15 Ways to Advertise and Promote Your Business in 2021
For business owners, the ways that you can promote your business and attract attention have changed dramatically in the past decade.
By far, the most significant change has been in digital ad spending. A research report by Zenith expects U.S. internet ad spending to increase 12.4 percent in 2020 to over $135 billion, which accounts for 53 percent of ad spending. This means more than half of all spending on advertising has now moved to online mediums.
And with COVID-19 and the current lockdowns, the world is much more focused online, and the ability to grab more online attention from your business has increased. Now is a great time to capitalize on the growing trends and to advertise your business. Content marketing, video marketing, and social media marketing can all be used as part of your business promotion.
In this article, we’ll look at the ten most popular advertising platforms and how to promote your business in 2021 and beyond.
How To Promote Your Business in 2021
1) Pay Per Click (Search Ads)
Make no mistake; Google is an advertising machine. It may appear to be giving you helpful information and tools (Google Docs, Gmail, Calendars, etc.), but it’s providing all these cool things to make sure you see their ads. 85% of Google’s revenue comes from the Google Ads platform.
The growth in the popularity of Google ads over the past ten years has been staggering. In 2019, there were 160 billion+ monthly Google searches. Businesses make an average of $2 for every $1 they spend on Google ads.
One of the huge benefits of pay per click advertising is the fact that you only pay for what consumers click on. Whether you are a larger or small business, you can tap into the power of the search engine for a small cost. The ability to target and test specific markets and to run niche campaigns means that buyer interest is substantial. It’s a great low cost marketing strategy and an effective way to attract prospective customers.
Perhaps the only downside is the competition from other companies in the same industry. Due to the ease of access to Google Ads, most popular markets have several advertisers vying for the top spot.
2) Social Media Ads
Advertising is the financial engine that drives all social media. LinkedIn began offering paid advertisements as early as 2005, and Facebook launched ads in 2007, Twitter added ads in 2010, and Instagram introduced ads to the platform in 2013.. Even TikTok has begin adding advertising to the hugely popular social platform.
The world has become used to the idea of seeing ads in their social media feed. Many people will skip past them, but they still see them, which leads to familiarity. With the invention of tools such as Facebook leads forms, the social media platform has increased the ways that advertisers can reach their market. Social media is great for both brand awareness and business promotion.
For those wanting to advertise on Facebook, the average cost per acquisition (CPA) on Facebook is reasonable. A 2018 study from Wordstream showed that the average CPA across all industries was $18.68 on Facebook (compared with $48.96 CPA on Google Ads.)
3) Email Marketing
Fifteen years ago, when you received an email, you opened it. Today, the chances of opening all your emails have dropped. While the open rates for emails have dropped considerably in the past ten years, in 2019, the average open rate is steady at 22%.
Depending upon your market, sending emails to consumers can still be a viable option. Especially when included as part of a broader strategy, email campaigns can help to keep your products and services top of mind for your consumers.
4) Press Releases
Every time your business does something newsworthy, it is very easy to send out a press release to your local and regional news outlets. PR is a powerful media tool to use to help generate publicity. Having free distribution through trusted news channels means more people see it and will be likely to engage wit. There are several websites that you can use for your press releases, such as PRLog and 24/7 Press Release.
5) Influencer Marketing
A reasonably new and somewhat untested model of advertising has grown from the increased popularity of micro-celebrities and influencers. Popular on both Instagram and Youtube, ‘influencers’ are people who have a large follower base (10,000 plus followers is a typical metric).
Influencer marketing can help to both grow your brand reach and offer sales incentives. According to a study by SproutSocial, the average price to use an influencer to promote a brand is $271 per post. For influencers with more than 100,000 followers, the average cost was $763 per post.
6) Podcast Ads
With the rise in popularity of podcasts during the past ten years, there are a lot of opportunities for advertisers to tap into an interested audience.
Podcast advertisers are often called ‘sponsors’ as they allow the podcasters to stay in business. As a trade-off for the sponsorship, there is typically an ad read (similar to the radio) that the podcast host delivers on each episode.
The considerable benefit of advertising on podcasts is that the audience has high trust with the person reading the promotion. Most listeners know that the podcaster will not advertise products or services that don’t suit their audience.
If you want to advertise on a podcast, typically, the going rate is $18-25 CPM (cost per thousand downloads). Some of the most popular podcasts can charge between $40-80 CPM and will often only advertise products that they use personally.
One of the easiest ways to grow your business leads is to ask those who you know for help. Contact friends, acquaintances, former employers, nonprofit organizations, schools and colleges, and even other businesses that have customers who may need your services. Explain to them know you are in business and ask if they can use your services, or if they can suggest people who need what you sell.
This might seem like an overly simplified approach, but many of the best business deals happen as a result of someone knowing somebody who needs your services.
8) Location-Based Offers
Every business that wants to be found online should create a Google My Business page to help grow its visibility. The pages are free and allow local searchers to find a business near to them.
