Stone, Staffordshire, ST15 8JX
07884 789 840

Digital marketing ideas for small business owners

Marketing a small business online can be confusing sometimes. Where do you start? Should you concentrate on Facebook? Go balls out with a google adwords PPC campaign? Advertise on stumbleupon? What?! I hear you cry. The real issue is not which marketing route to take (you will almost certainly want to use more than one – if only for comparison) but asking this question:

Where are my potential customers?

So, let’s go through a few options bearing in mind that important question. So, here are some digital marketing ideas for small business owners:

marketing ideas for small businessGoogle Adwords

Google Adwords is the ubiquitous google ad network that appears on websites all over the Internet, from the New York Times to Joe Blow’s blog. And of course, more and more on google’s search engine results pages. Despite protestations that Google would never dilute the value of their search results with crass advertising, more and more ads are slowly appearing – to the extent that most highly commercial searches are now all advertising above the fold. We wrote an article recently about the impact on organic results the latest round of changes to adwords on search results will have had, but suffice it to say, advertising on the Adwords network just got  more expensive. search Engine Land has a list of cost per acquisition by industry here.

That is not to say you shouldn’t use Adwords – you should. Properly targeted Adwords campaigns can still be very cost effective. The great thing about the Internet in general is that everyone is on it! Which means of course, that your customers are on it. But if you are a plumber in Essex, it hardly needs to be mentioned that you do not want your ads shown to an Internet searcher in Outer Mongolia. Ads can be targeted by a number of criteria:

  • Keyword targeting: Choose words or phrases relevant to your product or service so your ads appear when customers use those terms to search on Google or search partner sites. By creating a highly relevant keyword list, you increase your chances to show your ads to the most interested customers.
  • Location and language targeting: Choose the language and geographic locations — such as a country, region or city — where your customers are located. After you set these targeting options, AdWords determines who to show your ads to based on several factors: the Google domain people use (like or, their search term, their computer’s IP address (which can estimate its geographical location), their language preference set for Google, and the languages of sites they visited in the past.
  • Device targeting: Show your ads to the right people across all devices, based on their specific location, time of day, and device type.
  • Audience targeting: Show your ads to people who have previously visited your site by using remarketing lists for search ads(RLSA).

Pop over to google’s support site for more information.

Adwords is a “Pay per click” service, so you only pay when people click through to your website or landing page and Google is currently offering £75 of free advertising when you spend £25 if you are a new customer. If you join up through their regular page there is no mention of this, so use this link – £75 free advertising. It is important to carefully craft a decent landing page and target your ads as closely as possible to your target customers and make sure the wording in your ads are closely allied to the offers on your landing page. You can either run the campaign yourself or use someone with experience such as ourselves to run the campaign for you. There are also a number of pieces of software on the market such as wordstream, but these are an expensive option and not practical unless your monthly spend is into the thousands of pounds region.


Facebook is not dissimilar to google in that everyone is on it! Which is of course, not strictly true. If your customer base is of a certain demographic, i.e. 18-24 years old and female, then Facebook is definitely the place for you, but only 6% of facebook users are males over 65 so – go back to the original question.

facebook demographics.

Facebook is pretty open about their user base’ demographics, and – to be fair 6% of 1.5 billion is still a lot of people. You can learn more about the facebook audience here. Like Adwords, facebook offers pay per click pricing, but you can also opt for cost per impressions. The latter is probably not a great idea unless you are a large brand looking for brand awareness rather than a small business looking for direct customer conversions.


instagram advertising for small businessInstagram is now owned by facebook and although their audience is smaller, they still boast a user base of over 400 million people, so – once again depending on what your answer to the big question is, and also what your product or service is, it may well be worth advertising on Instagram. Another thing to take into account os the device type your customer base may be using. Instagram is certainly mobile heavy, but if your audience is likely to be using an iPhone check them out here – Instagram advertising.

As well as thinking about where your customers are likely to be “hanging out,” on the ‘net, also consider whether or not your business is a highly visual one such as foods and fashion. If you make and sell industrial cleansers, Instagram may not suit your style…..

Chaotic marketing will help you decide which direction to go and if you wish, implement a full campaign for you. Check out our PPC services page for more information.

Leave a reply