Is Free Online Advertising Effective for Small Businesses that are Just Starting Out?

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Answered by: January, An Expert in the Small Business Marketing Category
Strategic marketing is an important aspect for all small businesses. Small businesses that are just starting out need to obtain a customer base by word of mouth and effective advertising. Print advertising is important, but free online advertising can widen the market area without putting a dent in the bottom-line.

Small businesses can greatly benefit from advertising online. Online advertising has the potential to reach millions of potential customers. The key to effective marketing is all in the presentation.

As the owner of a small business, you need to consider the following questions:

-Who is your target market?

-Do you want to keep your sales local?

-Are you willing to ship your product out of the country?

-If you have a service company, how far are you willing to travel?

-Can you meet the demand of a large customer base?

-Are you focused on obtaining one-time customers, or would you like to create an ongoing client relationship?

-Will your advertisement require images to effectively convey the product or service your small business specializes in?

Write down the answers to the above questions before you begin planning your marketing strategy. Use realistic expectations if you are just starting out. You don't want to make promises that you can't follow through on. A large part of succeeding in a small business is the ability to meet customer expectations.

The next step in your plan is to find the marketing sites that best suit your businesses needs. There are plenty of free online advertising sites. You need to be very particular in choosing the sites that will work best for you. You will want to look for sites that feature reputable companies and the ability for customers to leave feedback. It is important that the site allow outgoing links. You need to be able to link to your companies website when posting your advertisement. Incoming links from reputable sites are a very good thing in web-vertising.

If you need to upload images to show the quality of your product or service, make sure the advertising site has this capability.

When designing your ad, use an easily recognized font. Some studies show that 12 pt. Arial is easier for consumers to read than other common fonts. Make your ad clear and concise. Enlist the help of a friend that is familiar with graphic design to make your business stand out above the rest. Use keywords that relate to your industry, but don't overdo it. Keyword "stuffing" will turn readers away from your ad. No one likes to try to decipher online materials that are crammed full of keywords. Link back to content that will engage the reader.

Free online advertising can be extremely effective for small businesses. Turn those potential buyers into customers by using a marketing strategy that screams success. Keep the customers coming back for more by providing the very best in client service and quality products. Best of luck in all your business ventures (but, remember, you don't need luck if you use exceptional skills)!

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