3 Online Marketing Channels Your Local Business Competitors Aren’t Using

As a small business targeting local customers, you may be guilty of dismissing some online marketing channels. Well, dismiss yee not fair business marketer. There’s never been a better time to try alternative avenues for marketing your small business, particularly online. That’s right, I’m suggesting you try going a bit alternative with your marketing, hippy it up, try some stuff that other’s aren’t.

Advertising where others aren’t means there’s less noise, less competition and often, lower costs.

Here are three places to consider as part of your small business online marketing strategy:

Facebook Ads

If you’re still in denial about Facebook, get over it. With over 800 million active users worldwide, about 9 million in Australia, Facebook can be an affective advertising medium for small business – and one that your competition may not have embraced. The awesome thing about Facebook Ads is that you can do very specific demographic and geographic targeting, showing your ads to a specific target audience.

Take the following example I used in a recent Podcast episode.

Let’s say you’re a wedding photographer wanting to drum up more wedding gigs in your local area. You can create an ad on Facebook that will only be displayed to Women aged 25-35, engaged to be married, within 50 miles of your capital city. How’s that for nailing your target audience!?

Here’s a video I put together that will show you how to discover if you target audience are using Facebook.

Yahoo/Bing Pay Per Click

Yes, there are other Pay Per Click advertising platforms appart from Google AdWords. Yahoo Search Marketing (YSM in Australia) or Microsoft Ad Centre for the U.S., can be a cost effective addition or alternative to Adwords. Why? Because less businesses are using it, which means there’s less competition, ipso facto, cheaper clicks.

One of the important aspects to keep in mind, and what many online marketers forget, is that most new Windows PC’s come installed with Internet Explorer 9. The default search engine for IE 9 is Bing and many of your average Windows user won’t bother to change the default search engine. Have a think about those kinds of people, do that fit into your target audience?

Globally, Bing currently has 12% of the search market, Yahoo 16.5% and Google 66%. While the skew toward Google is greater here in Australia, you should still keep in mind that you might be missing out on close to 1/3 of the search market by not advertising on Yahoo and Bing.

AdWords Display Network

Many small businesses aren’t fully leveraging the power of Google’s AdWords Display Network. Put simply, advertising on the display network lets you place banner and text ads on other people’s websites, those who have chosen to be part of the Google display network.

Google’s recent addition of Interest targeting is a very powerful way to target people based on the types of websites they’ve been visiting. Combine interest targeting with local geographic targeting and you’ve got yourself a lazer targeted advertising campaign that won’t cost you the earth. Well worth engaging an AdWords professional to help you set this up.

In summary, if you’re really trying to squeeze the most out of your small business marketing budget, try advertising where other’s aren’t – keep your eyes open and you might find find channels that are less crowded.