4 Low-Cost Ways To Boost Your Small Business Online Ad Spend

Being able to market your business on a local basis has become easier in the age of Google helping businesses become easier found. Maybe you haven’t planned a strategy or already delved into using localized advertising tools like Google AdWords. If not, you may find it tougher to stay competitive when competition among local businesses is fiercer than ever.

The fact is, it’s more than just Google helping with online local advertising and marketing. The pay per click online advertising model has become a more diffuse system giving you loads of options, often costing less than traditional ads on television, newspapers, or magazines.

Digital advertising is already exceeding TV ads for the first time, according to a 2016 report by eMarketer. According to the report, by the end of 2016, US digital ad spending was projected to reach $72.09 billion, while TV spending was expected to grow to $71.29 billion. That means digital potentially represents 36.8% of US total media ad spending, while TV will represent 36.4%.

When it comes to running local ads, it’s time to think in a more innovative way. Some online advertising options are maybe familiar to you, but as digital advertising grows, so do the options available. Here are four methods beyond Google ads that are worth trying.

1. Snapchat Filters

It’s clear that Snapchat has become a big deal in the business world. Major corporations (like Starbucks) now use it to attract the prominent 18–34 demographic who spend time there.

As a national brand, advertising on Snapchat is quite expensive and can cost thousands. But local businesses have a place here, too. Snapchat now offers a geofilter ad system to attract a targeted customer base.

Geofilters are just one advertising option at Snapchat, which also includes Snap Ads and Sponsored Lenses. What makes geofilters stand out is how they create location specific overlays for use in all posted pictures.

These break down to community and on-demand geofilters, with the former being free. The latter is a paid system, that allows you to use localized content in all your snaps. It’s possible to include logos or other trademarked branding. If your business targets a younger demographic, it’s time to up your game and start considering Snapchat as a part of your digital marketing strategy.

2. Facebook Ads

Facebook still reigns supreme as an excellent channel for online advertising. While Facebook Ads are overly common, don’t overlook them in how effective they attracting local customers. With estimates showing Facebook Ads for local businesses costing around $1 per click in the U.S., it’s an effective way to advertise without paying a fortune and it can work serendipitously with other offline ads or campaigns your company is running.

The real standout aspect is the customization Facebook provides. You can easily find your target audience through simple searches. Plus, they give you numerous ad formats to use what truly represents your business style.

Facebook takes analytics seriously, as well. They offer a reporting tool with detailed granular data about your advertising campaign. The data you get from your analytics reports can serve as a compass to enhance your campaigns.

3. Waze

Did you know that Waze offers advertising options? No doubt, we all think of Waze as just a traffic app. When Google bought it a few years ago, they turned it into a powerful business advertising source. They managed to carry over some of the app’s traffic and navigation features, making the advertising aspect all the more exciting.

Waze describes their own service as being “a digital billboard with a digital backbone.” You can quickly create branded pins on digital maps that help locals quickly find you while searching for businesses like yours.

Along with unique targeting tools, they provide thorough reporting much like what Facebook offers. Yet, what makes Waze an extra standout is their attention to objectives. This falls under brand awareness, store visitations, and celebrity voice prompts for driving directions.

4. Local Advertising on Pinterest

If you’ve avoided thinking about Pinterest for advertising, this may be a good time to rethink your approach. A lot of businesses now advertise on Pinterest through their “Promoted Pins.”

Recent statistics show 75% of all saved pins on Pinterest come from localized businesses. Basically, you pay per 1,000 impressions on each pin you buy. Thanks to effective tracking tools, you can pick a promoted pin with the most views to use the most often.

Pinterest makes this more targeted thanks to an ability to target based on demographic interests. They give you hundreds of choices in what those interests are, as well as keyword recommendations.

Updating Your Online Advertising Strategy

If you run a brick-and-mortar business and generating foot traffic or calls is your main objective, it may be time to up the ante and consider one of these advertising options. Developing a strategy for each of these methods requires creativity, a focus on outcomes, and the ability to adjust as you get results.

The drive for online advertising will only get more competitive for businesses seeking to establish a strong brand reputation. What other online advertising methods are you using to drive engagement and increase sales?

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Marketing expert Sonja Crystal Williams has spent 15 years crafting and implementing marketing campaigns for small/mid-sized businesses, government organizations, and Fortune 500 companies. Sonja is the Co-Founder and Director of Marketing at Go Getter Marketing Group, Inc. — a digital marketing, social media, and branding agency with offices in Atlanta and Los Angeles. Keep up with her latest articles and tips on Twitter @sonjacrystal.

The original article appears in HuffPost.