4 of the newest ways to market your small business online

The change in the world of online advertising over the last few years has been quick and dramatic. As recently as 2010, there only existed a handful of ways in which you could advertise your business on the internet and those were pretty much restricted to pay-per-click or display ads.

Not anymore. With ever-evolving technology and greater connectivity through smartphones and tablets, the range of advertising options has exploded and they've become more customizable, more trackable and offer far greater value for money.

If you haven't fully embraced online advertising yet, then what are you waiting for? Here are four of the newest ways to market your small business online.

SMS and MMS advertising

You're probably thinking that the advent of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger has or is going to kill off text (SMS) and picture (MMS) messaging. You might have a point as the stats suggest that SMS and MMS use is falling, with ‘only' 1,661 billion texts sent in the United States in 2016. Yet it is precisely this reduction in numbers that makes SMS and MMS marketing all the more appealing. We receive so many emails a day that it is easy to simply ignore many of them but when it comes to receiving a text message, it's a different story. Such is the rarity of getting an SMS, we'll check it out to see who it is from, and if someone is checking out the advertisement you've text them, that means they're being exposed to your company and product.

Google Ads

Since Google launched Adwords Express, it's been even easier for small businesses to budget for PPC advertising. Simply set aside how much you are willing to pay and once your advert has hit the relevant numbers of clicks, call an end to the campaign. The ever more sophisticated Click Fraud Detection software that Google use makes it harder for advert hosts to cheat the system as well, meaning you get value for money.

Native Advertising

Native advertising is where you pay to post an article on a relevant blog, website or social media feed. Say you run a chain of bars - you find a food and drink blog and approach them about publishing your post about the top 10 cocktails to drink this summer. At the end of the blog post, you mention that all these cocktails can be tried at your business, advertising what you do to potential customers to whom it might appeal.

QR Codes

QR codes can help bridge the gap between your customers offline and online behavior. They might be in your appliances store browsing for a new refrigerator. Slapping a QR code next to the product allows the customer to scan the code and find out more information about the product. Not only will it help them make a decision, but it will also allow you to monitor which appliances are attracting the most interest from on-foot customers and you can then make those popular products more prominent on your website and online offerings as well.