Advertising is the most expensive exercise, where businesses invest a sizeable chunk of their marketing budget. There are so many factors to consider. Are you addressing the right audience? Is your ad effective enough? Will a campaign yield enough conversions? While big companies can keep spending on marketing, it is much harder for MSME (Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises) entrepreneurs to take such financial risks. The MSME entrepreneurs need to build a brand and grow their customer base but be judicious about marketing spends. For them identifying cost-efficient advertising methods and creating brand awareness is a challenging task.
One way to ensure the success of MSME advertising is to go digital. With more internet users, it is easier and faster to reach a large number of people through digital platforms. It is faster, better, and more cost-effective. Within the online environment, there are a few easily affordable options, perfect for MSME advertising.
1. Google Search Ads
Being the most popular and widely used search engine, search ads are synonymous with Google ads. Search Ads, also called Search Engine Marketing (SEM), appear in the Google search results and by using the right SEM tactics, your Ad can yield better results. Search ads work on a Per Per Click basis, so you pay only when a viewer clicks on it. Google Search Ads uses an auction model that tells you whether your Ad will show and at what position on the search engine results page (SERP).
(Source: Google Search)
With Google Search Ads, you can
- target a particular geography
- reach customers who are most likely to buy your products or services
- tap many customers with the same product, using different keywords
2. Mobile Advertising
Mobile advertising is one of the fast-growing advertising channels, with more users now available on smartphones and tablets. Just like the web, mobile advertising also includes Display Ads, Native Ads, Programmatic Ads Search Ads, Mobile-only Social Ads, Video Ads, and App Ads displayed within many apps consumers download for gaming, news, music, learning, health, lifestyle etc. It is faster to reach your audience and has a higher chance of generating instant purchase decisions. This works great for small and medium businesses, where you will find a vast population of users shopping online through their smart devices.
3. Display Ads
These come as visual banners on various websites that allow advertising. They are a lot like paid search ads, but instead of appearing on the search engine results pages, the Ad platforms display them on other websites that your customers are most likely to visit. They come with a copy, images, graphics, or videos, and a call to action, linking to your business landing pages. Because they are visually appealing, it is easier to attract your audience.
Display ads help you to
- advertise to website visitors by remarketing them and engaging them with your brand.
- introduce brand creativity through visuals, so your audience can get an idea about your brand personality.
With display ads, you can manage your advertising costs by choosing a price you want to pay for the exercise. There are options of Cost per click (CPC), Cost per thousand impressions (CPM), or Cost per acquisition (CPA).
4. Online Classified Ads
This is the most affordable way to advertise online for B2B businesses. Online classified ads are like the traditional newspaper classifieds, available now in a digital form. There is no marketing resource required and you can easily place an ad on a classified site. Some sites even let you post for free. Just choose your business category, product type, pricing, and other relevant details. Classified advertising online is like marketing within a community of other small and medium enterprises. It helps you connect with many customers without complex marketing strategies or costs. The choice of a robust B2B marketplace where you can place your ads is key to the success of such ads.
5. Social Ads
Social media is the best place to connect with potential customers. You can be selective about the people you want to target. Every social media platform allows you custom targeting, narrowing down to demographics, locale, interests, and online behavior. For instance, you can target business owners within a certain radius of the geographical location of your business store. Depending on which platform your audience is most present, you can customize your campaign strategy. But social media ads tend to be less relevant for MSMEs compared to advertising on B2B marketplaces.
Advertising is essential, but one has to be judicious with how much they can and should spend, especially MSMEs. Investing smart in advertising can yield great returns on your investment, generate valuable conversions, and make for an efficient marketing strategy!