Staying Competitive Against Big Businesses: Best Practices for Advertising Your Small Business

Small business owners find it difficult to compete with large corporations.

To stay competitive, you need a good marketing plan, digital platforms, leverage marketing software, and advertising campaigns to reach new customers. Then to keep your growing consumer base happy, you should consider integrating AI to elevate your customer experience. 

Larger businesses, on the other hand, have advantages like bigger budgets, greater reach, a larger market share, and more.

Keep reading to learn some of the best methods and tips for making your small business competitive through effective advertising. Traditional marketing methods like direct mail letters are no longer the way to advertise a small business, especially when you consider the expected ROI can be as low as 0.5%.

Instead, you need to look to the new frontiers of marketing, like SEO website design and paid search advertisements, to give your business the best chance of success when competing with larger businesses and their bigger budgets. 

Effective Ways to Advertise Your Small Business

There are a variety of ways to advertise your small business. Different forms of advertising can have varying outcomes for a business depending on a number of factors, like the industry you operate in, your advertising budget, and your expected ROI.

Here are some of the most effective and popular methods for advertising your small business:

1. Paid search marketing

Paid search marketing is used to promote websites in the sponsored results section of search engines by paying for ad clicks (pay per click) or CPM (cost per impression), or phone calls (pay per call).

Pay-per-click is the most common choice for ads of this nature, especially for small businesses.

Specialized advertising campaigns and ad formats, such as Bing Ads, Google Product Listing Ads, and Google Ads, will get you to the top position on search engine results pages for your business.

The key advantage of using pay-per-click ads on Google is the time that you can save. PPC allows you to quickly rank for certain search results for a fee, as opposed to trying to rank ‘organically,’ which can take months.

As a result, most people will be unaware that when they click on your website, they are actually engaging with an ad that you paid for.

2. Website

Small businesses must have a website to keep up with their bigger competitors. Your website should be user-friendly and give potential clients all the information they need about your products and services.

Your website should also include the following:

  • Heat map: Mouseflow offers a heat map tool that allows you to see how visitors to your website interact with it. This allows you to see what pages people visit and how long they spend on each page.
  • Chat software: Tawkto is a great chat software system that allows your customers to message your business about queries and concerns. You can even set up a customer help center to streamline your customer services.
  • Google cloud hosting: offers reliable and dynamic website hosting ideal for small businesses. Cloud hosting is also cheaper than hosting it on your own servers, which are expensive to buy, maintain and protect. 
  • Content delivery network (CDN):  a CDN is a series of connected servers that store or cache data on your web pages while it is loading. This allows your website to have high-resolution images, videos, and large files without slowing down, this optimizes your website's performance and also boosts cyber-security. 
  • Call-to-action: a sentence or two that urges the reader to do something, like buy a product, sign up for your newsletter, hire you for a job, book a consultation, etc. 

Additional contact details should also be included, especially an email address or phone number.

It's also critical to optimize your website with SEO content, which will allow it to appear in more SERPs and allow you to advertise your company's services to thousands of customers at a low cost. To effectively perform well in SEO you need to create a blog aimed at your target audience. 

3. Paid social media advertising

Paid social media advertising allows you to target specific audiences and demographics and can be a cost-effective method of rapidly reaching a huge number of individuals.

When advertising on different digital media platforms, it's important to choose the right one for your target audience.

For example, if marketing to teenagers, prioritize TikTok over Facebook. Or, when advertising to professionals, choose LinkedIn.

Also, keep in mind which content format to use, such as text, video, or photography.

4. Local listings

Local listings are a powerful tool. It is important to optimize the content on your website for local searches.

Search engines try to put the best local businesses at the top of the list of results, so optimizing your business can allow you to rank higher when people search for services or products you offer in your area.

Additionally, local listings can help boost your visibility across multiple SERPs.

5. Referral promotions

Referral promotions are when customers are rewarded or given discounts for telling their friends and family about your business. Word-of-mouth advertising is incredibly effective.

People trust their friends, colleagues, and family, so when they hear positive reviews from a member of these groups, they are more likely to trust your business.

This can help you reach potential customers who didn't know about your business before and also make customers more loyal.

6. Email marketing

Email marketing entails delivering informational emails to possible buyers with regard to your offerings. This can connect you with a huge number of individuals quickly and effectively.

Statista reports that businesses can expect an ROI of 45 U.S. dollars for every ad dollar spent with effective email marketing.

