The Ten Best Ways to Advertise Your Business in 2020
For business owners, the ways that you can promote your business and attract attention have changed dramatically. During the years 2010-2020, some advertising methods have grown in popularity, while others have fallen.
By far, the most significant change has been in digital ad spending. EMarketer predicted that in 2019, the global digital ad spend is expected to rise to $333.25 billion. This is a great time to capitalize on the growing trends and to advertise your business.
As we move towards 2020, here are the ten most popular advertising platforms and how to use them to market your business.
How To Advertise Your Business in 2020
1) Pay Per Click (Search Ads)
Make no mistake; Google is an advertising machine. It may appear to be giving you helpful information and tools (Google Docs, Gmail, Calendars, etc.), but it’s providing all these cool things to make sure you see their ads. 85% of Google’s revenue comes from the Google Ads platform.
The growth in the popularity of Google ads over the past ten years has been staggering. In 2019, there were 160 billion+ monthly Google searches. Businesses make an average of $2 for every $1 they spend on Google ads.
One of the huge benefits of pay per click advertising is the fact that you only pay for what consumers click on. The ability to target and test specific markets and to run niche campaigns means that buyer interest is substantial.
Perhaps the only downside is the competition from other companies in the same industry. Due to the ease of access to Google Ads, most popular markets have several advertisers vying for the top spot.
Pros: Very easy to set up, spend only on clicks, good value for conversions
Cons: High competition can be expensive in some markets
2) Social Media Ads
Advertising is the financial engine that drives all social media. LinkedIn began offering paid advertisements as early as 2005, and Facebook launched ads in 2007. Instagram added ads to the platform in 2013, only three years after the app was launched.
The world has become used to the idea of seeing ads in their social media feed. Many people will skip past them, but they still see them, which leads to familiarity. With the invention of tools such as Facebook leads forms, the platform has increased the ways that advertisers can reach their market.
For those wanting to advertise on Facebook, the average cost per acquisition (CPA) on Facebook is reasonable. A 2018 study from Wordstream showed that the average CPA across all industries was $18.68 on Facebook (compared with $48.96 CPA on Google Ads.)
Pros: Lower cost than Google, a high volume of impressions
Cons: Less click through, lower engagement in some markets
3) Email Marketing
Fifteen years ago, when you received an email, you opened it. Today, the chances of opening all your emails have dropped. While the open rates for emails have dropped considerably in the past ten years, in 2019, the average open rate is steady at 22%.
Depending upon your market, sending emails to consumers can still be a viable option. Especially when included as part of a broader strategy, email campaigns can help to keep your products and services top of mind for your consumers.
Pros: Free or very low cost, simple setup, can grow reach over time
Cons: Lower engagement compared
4) Influencer Marketing
A reasonably new and somewhat untested model of advertising has grown from the increased popularity of micro-celebrities and influencers. Popular on both Instagram and Youtube, ‘influencers’ are people who have a large follower base (10,000 plus followers is a typical metric).
Influencer marketing can help to both grow your brand reach and offer sales incentives. According to a study by SproutSocial, the average price to use an influencer to promote a brand is $271 per post. For influencers with more than 100,000 followers, the average cost was $763 per post.
Pros: Can access niche markets and build brand trust quickly
Cons: Unpredictable sales revenue, harder to link conversions to campaigns
5) Podcast Ads
With the rise in popularity of podcasts during the past ten years, there are a lot of opportunities for advertisers to tap into an interested audience.
Podcast advertisers are often called ‘sponsors’ as they allow the podcasters to stay in business. As a trade-off for the sponsorship, there is typically an ad read (similar to the radio) that the podcast host delivers on each episode.
The considerable benefit of advertising on podcasts is that the audience has high trust with the person reading the promotion. Most listeners know that the podcaster will not advertise products or services that don’t suit their audience.
If you want to advertise on a podcast, typically, the going rate is $18-25 CPM (cost per thousand downloads). Some of the most popular podcasts can charge between $40-80 CPM and will often only advertise products that they use personally.
