Yes! Absolutely 100% yes. For years we’ve all been saying that the internet is killing the highstreet and that the small to medium businesses don’t stand a chance against the corporate machines out there. Whether you’ve been saying it in the board room or over the washing line, it’s time to reconsider.
The tide has turned and the UK is looking locally, we want to shop at our local butchers, we want organic veg from our local greengrocer, we want our clothes from local boutiques and our records from independent local record shops!
It is now easier than ever for small, local businesses to advertise online and compete against the larger national brands. Advanced geographical targeting means that you can target just your local area and things like retargeting and behavioural targeting means that it’s worth it! You can use an intermediary company, like Yell or a sales warehouse, who buy huge amounts of inventory on the top sites and buy whatever you can afford. Then you can sit there smugly as your advert appears on the home page of MSN or AOL, right next to Marks and Spencer’s or eBay’s advert.
You do need to invest in banner advertising, it takes time and money but the results will be worthwhile. You need to plan your campaign carefully so you don’t waste your money and know what your end game is and when you know this and have planned your campaign well – go for it!
You must know who your target audience is and how best to reach them and you need to know your product and design your banner campaign accordingly. If you’re selling houses – there’s no point running a campaign for a month because people take longer than that to go from ‘thinking about buying a house’ to ‘researching opportunities’ to ‘buying’. If you’re a florist and want to do a bit of short term advertising in the line up to Valentines Day – that makes sense.
The real difference between large brands and small companies in this space, is that large brands employ people who specifically know all about the digital space and know what to do with the advertising, whereas small businesses need to take some time to figure out what they should be doing and how they should do it. My advice is always do your research first and speak to a professional.
Small businesses need to get online and start competing with the big fish – now’s the time to do it, so what are you waiting for?