Best Advertising Platforms for Small Businesses

By August 28, 2023 No Comments
ad platforms in the marketing funnel. awareness, desire, consideration, intent, evaluation, purchase, conversion.

In today’s digital age, small businesses have access to a plethora of platforms to advertise their products or services. As a business owner or young marketer, you might be wondering where to invest to get the best return on your advertising dollars. Before diving into the options, it’s crucial to understand the marketing funnel and the customer’s journey.

The Marketing Funnel and The Power of Impressions

The marketing funnel represents the different stages a potential customer goes through, from awareness to conversion. Most customers don’t just see an ad and immediately make a purchase. Research indicates that it often takes anywhere from 6-9 impressions before a potential customer decides to buy. However, not all impressions are created equal, and the effectiveness of each touchpoint can vary based on numerous factors. For example, a customer watching a full video review on youtube isn’t the same impression as an image they saw briefly on their Instagram feed. however Both are valuable.

Top of the Funnel: Catching Their Attention

Disruptive Advertising: This is when you introduce your product or service to someone who isn’t necessarily searching for it. They’re ‘disrupted’ by your ad in their usual browsing patterns, hence the name. Platforms that excel in this approach include:

  1. Facebook: With its vast user base and sophisticated targeting options, Facebook is a powerhouse for top-of-the-funnel advertising. Also includes Instagram.
  2. Pinterest: A visual platform where users discover new ideas. If your product is visually appealing, Pinterest can be a goldmine.
  3. TikTok: The latest sensation, especially among the younger audience. Its video-based format can be highly engaging and offers a unique way to showcase your brand.
  4. YouTube: Great for building a brand and hard to track, but valuable. Found on Google’s ad platform.

Remember, knowing your target audience’s demographics, interests, and behavior is crucial when selecting a platform.

Google: While it can be used for top-of-the-funnel advertising, Google often shines brightest in the middle and bottom of the funnel. When people search for something, it implies intent, and capturing that intent can be highly rewarding. Their Performance Max campaigns are starting to disrupt the top of the funnel, but still not as cheap as Facebook.

Middle of the Funnel: Nurturing.

Here, the objective is to re-engage potential customers, guide them through the decision-making process, and prompt them to take action.

  1. Performance Max on Google: This can be a useful tool for commerce brands. This will engage users with search, display, shopping, and YouTube ads.
  2. Facebook Retargeting: A powerful tool that lets you specifically target users who’ve previously interacted with your brand, whether they visited your website, added a product to your cart, or made a purchase. This reinforces your brand’s presence in their minds.

Bottom of the Funnel: Converting

At this point, your customer is educated and ready to buy. They are just looking for something to tip them over the edge. Maybe it is as simple as one more ad, a customer review, or a promotion tempting them to buy now.

Branded Search Terms on Google: As your brand grows, people will start searching for it directly. Bidding on your brand terms is essential because competitors will also bid on them, trying to divert traffic their way. This can often fall at the bottom of the funnel which is why most branded search campaigns have great ROI.

Pro Tip: Leverage Email Marketing: Almost Free Advertising

Incorporating email marketing into your strategy, especially in the middle to bottom stages of the funnel, can be a game-changer. Email allows you to send personalized messages, offers, and reminders directly to interested parties. It’s a cost-effective way to nurture leads and drive conversions. Plus, with the right strategy in place, email marketing can drastically reduce your overall advertising costs. Some key flows/ automation you can set up to always have email working for you are:

  1. Abandoned Cart Emails: 2-3 emails offering an exclusive offer near the end of the flow
  2. Welcome Email: Often delivered with sign-up promo code. I suggest making this long with evergreen content. (More emails equals more money). You can educate in these emails.
  3. Post-Purchase Emails: From transactional emails to reminders to leave a review or buy again.
  4. Back in Stock Emails: Helps gauge interest in out-of-stock items and move stock when available.
  5. Cross-sells and Upsells: You should use purchase data to target customers to buy again increasing your customer lifetime value.

Pro Tip 2: Create a Social Community

Facebook Groups in my opinion is currently the best way a brand can do this. It creates an environment for customers to interact freely with one another. The more you can cultivate this community the more profitable it can become. For one brand customers will post and ask if they should buy only to be flooded with 20-30 comments telling them they should.

Wrapping Up

Navigating the digital advertising landscape can seem overwhelming, but by understanding the customer journey and leveraging the right platforms at the right time, small businesses can thrive. Remember, the key is to know your audience, test different approaches, and continually optimize your strategy for the best results.

If you would like more help please book a strategy session with us and we can help you get started.

Keith Hubert

Keith Hubert

Fractional CMO