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Tips and Tricks To Design Best Advertising Campaign For Small Business

Advertising is crucial for small businesses to gain brand awareness, attract new customers, and increase sales. However, with limited budgets and resources, it can be challenging for entrepreneurs to design effective marketing campaigns. 

This blog provides strategic tips and best practices for small businesses to create high-impact advertising.

We will explore how to understand the target audience thoroughly, set clear objectives, choose suitable platforms, craft compelling content, manage costs, optimise performance, encourage word-of-mouth, and build long-term relationships. 

Read on to learn how to design the best advertising campaign for small business.

8 tips & tricks to design best advertising campaign for small businesses

1). Understand your audience

The first step is to gain deep insights into your target customers. Conduct thorough market research using tools like surveys, analytics, and social listening. 

Ask questions to determine demographics like age, gender, and location. Uncover preferences regarding product features, price points, and communication channels. Identify pains customers want to be relieved and jobs they need to be done.

  • Product/service features (e.g. for a gym- classes, equipment, amenities)
  • Price sensitivity and willingness to pay more for value
  • Preferred communication channels (email, phone, social, mail)
  • Motivations, barriers and influencers in their purchase process
  • Satisfaction with your brand versus competitors

For example, a bakery conducted surveys at its store and online to learn that its customers were time-strapped parents. The research found customers valued convenient pre-packaged snacks for kids' lunches that were healthier and more affordable than store-bought options.

This informed the bakery's new grab-and-go product line and campaign promoting ease and nutrition.

You can also gather secondary research from industry reports and competitors' website analytics using tools like Alexa or SimilarWeb to benchmark your performance. 

2). Set clear campaign objectives

With a deep understanding of customers, define specific, measurable goals for the campaign. Well-defined objectives guide efforts and provide quantifiable targets to assess success.

Use the SMART framework to establish objectives that are:

  • Specific- Define the specific result you want to achieve clearly. For example, instead of "increasing sales", specify "generating 25 new customers".
  • Measurable- Determine concrete metrics you can track to evaluate achievements, like the number of website visits or leads generated.
  • Achievable- Set objectives within reason given your budget, resources and timeframe. Stretch goals but remain realistic.
  • Relevant- Objectives should directly relate to and support your business goals. Avoid tasks that don't impact core KPIs.
  • Time-Bound- Include deadlines to keep your campaign on track and prevent open-ended initiatives. For example, "attract 100 social media followers within 6 months".

Some other examples of SMART objectives could include:

  • Boost email list signups by 15% within 8 weeks
  • Generate 50 qualified sales leads within 3 months
  • Increase average order value by 10% over 6 months

With target audiences and goals defined, you can begin exploring suitable advertising channels to consider in the next section.

3). Choose the right advertising channels

Carefully select platforms aligned to your audience's characteristics and objectives uncovered in earlier research. Consider reach, engagement rates, costs and alignment to goals when evaluating options.

Common small business advertising channels include:

  • Paid Search: Ads on search engines like Google can attract customers actively seeking your products/services. Monitor keywords, bids and landing pages to optimise ROI.
  • Social Media: Platforms like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn allow targeting by demographics. Create engaging organic content while testing different paid ad formats.
  • Email Marketing: Leverage your email list with promotional campaigns. Nurture subscribers with educational content to build trust over time.
  • Content Marketing: Curate blog articles, videos, and infographics to educate customers and rank higher organically in search. Cross-promote on social channels.
  • Print: Newspapers, magazines and direct mail can reach local audiences if budgets allow. Consider hyper-local publications read by your ideal customers.
  • Out of Home: Transit ads on buses/trains or billboards near your business provide high visibility but typically involve longer campaigns for significant exposure.
  • Influencers: Partnering with bloggers and social media influencers can gain trust and exposure among niche audiences. Provide incentives for endorsements.

For example, if targeting millennials on a budget, Instagram influencer campaigns may work well, while Gen X homeowners might respond best to direct mail promotions.

With research, goals, and channels in place, focus on crafting compelling advertising creatives in the next step. Remember- half the battle is getting noticed; the other half is persuading!

4). Craft compelling ad content

Now that you've identified goals and targeted channels develop messaging resonating deeply with customers.

  • Catch readers' attention with attention-grabbing headlines and visuals upfront. Cut to the core benefit of solving customers' main problem or fulfilling their most important need quickly in the first few lines of text. Focus on benefits over features. 

For example, a gym promoting group exercise classes may say, "Find your fitness tribe" versus "Zumba, spin and yoga classes weekly".

  • Include social proof and credibility signals like customer testimonials and reviews featuring your brand. 
  • Add a clear call-to-action near the end, prompting the specific next step, whether it's clicking to learn more or calling now. Like "Call now for a free estimate" or "Learn more at our website", make the desired response clear and easy.

A landscaping company ad showed before and after yard shots with a bold headline, "We Transform Neglected Yards." It stated how they create lush, low-maintenance landscapes, homeowners love in just a few sentences. Testimonials from happy clients and a "Get a Free Quote" button at the bottom converted well.

With research, goals, channels, and creativity mastered, consider budgeting strategies next to bolster your efforts. Proper funding is key to achieving target costs effectively.

