What is the best way to advertise your small business?

Okay… so you have a business, a brand and a product or service to sell, now what? Advertising your business in South Africa may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t need to be. All you need is a clear starting point and a plan. There are so many ways to advertise your business, from digital online advertising to flyers that you can distribute.

Although there are many ways, here’s a list of the top 10 ways in which you can advertise your business

Top 10 ways to advertise your small business in South Africa

1. Register a Free Google My Business Account

This is a great way to get free exposure on Google. When you register a Google My Business account, you add you the relevant information straight into Google. Doing this means your business will appear on Google Maps, Google Search and Google’s knowledge panel. Additionally, you can add frequently asked questions to highlight a product feature or service offering and you can collect online Google Reviews. You can also add promotions, events, news, products or services straight onto your profile.

2. Add Your Business to Local Listing Websites

Google is not the only place you should be listing your business. Find out what platforms your local community uses and make sure to list yourself there. A few examples would be Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Yellow Pages, etc. Depending on your industry, some platforms will be more relevant than others. A photographer would gain more benefit from Instagram than a refuse removal business.

3. Distribution of printed advertising

Everyone needs business cards, it’s the most traditional and expected form of advertising that people want from you. You could add a promotion or discount on the one side, or if you run a business like a hairdresser, you could put space to write the details of their next appointment. Flyers are a good way of reaching a mass amount of people in a relatively short time. You can hand flyers out at robots near your office, you can put them in post boxes, or you could get other businesses to keep some in their reception area. Additional examples of printed items include posters, brochures, company profiles, calendars, pull up banners, etc.

4. Promotional gifts

To expand on printing, promotional gifts are a great way to expand your brand. This can include branded shirts, bags, caps, stationery, novelty items, mouse pads, power banks, etc. Anything that a person might find valuable and useful is something they will likely keep for a while which will expose your brand to everyone they encounter. You can also brand larger items and donate them to local events; it helps gets exposure for your brand and also is a great way to give back to your community.

5. Website

There is no longer any excuse to be a business owner and to not have a website. It is the perfect platform to showcase all your products and services, tell people more about your business, educate people on subjects within your industry via a blog and it’s where most people will try to contact you from. You can put links to all your social media pages, add all your contact information (phone numbers, email address, physical address, etc). and even add a contact form where people can send a message directly from their browser. Any online advertising should point people directly back to your website.

6. Email Marketing

This is a fantastic method of keeping in contact with previous clients and people in general who have showed in an interest in hearing from you. It’s important to always have a person’s permission before you email them. If you email random people that have never heard of you (like emailing people off a bought email database) then you risk them reporting you for spamming them. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it could end up getting you fined by your hosting provider or your domain will be penalized by Google and your quality score will drop. It’s not worth it in the long run. By emailing existing clients and interested potential clients, you are making sure that you stay top of mind. It also helps to establish your business as someone they can trust and when they need your product or service, your business will be their first choice.

7. Google Ads

Pay Per Click advertising is a great way to gain exposure to new potential clients at a minimal cost. By running a good campaign and keeping your website on track, you can convert those clicks into sales. Using Google Ads, you pay to have your advert shown when people use google to search for something. When they click on your ad, it directs them to a specific page on your website which should tell them what they need to know in order to make a buying decision. You can also do a re-marketing campaign that will only show the ad to people who have already shown interest in your business before. Once you get going on Google Ads, then you could consider expanding your Pay Per Click advertising into other platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn or YouTube

8. Post valuable content

This would start by posting relevant and interesting content to your website. From there, you can share that post to your social media and even in local community groups that you have joined. This will increase exposure, increase traffic to your website and if the post is interesting and valuable enough then people will share it to their networks.

9. Vehicle Signage

When done correctly, vehicle signage can catch the positive attention of everyone who sees it. Everyone who sees your vehicle will be exposed to your brand. The more often people are exposed to your business, the more likely they are to use your product or service.

10. Run a competition

Running a competition with a high value prize is a good way to create excitement about your brand. You need to decide if you want to competition to result in more referrals or more sales. To gain entry to the competition you could ask for referrals or people could gain entry by spending a certain amount of money. Advertising the competition on as many platforms as possible is key. Advertising on your website, Google Ads, flyers, posters, email marketing and via social media

If you feel that you could benefit from a bit of guidance, inquire about a FREE Marketing Proposal for your business.