A recent survey by The Manifest found that 32% of small businesses say their top goal for advertising is to increase sales and revenue. Additionally, 91% of these small businesses plan to increase their advertising spending in 2019, proving that advertising is a successful strategy for small businesses. Advertising costs businesses money, but in the long run, it helps them make money.

In this article, we explore how small businesses can benefit from advertising and how you can set up an advertising strategy that works for your business.

How Small Businesses Can Benefit From Advertising

Small businesses advertise for many reasons, but increased sales and revenue is the most common goal.

advertising goals

Converting leads to customers, standing out from the competition, and increasing brand awareness are also some of the top reasons businesses advertise.

Increased Sales and Revenue

Increased income is one of the most prominent benefits of advertising. When done right, advertising pays for itself by delivering new customers and sales to your business.

For example, app developer Zephyrmobile used full-screen video ads on Instagram to promote its Live Wallpapers product. The advertising boosted its click-to-install rate by 1.5X, lowering its cost-per-subscriber by 50%.

Successful ad campaigns do more than increase your sales and revenue, though, and we take a look at some of the additional benefits of advertising in the next section.

Combined Benefits of Advertising

Effective advertising campaigns also help increase brand awareness and set you apart from the competition.

For example, easyfinancial wanted to drive more customers to its loan applications, so it created a Facebook ad campaign aimed at finding new customers and converting them to applicants.

To do this, the company set goals of raising brand awareness and converting its new audience members to loan applications.

The company optimized its ad delivery to target the right type of customers, which helped it make the most of its budget.

Using video ads and ads in Stories, Easy Financial increased its loan applications by 3X and enjoyed a 17-point increase in brand lift in just one month.

easy financial facebook ad campaign

Easy Financial spent time testing and researching different types of ads before finding the ones that worked best for the company.

Businesses that don’t have time to invest in testing and research may benefit from hiring an advertising agency.

How To Form an Advertising Strategy That Works For Your Business

To form a well-planned advertising strategy, you should set a budget, choose your advertising mediums, and develop compelling ad campaigns.

Set an Advertising Budget

Small businesses don’t have a lot of money to spend on advertising – more than one-third (37%) spend less than $10,000 on ads, according to the above survey from The Manifest.

Advertising spend

It’s possible to create effective ad campaigns on a budget.

Begin by allocating a percentage of your gross revenue to advertising.

The Small Business Association recommends setting aside 7 to 8 percent of your gross revenue for marketing and advertising, although this figure can vary depending on your industry and ability to reserve funds.

You can scale your investment down if needed, but Director of Communications Tim Smith from IPNY recommends that you never fall below 2% of your revenue for your advertising budget.

Smith explains, “If small businesses don’t advertise in some way, their chances of succeeding are very limited.”

Choose Your Advertising Mediums

Selecting the mediums you will advertise on depends on several factors, such as:

  • Are you a local or online business?
  • Who is your target customer?
  • What platforms offer advertising that your business can afford?

Digital and offline advertising both provide effective ways to grow your business. Some of the mediums you’ll choose from include paid social, digital, and traditional advertising mediums.

Paid Social Media Advertising

More than 40% of small business owners say that social media is their most effective advertising medium, according to the above survey.

Paid social ads provide a way for brands to set their own ad budgets and target highly-specific audiences, which helps them avoid paying to advertise to people who are unlikely to purchase their product or service.

Digital Advertising

Banner ads, retargeted ads, influencer campaigns, and native advertising are just some of the ways small businesses can advertise digitally.

Paid Google search ads are also quite popular because they drive the right kind of traffic directly to your website by reaching people who are looking for your type of product or service.

For example, someone searching for “small business accounting software” will see about 11 paid ads at the top of the search results page.

accounting software ads

Traditional Advertising

According to The Manifest, nearly 60% of businesses still use non-digital advertising mediums such as:

  • Print
  • Radio
  • TV
  • Out-of-Home advertising

Costs can be prohibitive with certain offline advertisers, though, especially if you’re paying to reach a broad, rather than targeted, audience.

Develop Compelling Ads

To help your brand stand out, you should develop ads and campaigns that compel people to interact.

For example, Zen Desk uses an eye-catching image in the Instagram ad shown below.

Effective advertising also requires a thorough understanding of your buyer personas and a solid understanding of effective copywriting.

Social cause campaigns, disruptive advertising, and interactive advertising are additional tactics that can boost the success of your advertising.

Small Businesses Benefit From Well-Researched Advertising Strategies

Advertising can help you reach many of your small business goals and end up paying for itself over time.

Form an advertising strategy by setting a budget, choosing an advertising medium, and developing compelling ads.




Kristen Herhold is a senior content writer for The Manifest, a B2B news and how-to site that allows readers to learn, consider, and review B2B services. Her research focuses on social advertising agencies and trends.


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