It’s 2018, a brand new year! Most businesses are taking some time to reflect on 2017’s successes and failures, and how to improve in this new year. Part of those plans should include advertising.

It has never been more important than now to begin advertising your business. I’ve heard from many different industries, and they all tell me the same things. Markets are too competitive, we don’t have enough budget to run ads, etc. etc.

To quote Bruce Barton, “In good times people want to advertise; in bad times they have to.” To put it more plainly, you aren’t doing your business any favors if you aren’t putting aside a budget for advertising.

I’ll step off my soapbox, but you get the point. Now that I’ve said that, I’d like to emphasize the importance of thinking digital first.

Reasons why:

  1. No matter your industry, ALL of your clients are online. We are living in the age of technology, where most everyone in the world accesses the internet hundreds of times a day using their phone. I don’t care if you own a funeral home, people will still Google “funeral homes in Reno” when they need to. Don’t you want to be the first listing rather than on the third page of Google? There’s an ad for that. (Too morbid an example? Sorry!)
  2. Easy to set upmonitor and manage. Websites like Google, Yelp and Facebook understand that most business listings aren’t run by a marketer like myself. They’re run by normal people like you (marketers are highly abnormal, trust me I’ve been to lots of mixers). Because of that, these companies have made it easy to run an ad with a few clicks of a button. Platforms like Google even have a series of tutorials on Google AdWords where you can learn how to run ads, and even get certified!
  3. Affordability. Digital advertising, for the most part, is more affordable for small businesses than traditional methods. If you’re a small operation, every dollar counts, right? Take Facebook for example. You can boost a post for just $5 and reach a few hundred people.
  4. Advanced targeting. Do you own a pet store, and are trying to target people who like your page, and live in a certain zip code? Easy peasy. Platforms like Facebook and Google let you target folks based on many factors such as age, location, interests and recent activity. You can get down in the weeds enough to where it gets downright creepy (I’m looking at you, Amazon).

These are just a few reasons why you should consider digital advertising this year. Give it some thought, do some research on your own. Start somewhere! Cheers and good luck!

This article originally appeared in the RGJ, and on NCET Biz Tips.

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