The UK digital ad market is now worth a hefty £5.56 billion, up 13.8% from 2016, according to the Internet Advertising Bureau.
And it is mobile which is driving much of this growth, with mobile ad spend now accounting for 43% of all spend on digital advertising, a rise of 35%.
Advertising your business online will enable you to grow your online presence, get you seen by a much wider audience, and if you do it right, help you convert leads into business.
So how do you get started? Superfast Business Wales will show you five ways you can effectively market your small business online.
Writing a blog doesn’t mean you suddenly have to become a leading authority on something outside of your business area. For instance, no one would expect you to write a blog about cars if you’re an online clothing retailer. The point is, you know your particular field of business and this is something you can blog about with confidence.
What is a blog? In simple terms, it’s just an online column or diary. You can either host your blog column on your own website or use a free platform such as WordPress and link it back to your website. The trick is to keep it regularly updated with engaging content which will appeal to your target audience. Not only will you start to position yourself as an industry expert but you will also increase the chance of your website being found in search engines. Search engines love new high quality content and regular posts will keep your site looking fresh and more prominent in search rankings.
If you’re wondering whether anyone still uses email marketing, technology market research firm, The Radicati Group has predicted that by 2021 there will be 320 billion business and consumer emails sent per day. Email marketing is still one of the cheapest and most effective methods of communicating with your customers. It can help you strengthen relationships, build your brand and generate sales. Using email also enables you to reach your customers on any device.
Mailchimp has a free forever option, offers a template builder, and free automation tools. Use it to schedule emails, send welcome emails, shopping cart abandon emails, notification emails, and more. Before you start, make sure you are compliant with the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) – find out more.
Pay Per Click (PPC)
Google dominates the world of search engines which makes Google AdWords the biggest ad platform in the UK for PPC marketing. AdWords lets you target customers by keywords, location, demographics and behaviour. Depending on the type of campaign you choose your ads could pop up in Google search results, on Google apps and partner sites, and on third party websites visited by your target market via the Google Display Network.
There is a cost involved but AdWords lets you set a daily budget to keep control of your costs, and there’s no minimum spend required. If you’re new to AdWords Google has a set-up guide to help you get started. Bing Ads works in a similar way but may be a cheaper option as it owns less of the search engine market. Both platforms allow you to monitor and measure results so you can keep track of what works and what doesn’t.
Facebook is still the king of social media and represents a great advertising space for small businesses. Facebook Ads allow you to reach specific audiences based on their location, demographics, interests, behaviour, and connections. This means you can target people which are likely to be interested in your product or service regardless of whether they’ve searched for you.
Facebook Ads can be a really cost effective way of reaching a huge audience. Just ask Newport business, Fit My Floor, which spends on average £150 per month to reach more than 100,000 people, and generates 34% of its sales via Facebook Ads. As with Google AdWords Facebook Ads give you access to analytics so you can measure how well your ads are performing and allocate spend accordingly.
Google My Business
Over half of all of Google searches are now done via mobile with one-third of these related to location. Surprisingly though, many businesses haven’t added or claimed their local business listing on Google. Why do you need one? In short, to make it easier for customers to find you instead of your competitors.
Google My Business is a free tool which enables you to create an online business profile: including contact details, opening hours, website URL, description, and products and services. Your company will consistently show up in search results on any device and be visible across multiple Google platforms. Google My Business also allows you to manage your listing, interact with customers, follow reviews, and monitor your customers’ behaviour and actions.