Advertising Ideas for Small Businesses

Word of mouth is excellent small business advertising – but it’s slow, and may be practically non-existent for new businesses. If you want to grow your customer base more quickly, you have to advertise.

This collection of small business advertising ideas presents both the tried and true and some you may not have tried yet—advertising ideas for your small business to effectively reach your target market and attract new customers.

Print Advertising for Small Businesses

Direct mail can be very effective business advertising—and is much more favorably received than other direct marketing media, such as email or telemarketing. And even if you don’t have a mailing list, you can still geographically target your mail. 

Besides box ads and advertising inserts, local newspapers also often offer special advertising features showcasing particular businesses—all-powerful business advertising opportunities. Don’t overlook special interest newspapers as an advertising idea if they exist in your area. They may be delivered to exactly the audience you want to reach.

Note that there’s a difference between advertising on a newspaper’s website and in its print edition. While online ads may be less expensive, you may get more bang for your buck at the local level in a small community newspaper. 

Don’t forget to get business cards printed. Every time you hand one out to a prospective client or customer, you’re advertising your small business

Professional and Community Opportunities for Small Businesses

Every professional or business organization offers exclusive advertising opportunities for their members, ranging from free promotion on the organization’s website through special section newspaper advertising. And being a member can be good small business advertising in itself.

Don’t forget trade shows as a means of getting the word out. The main reason to participate in trade shows is to be seen and get known.

While participating in big trade shows can be quite expensive, there are a lot of smaller opportunities that may work well for your business, from trade shows put on by local business associations through trade shows focused on particular industries. 

Joining forces with other businesses can greatly increase your advertising power and your marketing reach. And visible, tangible involvement with your community is more than good public relations; it’s also very effective small business advertising. So choose a charitable event or community association to get involved with and let yourself be seen as a business that cares.