Email marketing also lets you reach out to more potential clients by letting you target specific demographics and audiences.

Tips for Marketing Your Small Business Locally

Local marketing is a great way for small businesses to stay ahead of the competition and improve their business operations. Local marketing allows small businesses to appeal to clientele in their area. This allows them to provide services that are specifically tailored and marketed to locals, making their services more appealing than offers from large nationwide companies.

Also, many consumers want to support their local economy and businesses over large corporations, putting small businesses at an advantage, provided they utilize effective local marketing. 

Here are some tips for marketing your small business locally: 

1. Optimize your website for your local area

Localizing your website is crucial for reaching customers in your area. Create a Google Maps listing to start reaching more customers.

Make sure your website is optimized for local search users by using SEO, keywords, and content that are based on the location.

2. Participate in community events

You can promote your business and meet potential customers by going to local festivals, fairs, volunteer work, community celebrations, and other events. This will cultivate high brand awareness in your local area.

3. Partner with other small businesses

By building stronger local ties, partnering with other local businesses can help you reach more potential customers and raise brand awareness.

You can offer discounts or special deals to customers who use both of your services.

4. Create a local presence on social media

Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are key components for business goals. Leverage social media to create a local presence and engage with potential local customers.

To raise awareness of your brand, interact with other local companies and online influencers. Promote special offers and discounts for your local customer base.

Online services also help keep track of customer feedback and satisfaction, which will allow you to develop more popular products and services in the future.

Promoting Your Business on a Tight Budget

Promoting your business on a tight budget can be challenging, but it is possible.

Utilize no-cost advertising tools such as free video tutorials, digital media, blogging, and newsletters. These channels allow you to reach potential customers without spending any money.

Build a social media marketing presence and post engaging content for your community. Start a blog and regularly update it with new content about your company. You should update your blog at least once per week to keep it active, however, in some instances, it’s best to add content as much as four times per week. 

When building an online presence for your business, more frequent posts are best, as they will allow you to reach more people. Although, when you are building brand awareness, one to two posts per week is sufficient.  

Utilizing Google My Business is also essential for small businesses looking to advertise. This tool from Google allows you to list your business on Google Maps and other local search listings. This is essential for small businesses that want to reach consumers in their area who are searching for the services or products that you offer. 

For example, you offer plumbing services in New Jersey. When someone living in New Jersey searches for “plumbers near me” in Google, your Google My Business listing could appear near the top of the results, directing them to your business. 

Use email marketing to send out company news and subscription-only deals and discounts.

Demonstrate your expertise by participating in forums, blogs, and other online communities. This adds credibility to your brand for potential customers and will set you apart as an industry leader.

This, in turn, allows your business to instill confidence in your customer base.

Positive word of mouth from satisfied customers is invaluable promotion.


Staying competitive against big businesses is possible. You may need a quality management system as well as an exceptional advertising strategy to stay ahead of the game.

Focus on your local area, partner with other small businesses, and promote your business on social media platforms to stay competitive.

With the right social media marketing strategies and tactics, you can make sure your small business stands out from the competition, even on a tight budget. Your small business should also explore the immense cost savings that recent AI innovation offers. 

SimplicityKEY’s all-in-one market management software uses AI to handle your business's social media and review management. Additional tools include GMB, competitor analysis, and list building. Even your WordPress website can be hosted for a fraction of the cost of hiring a digital marketing agency.

SimplicityKey provides a range of services to help small businesses stay competitive against big businesses.

Their team of experts can help you optimize your website for people who use local search engines, create a local presence on social media, and market your business on a tight budget.

Contact SimplicityKEY today for help coming up with strategies and plans to raise brand awareness and reach potential customers.

As a visionary, Business Architect, and master-certified digital marketer, Shawnna Leonard founded SimplicityKEY Business Solutions. She has advised thousands of entrepreneurs and organizations on strategic planning, client experience, marketing, communications, sponsorships, fund development, and product management over the last 30 years. Shawnna has worked with marketing and SaaS experts to give entrepreneurs the tools they need to develop brands and lead in their respective communities.

Market News and Data brought to you by Benzinga APIs
Posted In: GeneralSimplicityKEY
Benzinga simplifies the market for smarter investing

Trade confidently with insights and alerts from analyst ratings, free reports and breaking news that affects the stocks you care about.

Join Now: Free!