Pros: Captive audience, high trust, reasonable costs
Cons: Ads are skippable, and may take repeated campaigns for effectiveness
6) Location-Based Offers
Every business that wants to be found online should create a Google My Business page to help grow its visibility. The pages are free and allow local searchers to find a business near to them.
According to research from Think With Google, 75 percent of people who find local, helpful information in search results are more likely to visit the physical stores.
As well as offering information, Google now allows Offers to be added to your listing. Typically these are savings or incentives to encourage people to try your business.
If a person is already searching for a business like yours in their local area, a small coupon with an offer might be enough to get them to call or visit.
Pros: Very low competition in some markets, can encourage impulse buys
Cons: Lower visibility for some industries
7) Video Content & Advertising
Since Youtube launched in 2005, the platform has grown to become the world’s most popular video platform. In an average month, 80% of people aged 18-49 year-olds watch YouTube.
Not only does Youtube offer the chance to advertise on the platform, but the video format is also an excellent way to build trust with your audience. Businesses that use video as part of the advertising and content will gain higher engagement with their customers.
Video can be used to promote, educate, and keep a connection with existing customers. Best of all, the cost of video production has dropped considerably. For less than a few thousand dollars, a company can set up an in-house studio and begin creating high-quality videos.
Pros: Owner by Google, easy to begin advertising
Cons: Ads are skippable, harder to keep attention with an audience
8) Organic Web Traffic
Of course, everybody wants their website to be ranked at the top of Google. And with some effort and focus, there is still a significant opportunity to grow your visibility through organic reach.
Organic traffic to your site always comes down to the usefulness of your website. If you create a website that answers your potential customer’s questions and provides them the solutions to their problems, you will begin to attract attention. The more people that click onto your website, the better it will start to rank in Google. If you can gain backlinks from other websites, this will also help the site to increase rankings.
While gaining organic traffic is technically free, there is a lot of effort needed to make it grow. It can also take time, so it is important to be patient. Keep creating written and video content that you can share via social media, and over time the interest will grow.
Pros: Free advertising, high trust for interested prospects
Cons: Difficult to measure, takes time and effort to grow
9) Live Television & Radio
It may seem that because of the astronomical growth of digital marketing that the ‘old’ types of media such as Television or Radio arent worth advertising on. With the increase in streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, live television numbers are not as popular as they once were.
Many consumers still use these mediums and can be influenced by advertising. In fact, in the first quarter of 2019, 92% of adults listened to the radio at least once a week, and 92% of people aged 35-65 watched live TV at least once a week.
While it might seem expensive to advertise on television or the radio if you choose local chapters, the reach can be worthwhile. Depending upon your business, you can attract an engaged demographic who will then search for you online or via social media.
Pros: High reach in older demographics, strong engagement
Cons: Higher cost of entry depending on the reach
10) Print Media / Direct Mail
Similar to Television and Radio, the rise of web-based content has seen a drop in printed media. Yet there is still a great deal of opportunity in the printed media and direct mail channels.
A 2017 study by the American Press Institute showed that 58 percent of people describe themselves as primarily print-oriented, and 28 percent say they are mostly digital. In particular, Adults aged 65 and older who pay for news are five times more likely to buy print than digital.
When it comes to direct mail (advertisements sent to a mailbox), the USPS reports that 42.2% of direct mail recipients either read or scan the mail they get. Also, consumers are very likely to visit a website after discovering a product in a catalog.
Pros: Great for local business, can help build brand recognition over time
Cons: Difficult to track results directly, may need several campaigns to show results
With any advertising platform, the most important factor is tracking your rates of return. It’s great to increase visibility for your brand, but if the cost of advertising is not adding revenue to the company, it may not be worth the expense.
Think about your ideal customer and how they like to consume media. If there is a specific need that you can fulfill, and you tell potential customers it’s likely they will give you a try. But as with all aspects of running a successful business, be prepared to be patient, and to keep trying new methods for success in promoting your business.