Woman standing outside of a business store front.

3 Advertising Ideas for Small Businesses You Should Try

Most business experts suggest that small business owners spend up to 10% of their revenue on advertising. While it’s a necessary expense, it can also be a burden for cash-strapped small business owners like you. As such, it’s of paramount importance for the advertising that they do invest in to bring a respectable return. If you’re a small business owner facing this challenge, here are three solid methods of advertising that have been proven to work.

1. Share Advertising Costs With Another Small Business

This method of advertising costs little but offers you an enormous amount of leverage. You’ll look for another business (or businesses) in your area that exist in your niche but aren’t competitors. For example, if you run a vet clinic, you could partner with someone who creates homemade doggie treats, a pet groomer, a local dog walker, or something along those lines.

This type of marketing and advertising works because you’re in the same industry. However, you are not in direct competition with the business you’re working with. This advertising method also allows you to tap into the other business’s mailing list and customer base. You may not have overlapping customers, which means everyone benefits.

All the businesses associated with this deal expand their customer base, thereby eliminating the need to buy mailing lists. Most business people will tell you that “money is in the list.” Moreover, the customers who buy from a business once usually go on to buy from that same business again if they were satisfied with the results.

2. Purchase Signs, Banners, Murals, and Other Outdoor Media

These days, with all the glitz and glitter of flashy websites and social media bling, you could be underestimating the power of outdoor media. However, outdoor media forms, like signs, banners, flags, and murals, can bring as much as 50% of the foot traffic you enjoy into your business. This type of media often costs significantly less than other forms of advertising. Outdoor banners or feather flags will cost you around $150 on average.

The average sign costs a bit more, at around $2,000 or so. However, considering that you’ll be able to use the sign for years, even decades, the cost is relatively small. For example, let’s say you buy a sign for your business. Let’s also say that it lasts 10 years. That means your $2,000 sign costs $200 a year or around $16 a month.

Given that 50% of your foot traffic will come from these sources of outdoor media, that’s a pretty great investment.

3. Position Yourself as an Expert With a Blog

Nowadays, people are more inclined than ever to do a Google search before they buy anything. If they need to buy a car, they’ll check price points, features, and models on car review websites. If their sink needs new plumbing, they’ll search for causes and solutions for the plumbing issue. If they’re suffering from a painful medical condition, they’ll look that up, too.

So, where does this information come from that these web searchers are reviewing? It comes from savvy business owners and industry experts who get themselves published online. Often the easiest way to do that is by blogging about it.

The smartest bloggers compile lists of customer pain points. They, then, write blogs to address these issues, using a strong keyword strategy. It’s an excellent way to build your credibility, according to HubSpot.

This strategy comes with some definite benefits, the biggest being that if you get leads from your blog, those leads have already pre-qualified themselves. That is to say, the mere fact that web searchers were searching for the types of services or goods that you offer means that they’re interested in what you’re selling.

No arm twisting is required. You don’t need to convince those leads that they need what your business offers. They were already looking for it.


All business owners must budget for marketing and advertising if they want their businesses to stay afloat. However, some methods of advertising and marketing work better than others, making them must-tries for business owners on a budget. The three advertising methods in this post address this issue, offering you some tried-and-true ways to expand your business without breaking the bank.

Leave a Reply