The Complete Guide to Promoting Your Small Business Via Online Ads in 2019


Especially when it comes to owning a new business, it can be hard to find successful ways to reach out to the right customers or clients. Before you even give your business a chance, you may already be doubtful that your venture will ever be profitable.

Not surprisingly, 82% of small businesses fail due to cash flow problems, according to Score. Often, these businesses are not as successful as they could have been because they never had the right online marketing set in place. In turn, they never had enough money coming in to support both the foundation of their business and themselves.

Fortunately, there are ways you can promote your small business to build a loyal customer base. To date, one of the best routes to boosting your business’s sales in the 21st century is to advertise via online ads.

If you’re tired of struggling to find customers to support your small business and are ready to give online advertising a go, consider the following:

  1. Figure out your target audience.

Deciding who it is you want to target when you advertise online is important. After all, your target audience is what your online ads will revolve around. After starting a small business, who your target audience is may not be obvious at first, and that is okay.

If you have a pre-existing business, however, you may already know who your target audience is based on gender, age, location, interests, occupation, socioeconomic class, or even ethnicity.

If you have yet to find your target audience, conducting research online or using your best judgment to decide will be important to ensure you’re not wasting precious money gearing towards the wrong group of people.

You may also choose to create a lookalike audience based on people who have liked or interacted with your social media page or visited your website if those audiences have already been established.

2.Pick the most appropriate platform to advertise on.

The online platform you choose to advertise your small business on is partially determined by the relation of the demographics of users who utilize that platform to the demographics of your business.

According to Pew Research Center, over half of Americans use Facebook and YouTube. However, young adults are particularly gravitated towards Snapchat and Twitter. As for Pinterest, mostly females use this platform.

For example, if you wanted to advertise towards older adults, Snapchat wouldn’t be the most applicable advertising platform for you. Likewise, wanting to target mostly males, Pinterest may not be the most successful social media website to advertise on as male users would be limited.

Although you can set your desired audience when you create online advertisements or boost posts on these platforms, you’re still going to want to pick the platform(s) that feature the largest audience pertaining to your small business’s demographics.

For those who want to target a more variant audience, Facebook or Google Ads (search engine marketing) might be the best route for online advertising.

3.Decide what campaign would be the most appropriate.

Not all platforms may give you the option to select a certain type of advertising campaign. However, when you are given the option to choose a campaign, it must always be applicable to the goal of your advertisement whether it be to get someone to sign up for your newsletter, ‘like’ your social media page, or purchase from your e-store.

On Facebook Ads, for example, some of the advertising campaign options you have include traffic, lead generation, post engagements, and page likes. These campaigns will vary on other platforms whether it be Pinterest Ads, Google Ads, and so on.

If you want people to fill out a form of some sort, a lead generation campaign would be appropriate. If you want people to interact with a post on your social media page in terms of clicking on it, ‘liking’ it, and/or commenting on it, a post engagements campaign would make the most sense.

The campaign you choose depends greatly on your call-to-action or objective, or in other words, what you want people seeing your ad to do in response. You can run multiple campaigns if you are unsure which type of campaign would be the most suitable for your goal or if you have multiple goals.

4.Keep your ads’ text short and sweet.

As much as you want to be as thorough and informative as possible, lengthy copy on online ads is not attractive. Not only are people coming across your advertisement going to refrain from reading everything you have to say, but the key components of your ad will be missed (e.g., your call to action).

When it comes to online advertising, less is definitely more. Your advertisement should do exactly what it is designed to do: promote your small business in as few words, sentences, or phrases as possible, not to provide a long novel. Use line breaks or bullet points if you have to.

5.Use your best photos or videos.

Keep in mind that not all social media campaigns utilize or must utilize photos or videos. However, when you are given the option to add a photo, carousel of photos, or a video to your online advertisement, always choose the ones that are high quality. If you can, go for professional photos, whether your own or ones you’ve paid for from others.

When deciding what photo or video to use for your advertisement, it’s a good idea to quickly glance over all of your options. Whichever one stands out to you the most based on glance alone, that one might be the best to use as it will surely catch the eyes of others too.

6.Test multiple ads against one another.

If you only plan on running one advertisement, how can you expect to get the most success out of your ads? Although you might think you have a good advertisement, you might find that it isn’t as successful in reeling in conversions as you believed it would.

That said, it’s vital to test multiple ads against one another, at least two per campaign. If you’re using Google Ads, create multiple ads per keyword. The ads you’re testing against one another might have the same photo(s) or video but different text, or vice versa. Or, you can make them completely different.

It’s important to note that sometimes a specific advertisement will do better in one campaign or goal than another. Feel free to have the same ad in multiple campaigns, or if you’re using Google Ads, to use the same advertisements for different keywords.

7.Regularly monitor your ads.

Creating ads online is the easy part. Having to regularly monitor them and their success, however, is the part that many find unexciting. However, it can be interesting seeing the statistics of how your ads are performing in terms of how many people your ads have reached, how many clicks and conversions you’ve earned, and the like.

When monitoring your ads, pay attention to the cost per click (CPC) or cost per result (CPR). The average cost per click/result on many platforms is $1 to $2, but it is absolutely possible to get it lower depending on the quality of your ads, the strength of your target audience, and what type of campaign you’re running.

8.Edit or replace any advertisements that are not performing well.

Another necessary part of online advertising you may not like is regularly editing or replacing your online advertisements and/or keywords (if you’re using Google Ads) that are getting too expensive or generally aren’t performing too well. You may also have to adjust your target audience if you find that the results aren’t all that great.

Often, the ads you thought would do very well might just do “okay” or even terrible while the ads you believed were destined to fail might really take off. That said, never presume that editing or replacing your ads will be unnecessary. Even professional online advertisers have to create fresh ads. It’s a continuous learning process.

9.Pay a professional to advertise on your behalf.

Early on in business, it is especially critical to have online ads active at all times to consistently reach out to prospective customers. While creating ads and boosting social media posts can be easy once you figure it out, monitoring your ads and making adjustments to them, however, can sometimes be time-consuming.

Opting for SEM services, you don’t have to worry about remembering to check and update your online ads. Leaving your ads to the professionals can also ensure you’re getting the best quality ads as possible to quickly bring your business the success it deserves.


Thanks to the ease of online advertising, reaching out to prospective customers or clients is easier than ever before. Although running ads online is not free, it is truly one of the best and most successful ways to promote your small business and potentially turn it into something profitable.

From figuring out what your business’s target audience is to regularly monitoring the advertisements you’re running, there’s a certain way of ensuring your online marketing is successful for you. If worse comes to worst, hiring an SEM company to create and monitor ads for your small business can be a great way to boost those sales of yours.