10 Advertising Terms Small Businesses Need to Know To Plan an Effective Advertising Budget

Roxanne Hale


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This is the time of year that small businesses look at last year's revenue to plan their advertising budget for the upcoming year. It takes time to review a year's worth of sales to develop an effective plan that will not just repeat this year's success but surpass those numbers next year.

Your advertising budget is often an afterthought. Businesses allocate funds to everything, and whatever is leftover funds your marketing for the next year. Instead, we suggest that you use the terms below to focus your advertising budget on paying for things that will help you bring about change, generate leads, and bring more traffic to your business.

1) Branding – marketing your company’s products, name, logos, and slogans to increase recognition.

Do you have a mission statement or a brand promise? Everyone at your company, from the person who answers the phone to the vendors you do business with, should know the mission that defines your business. Branding is what sets you apart from the competition.

Your brand promise should be both compelling and creative. It should be included in PR Releases, About Us Pages, social media, and corporate events.

2) Social Media – Websites and online means of communication used by large groups of people to share information and develop social and professional contacts to generate sales. (ex: Facebook, Houzz, Pinterest, Instagram)

Are you on social media? Do your channels look professional? It’s not enough to be on social media. You also need to post engaging content several times a week. If your social media presence isn’t professional and current, your customers may believe that your product or service is not up to par.

3) Customer relationship management (CRM) combines practices, strategies, and technologies that companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle.

Do you have a way to manage Lead Generation or sales opportunities? A great CRM will allow you to set up email marketing, drip campaigns, and smart plans through text, automated voice mail calls, emails, and in-person calling reminders. This will enable you to maintain good relationships with your customers.

4) Email Campaigns – targeting consumers or an audience by electronic mail.

Are you asking for referrals from previous customers? Are you keeping in touch with your current customer base? Consistently communicating with customers will generate new sales and referrals. Utilizing an email marketing service like Constant Contact or Mailchimp will help you create and deliver effective email marketing to build stronger customer relationships.

5) Drip Campaigns -- a method used in email marketing to acquire customers through lead nurture programs.

Do you need time to warm up buyers who are not ready for services right now? If you are using a customer relationship management (CRM) program, drip campaigns are a great way to send out several automated brand messages over a period of time to a customer or prospect.

Drip Campaigns are typically scheduled over 30, 60, or 90 days to nurture a customer with brand messages until they are ready to make a decision. You can set up different campaigns. For instance, a Thank you For your Visit, Cross-Selling Promotion, Team Up Challenge Campaign, or Limited Time Offers. Once customers get to know you, you are more likely to close a sale if they hear from you consistently over time while they are considering a purchase.

6) Digital Ads –showing advertisements through online and digital channels to promote products and services.

Do you have name recognition in your current market? According to Statista.com, digital advertising spending will grow to 389 billion dollars in 2021. So it must be working, right? Using digital advertising to serve ads across platforms where your buyers and customers are online is a smart way to leverage your media budget. If people are online, small businesses need to be there to generate brand awareness and make sales.

7) Geofencing is a software feature that uses the global positioning system (GPS) or radio frequency identification (RFID) to define geographical boundaries.

Digital Advertisers can place a "fence" around a location that enables campaigns to serve ads to a designated audience for a specific time frame. For example, homebuilders and remodelers may want to geofence a local bridal show, graduation, or baby palooza event. Health and Wellness sellers could target gyms and spa locations. Kids clothing sellers, schools, and kids programs.

8) Retargeting- serving ads to people who have previously visited your website or clicked on your digital ad.

According to homebuyinginstitute.com, buyers spend an average of 124 hours online searching for a new home. If you are working with a digital ad service, be sure to include retargeting, which allows you to serve ads for a period of time to customers who have already clicked on one of your ads. Chances are they haven’t made up their mind yet!

9) Impressions -- the total number of exposures to your advertisement.

When purchasing digital advertising, it is good to know how many ads are included in the price. To determine if your impression budget is too small (or too large), you’ll need to break it down.

While 10,000 impressions a month sounds impressive, this actually means 333 impressions per day or 13.8 impressions per hour. You need to consider if the number of ads served is too much or too little for your market. Just remember, if one person was exposed to an advertisement five times, this counts as five impressions.

10) CPC/PPC – stands for Cost Per Click or Pay Per Click.

The benefit of Pay Per Click Ads is that they are seen thousands of times, but you don’t pay until someone clicks on your ad. While the goal is to get a customer to click on your ad, it is also beneficial for many people to actually see your ad. As we all know, nothing happens until we sell something. Pay Per Click advertising enables you to be in front of people searching for your services and allow them to choose your company’s ad over someone else.

Final Thoughts:

All these advertising terms are instrumental in understanding how to best market your business. The more information you have, the more informed your decisions will be. Knowing what you are paying for and the services you will receive for your money will allow you to budget properly. Let’s make next year count!

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Roxanne Hale, owner, and broker of Arthouse has spent over 20 years in the real estate business. Here you'll find a collection of stories about buying and selling real estate & home building advice, housing history, and architecture & design tips. Oh, and some fun personal stories every now and then!

Homewood, AL

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