Best Advertising Campaigns for Small Business: Learn from the Pros

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By Jacob Maslow

Investing in advertising is the best way to build brand awareness, which helps grow your client base and increase your earnings. Whether you choose traditional media or social media, advertising your small business brings value and a return on investment for your small business.

You might think that advertising is hopeless since you don’t have the money and power to compete with the big brands claiming consumers’ attention. However, you cannot make any money if you don’t advertise. So, learn from the pros and get creative to produce the best advertising campaigns for your small business.

Pros Share a List of Do’s and Don’ts

1.     Do Target the Correct Audience

Before spending money on advertising, create a profile of your target audience. The demographic profile will help you maximize your advertising budget by choosing the right platform for your consumers and location.

Your marketing content must engage your audience, and you may need to experiment until you find the best fit. For example, mobile marketing may not reach an older audience, and print media won’t reach Gen Z or Gen Alpha. Sometimes, you may need to combine two or more channels to reach everyone—for example, a combined social media campaign, email marketing, and print media.

2.     Don’t Get Pushy

Sales pitches that are too pushy tend to push consumers away. Instead, start your marketing by building trust and a bond, encouraging customers to engage. People are more likely to buy a product when they feel appreciated, so use soft pushing tactics and aim to create a loyal customer base.

On this note, smaller businesses often don’t have the luxury of being pushy because of their smaller advertising budgets. If your budget is tiny, time your advertising campaigns during peak seasons when people are more likely to spend.

3.     Do Create Interactive and Valuable Content

Valuable content that attracts customer interaction creates consumer trust. The aim of your marketing content should be to show the value of your product and how it meets your consumer needs. In addition, it’s essential to show that you have an authoritative role in your industry, so back up your content with research and other proof. However, keep the language simple, allowing your content to reach a larger audience.

4.     Don’t Spam Your Audience

Content burnout is a serious issue because it confuses your audience and dilutes your message. Therefore, plan your advertising campaign to reach more people instead of coming across as spammy. Do this by creating a content schedule according to the critical dates on your calendar, like holidays, product promotions, etc., and adhere to it. An advertising schedule makes planning, tracking and analyzing your promotions easier.

5.     Do Measure the Data and Analytics

Advertising resources are too expensive to waste on ineffective campaigns. Instead, you must analyze the success of marketing campaigns by scrutinizing campaign engagement and which channel brought the most revenue. Analytics will help you understand the following:

  • if you reached your target market
  • if it understood your message clearly
  • your campaign ROI

6.     Don’t Duplicate the Marketing Efforts of Large Companies

You cannot possibly match the scale and budget of a large company, so don’t try and duplicate what they’re doing. It’s important to remember that what works for one company may not work for yours. Instead, tailor your advertising efforts to your product and audience, focusing on what makes your business unique.

Best Advertising Campaigns for Small Businesses

Here are some examples of advertising campaigns that show how some companies get it right and a few ideas from pros.

1.     Giveaways Can Help Boost Your Marketing on Social Media

Social media has become oversaturated since most companies use it. Unfortunately, the algorithms of socials mean that only a tiny percentage of posts get seen by followers. Hosting a competition or giveaway is the best strategy to boost your reach and get more engagement.

Organize a giveaway for those who like, follow, share, or tag a friend. One example of a successful campaign based on this principle was Loca Foods. The business hosted an Instagram contest giving treats away. People who shared the post with their stories received bonus entries. You don’t need to give away something expensive; the idea is to draw attention to your business.

2.     Create Viral Content

Create fun and informative content to help draw attention to your business. One example of one extremely successful viral campaign was the one created by Dollar Shave Club in 2012, with a minimal marketing budget of $4,500. Competing against brands like Gillette and Schick, Dollar Shave Club hit the new subscription industry with its viral video, gaining 48.6% of the online shaver market in three years. As a result, they were acquired for $1 billion by Unilever in 2016.

3.     Stretch your Ad Budget with Micro Audiences

Instagram’s fantastic option makes it cheaper and easier to target micro-audiences.

Some audiences you can target include:

  • Custom audiences: For example, you can target only the audiences on your email list by uploading it onto Instagram, promoting new products, or offering them discounts. The move can help you target reticent customers.
  • People interested in your big competitors – It’s easier to target people already interested in your competition.
  • Target your age range – Target only users within your age range to make your advertising more effective.
  • Target a specific location – Target folks within a few miles of your store if you’re a local business. Online businesses can also use geographic targeting.

The Exclude option and Campaign Budget Optimization on Instagram allow you to exclude audiences or let AI ensure your advertising remains budget-effective by targeting specific niche audiences. Start with a small budget and build it from there.

4.     Never Underestimate the Power of Email Marketing

As proven by Airbnb, email marketing remains one of the most affordable marketing strategies to connect with audiences and make sales. The company started doing business by renting air mattresses in 2008 and is valued at over $110 billion today. It boosted its growth by focusing on its marketing efforts, mainly content creation and emails about destinations and properties to prospective renters and property owners, ensuring that anyone planning a trip first thinks of their company.

5.     Mobile Marketing

Uber is an excellent example of why using the proper channels brings the best results. Its audience is on the go, and the company met consumer demand for finding quick, reliable, and cheaper transportation from A to B. The ride-sharing app is now a household name thanks to mobile marketing, easy-to-understand YouTube content, and word-of-mouth that ensured millions of users downloaded their app.

Mobile marketing is the best way to reach customers, as most people own a mobile device. You can use emails, text messages, QR codes, or push notifications to spread your message across platforms and get more attention. The goal is that when someone needs your product or service, they automatically think of you first. Combining all these strategies can help you create one of the best advertising campaigns for small businesses.

Additionally, consider utilizing influencer marketing tactics. Influencers are trusted by their followers and can pique interest in products or services they promote on their channels. This will provide a greater return on investment than traditional forms of advertising while also expanding awareness about your company’s brand. Finally, have a clear objective for your advertising campaigns and measure your results regularly. Many online tools and services help you track conversions, impressions, and other metrics. By understanding what works best for your business, you will be better equipped to create successful advertising campaigns in the future.


What are the best advertising campaigns for small businesses?

The best advertising campaigns for small businesses should include mobile marketing, email marketing, micro-audience targeting, and influencer marketing. Additionally, having a clear objective and measuring the results regularly is essential to optimize your campaign’s success.

How do I track conversions and impressions on my advertising campaigns?

Many online tools and services can help you track conversions, impressions, and other metrics related to your advertising campaigns. Utilizing these resources will provide valuable insights into which strategies are working best for your business so that you can create more successful campaigns in the future.

What are micro-audience targeting techniques?

Micro-audience targeting techniques involve selecting niche audiences to target with your advertising campaigns. This can be done through the Exclude option and Campaign Budget Optimization on Instagram, which allow you to exclude specific audiences or adjust budgeting to ensure maximum efficiency. Focusing on a specific location can help you better connect with local customers.

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