidly evolving landscape, it can be overwhelming for entrepreneurs to determine where to focus their efforts and how to get the biggest bang for your designated marketing bucks.

Knowing where your business belongs is all about identifying your target audience, where they’re most active, and what type of content is the most effective there (this varies wildly across different platforms).

This guide, brought to you by your friendly neighborhood digital marketing geeks, will equip you with the knowledge to navigate the ever-changing online advertising scene and attract customers who crave what you offer.

Know Your North Star 

Before diving headfirst into platforms, take a step back and understand your "Ws." What is your value proposition? Who is your preferred customer? Why should they buy your product? Where are they spending their online time?

A family-run boutique bakery will have a vastly different audience than a forward-thinking tech startup. Engaging with people who are more likely to appreciate your brand will increase your conversion rate and save you money.

Once you nail down your ICP (that’s the Ideal Customer Profile), you can gather demographic, socioeconomic, and psychographic data from fun tools like customer relationship management software to fine-tune your strategy even further.

Performing a competitive analysis will assist you in learning more about your target market. This process reveals vital information for setting your key performance indicators (KPIs). Taking a deep dive into your direct competitors’ social media is essential to discovering what works and what doesn’t.

Own Your Niche

Almost every enterprise can benefit from having a strong presence in your local community. You’re probably aware that Google results are location-based, and the search engine behemoth has an array of services for boosting your business and leveraging analytics to elevate sales

Setting up a Google Business Profile is easy and free, and should be one of your first steps in building your online empire. From there, you can design a Smart campaign to reach audiences via Google Maps, Gmail, YouTube, and more. The big G’s AI-powered features make it simple to stand out from the crowd.

Another excellent way to meet customers in your neighborhood is by setting up a page on Nextdoor, used by 1 in 3 households in the US. It’s a highly affordable option for brands on a tight budget, with the average cost of pretty powerful local advertising around $75 via Nextdoor’s Local Deals program.  

Millions of homeowners also head to Angi (aka Angie’s List) to search for local service providers such as plumbers, cleaners, and landscaping companies. It’s also free to set up a business listing on this platform, and Angi Ads provides plenty of metrics for optimizing your ROI.

Alignable is a lesser-known networking platform that has over 8 million users and serves as a valuable referral source for small business owners. The site also offers success tips and tutorials for creating an enticing profile and growing your network organically.

Be a Social Butterfly

Anyone who hasn’t lived under a rock for the past 15 or 20 years knows that social media marketing is a cheap and effective way to promote your product. But if not done correctly, it can sometimes do more harm than good to your business’s online reputation

Authenticity and consistency are key to presenting your company as an authoritative voice amid a cacophony of fake news and increasing scams. This means being confident in your brand identity, values, and goals. 

Besides the big-name platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, there are a plethora of other social media sites you might not have considered for advertising purposes:

Millions of people utilize streaming services for their favorite music, audiobooks, and podcasts. That’s a huge captive audience for your message that’s super easy to segment based on your ICP. Spotify, SiriusXM, and Amazon all offer resources for creating engaging audio advertising campaigns. 

The Bottom Line

Today’s small business owners have a wide array of options for advertising online. There’s no one-size-fits-all secret to success — instead, entrepreneurs can build a digital marketing strategy that plays to their strengths. 

Making the magic happen comes down to creating relevant and useful content and getting it in front of the right eyeballs. If that sounds like it’s way out of your wheelhouse, the industry experts at Geek Chicago are here to help.

From managing your social media and building a beautifully responsive website to delivering custom content that truly converts, our knowledgeable team can make a world of difference for your brand. Take the first step and reach out to us today!