According to research from Think With Google, 75 percent of people who find local, helpful information in search results are more likely to visit the physical stores.
As well as offering information, Google now allows Offers to be added to your listing. Typically these are savings or incentives to encourage people to try your business.
If a person is already searching for a business like yours in their local area, a small coupon with an offer might be enough to get them to call or visit.
9) Joint Ventures
Promoting your business is all about getting your offer in front of the right people. One of the easiest ways to do this is to find existing audiences that match your ideal market.
A great way to do this is to partner with non-competing businesses who are marketing to the same people as you are. Find services that could potentially add value to your customers, and that your services could also help their customers.
Joint ventures are a brilliant way of growing brand recognition and sales. You can leverage the trust and authority of your partnering company, and they can benefit from yours.
10) Video Content & Advertising
Since Youtube launched in 2005, the platform has grown to become the world’s most popular video platform. In an average month, 80% of people aged 18-49 year-olds watch YouTube.
Not only does Youtube offer the chance to advertise on the platform, but the video format is also an excellent way to build trust with your audience. Businesses that use video as part of the advertising and content will gain higher engagement with their customers. Having a Youtube channel and adding video marketing to your business can also help with search engine optimization.
Video can be used to promote, educate, and keep a connection with existing customers. You can also use video as an additional part of each blog post you write.
Best of all, the cost of video production has dropped considerably. For less than a few thousand dollars, a company can set up an in-house studio and begin creating high-quality videos.
11) Organic Web Traffic
Of course, everybody wants their website to be ranked at the top of Google. And with some effort and focus, there is still a significant opportunity to grow your visibility through organic reach.
Organic traffic to your site always comes down to the usefulness of your website. If you create a website that answers your potential customer’s questions and provides them the solutions to their problems, you will begin to attract attention. The more people that click onto your website, the better it will start to rank in Google. If you can gain backlinks from other websites, this will also help the site to increase rankings.
While gaining organic traffic is technically free, there is a lot of effort needed to make it grow. It can also take time, so it is important to be patient. Keep creating written and video content that you can share via social media, and over time the interest will grow.
12) Live Television & Radio
It may seem that because of the astronomical growth of digital marketing that the ‘old’ types of media such as Television or Radio arent worth advertising on. With the increase in streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, live television numbers are not as popular as they once were.
Many consumers still use these mediums and can be influenced by advertising. In fact, in the first quarter of 2019, 92% of adults listened to the radio at least once a week, and 92% of people aged 35-65 watched live TV at least once a week.
While it might seem expensive to advertise on television or the radio if you choose local chapters, the reach can be worthwhile. Depending upon your business, you can attract an engaged demographic who will then search for you online or via social media.
13) Speaking at Local Events
Industry conferences, volunteer organizations, libraries, and local business groups often need speakers for meetings. You’ll benefit from the name recognition, new contacts, and publicity you gain from being a speaker at these events.
While it can seem intimidating for you to speak in front of an audience, it is also one of the fastest ways to grow your network and build authority.
As a business owner, being seen in your local community is key to business promotion. Even though it doesn’t require technology, simple networking can be an effective marketing tactic. Potential clients might come from places you didn’t expect when you are part of the community.
14) Print Media / Direct Mail
Similar to Television and Radio, the rise of web-based content has seen a drop in printed media. Yet there is still a great deal of opportunity in the printed media and direct mail channels.
A 2017 study by the American Press Institute showed that 58 percent of people describe themselves as primarily print-oriented, and 28 percent say they are mostly digital. In particular, Adults aged 65 and older who pay for news are five times more likely to buy print than digital.
When it comes to direct mail (advertisements sent to a mailbox), the USPS reports that 42.2% of direct mail recipients either read or scan the mail they get. Also, consumers are very likely to visit a website after discovering a product in a catalog.
Pros: Great for local business, can help build brand recognition over time
Cons: Difficult to track results directly, may need several campaigns to show results
15) Online Webinars
By offering an introductory webinar or online workshop, you can attract your target audience and collect their contact information for future follow-up.
First, locate where your target audience hangs out online Then, you can run some simple ads to promote your events and get people to signup. Some people may not attend the live event, but may still watch through the recording afterward.
People you learn valuable ideas from your business are much more likely to become customers. Education can be an excellent way to introduce yourself to a new group of prospects.
Measure The Return On Investment
Keep in mind that if you are paying for advertising, you should be tracking your rates of return. It’s great to gain better visibility for your brand, but if the cost of advertising is not adding revenue to the company, it may not be worth it.
Think about your ideal customer and how they like to consume media. If there is a specific need that you can fulfill, and you tell potential customers it’s likely they will give you a try. But as with all aspects of running a successful business, be prepared to be patient, and to keep trying new methods for success in promoting your business.
These 15 strategies should offer you some ideas of how to promote your business. Every marketing effort you make should grow your brand awareness with your target audience.