3 Low-Cost Online Marketing Options for Small Business Owners

26/06/2013 10:20

 Marketing drives businesses sales but many entrepreneurs may find it difficult to balance benefits of revenue generation with the cost of promoting their products and services. True, advertising on the television and radio can cost an arm and a leg (high fees for developing video ads and airing them at prime times) and small biz owners may be left wondering if it was all worth it.


Luckily, the online world has much to offer in terms of low-cost advertising tools for small businesses that deliver more bang for the buck compared to high-cost radio and tele ads. Marketing campaigns are affordable and highly targeted, which means chances of exposure to interested customers are pretty high. Granted, the web draws audiences from all over the world, but you can specify desired countries and keywords to make sure your ads don't go to waste.


Online Text Ads for Small Business


These ads are more suited for target audiences that are interested in making informed decisions. People planning to buy technology gadgets or financial services will appreciate brief technical specifications and won't mind a bit of jargon either. But if you feel your consumers are more impulsive in nature, perhaps a catchy phrase will work better, or an image or video ad.


Slow internet speed of potential client? Not a problem.


Image or Flash Ads to Promote Business Online


Most of these ads contain text within the image, which allows for a bit more description and spark since they're better at catching the eye. If you're selling a product or service that can positively influence a customer's buying decision if he or she were to 'see' it (tempting food, flowers, furniture, shoes, watches, etc.) then image ads are your first choice.


There's no strict rule here because I've seen financial services being advertised through these ads.


Slow internet speed of potential client? A slight problem as advertisements take time to load properly.


Online Video Ads for Your Start-Up


These are more recent and less common compared to text and image ads - YouTube started video ads this year but I've seen them pop up on other sites before Google got into them. Most appropriate for (new, unknown, seemingly unimportant, or complicated) products or services that need plenty of explanation and convincing to result in sales.


From the small business's (and music artist's) point of view, video ads are a blessing because they cost a fraction of advertising rates on TV and radio, and visual and auditory descriptions offer maximum promotional benefit. But from a non-interest consumer's point of view, the invasive nature of these ads may be a bother.


Slow internet speed of potential client? A pretty big problem as videos consume plenty of bandwidth.


Don't expect an avalanche of visitors though because a good click-through-rate is only around 5%, but if that fraction converts to sales, it's a pretty cost-effective endeavor.

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