Online Advertising for Small Businesses: How to Get Started

Online advertising for small businesses can sound overwhelming. Every business is unique, and there are multiple ad platforms to choose from, such as:

No matter how complex digital advertising might sound to newcomers, the reason for employing it should be to make more money than you spend.

But what about increasing your exposure and growing a fanbase? These are both important goals as well. As a business owner, the primary reason for doing so is to attract customers and build brand loyalty so that you can generate revenue.

When should you make the investment into ads?

If you answer “yes,” to any of the following questions, now is the time to jump into digital advertising.

  • Will your product or service make a great gift for upcoming holidays?
  • Are you running a special promotion, sale, or releasing a brand new product or service that people should be aware of?
  • Do you want to reach specific audiences and track your results in real time?
  • Do you have an event coming up that you want people to know about or attend?

Where should you advertise?

First, invest time into learning about online advertising for small businesses. By getting a grasp on any best practices and the various opportunities that advertising platforms offer, you’ll be positioned to make smarter budgeting decisions and create more effective ads.

Once you select a platform to advertise on, you’ll discover that each one provides guidance on how to take advantage of its services. These companies want you to be successful so that you’ll continue to use them. Therefore, they provide helpful information to get your campaign off the ground.

Second, start small. Don’t take a big financial risk on your first advertising campaign. With most ad platforms, you can spend as little as $5 per day to test the waters. Monitor your campaign’s results using the platform’s analytics dashboard, experiment with your images, text, and headlines as necessary, and increase your budget if your ads are generating the desired results.

How much should you spend?

As you become more comfortable with digital advertising, you’ll want to determine how much of your budget should be allocated towards these efforts. Inc. offers a comprehensive guide to help you answer that question, including useful budgeting formulas from the Small Business Association.

Get your money’s worth

Now that you know the why, when, and how of online advertising for small businesses, it’s time to start planning your first campaign. Remember, you don’t always need to spend money to make money. Here are a few ways that you can use your website to make money.

Let our experts build your custom website.

Whether you need a landing page or a full ecommerce site, an online learning academy or an interactive informational site for your business, we can build it for you.

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Aaron von Frank

Cofounder and CEO at, a USDA certified organic heirloom garden seed subscription service. Writer at, Edible Upcountry Magazine, and other media outlets.

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