5). Budgeting and cost management

Most experts recommend allocating 3-10% of annual revenue towards marketing and advertising. Evaluate your goals and prioritise channels to determine a realistic budget that aligns.

  • Estimate costs for each channel based on metrics like cost-per-click on search or cost-per-thousand-impressions on social media. Factors in design, implementation, and ongoing optimisation expenses are also important.
  • Leverage low-cost options as much as possible initially, like posting engaging organic content across channels. As it gains traction, reinvest those followers into paid promotions.
  • Partner with local influencers promoting to niche audiences. Optimise landing pages, emails, and on-site experiences to boost conversion rates. Negotiate volume-based discounts by committing to longer campaigns if offered. 

For example, a restaurant found partnering with a popular food blogger reviewing local eateries brought in many new customers at no ad cost. Adding clickable menu images and an online reservation form to the blogger's positive write-up increased bookings.

Track key metrics daily and adjust budget/channels that underdeliver to optimise costs. With testing and optimisation, you can achieve objectives cost-efficiently.

6). Monitor and optimise campaign performance

Once your campaign launches, continuously measure metrics to identify highs and lows, keeping efforts on track. Install tracking pixels and use analytics tools available across channels.

Key metrics to monitor include:

  • Impressions- number of ad exposures
  • Clicks- clicks on your ad
  • Click-Through-Rate (CTR)- clicks/impressions
  • Cost-per-Click (CPC)
  • Leads/conversions- website form submissions, calls, sales
  • Conversion Rate- conversions/total interactions
  • Cost-per-Acquisition (CPA)- cost to generate a conversion
  • Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)- revenue from conversions/ad costs
  • Set benchmarks and track daily fluctuations against objectives. A/B test different ad creatives, headlines, and calls to action. Reallocate spending toward higher-performing channels and away from those underdelivering.

A tutoring centre's initial Facebook ads drove lots of clicks but few enrollments. Testing alternate wording focused more on academic results than low prices doubled application conversions.

  • Niche targeting also helps. A florist found promoting Valentine's Day bouquets to "new moms" versus "women" halved CPA while boosting average order value. Refine targeting as you learn.
  • Monitor qualitative comments, too. Address any issues mentioned to improve the customer experience. Positive feedback also provides social proof for others.

With tracking, you gain constant insights for optimising ongoing efforts until objectives are achieved. 

Now explore leveraging satisfied customers as advocates.

7). Leverage word-of-mouth and referrals

Satisfied customers are your best advocates. 

  • Send thank you emails after purchase and solicit positive online reviews. 
  • Offer referral rewards for each new client referred by existing customers. 
  • Create shareable social media posts customers want to engage with and spread. 
  • Send a monthly email newsletter highlighting recent projects to keep your business top-of-mind.
  • Include customer testimonials to fuel more positive word-of-mouth marketing.

8). Building long-term customer relationships

Don't lose touch with customers post-sale. 

  • Send appreciation emails on anniversaries of their first visit. Offer exclusive perks to them.
  • Nurture leads who inquired but haven't converted yet with educational content marketing. 

A gym featured fitness tips and healthy recipes in their newsletter, building trust until subscribers signed up.

  • For high-value clients, provide priority service and personalised attention

A financial advisor handwrote thank you cards after annual reviews and remembered family details, strengthening lifelong bonds.

  • Conduct occasional surveys to gather feedback for continuous improvements. 
  • Address any issues promptly to maintain strong relationships. 

Over-delivering on the customer experience is key for advocacy and referrals in the long term.


Small businesses can effectively promote their brands and achieve marketing goals by taking a strategic, data-driven approach outlined here. Combining audience research, clear objectives, optimal channels, compelling messaging and ongoing testing with a healthy budget sets any campaign up for success. 

Nurturing word-of-mouth and loyal customers further grows the business through a positive reputation for years to come. Entrepreneurs who follow these tips and best practices will be well-equipped to design the best advertising campaign for small business.

Approach Dentsu M21 to grow your small businesses online! 

With their expertise in digital solutions, Dentsu M21 can build your brand's online presence through strategic digital advertising campaigns, Events, SEO, social media marketing, and more. 

Leverage Dentsu M21's insights into the local market and experience crafting impactful branding for diverse industries. Partner with their creative team to spread targeted messages, attract qualified customers, and digitally take your revenues to new heights.

Contact now!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1). What is the best advertising for small businesses?

The best advertising for small businesses typically includes social media marketing, email marketing, search engine optimisation, pay-per-click ads, and local events/sponsorships. These allow you to target customers cost-effectively.

2). How can I promote my small business?

To promote your small business, focus on building an online presence through your website and social profiles. Create engaging content and run ads to attract new customers. Also, explore offline methods like flyers, local newsletters, and community events.

3). How do I set up an advertising campaign for my small business?

To set up an advertising campaign, define your goals and audience, choose suitable channels, craft your message, determine a budget, implement ads, and track results. Adjust your strategy based on what performs best.

4). How do you create free ads?

You can create free ads by designing beautiful graphics and posting engaging organic content on social networks. Writing blog posts, releasing videos, and participating in local events are good low-cost promotion methods.

5). How much do Google Ads cost?

On average, cost-per-click ranges from ₹10 to ₹100 per click or even higher. However, pay-per-click ads on Google can be an effective way to get new customers if optimised correctly for a small business.