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Now that you’re ready to open shop or expand your reach, it’s time to explore small business advertising ideas and get the word out to your customers.

Traditionally, marketing can be very costly, depending on what outlet you’re using. And if you’re a new business, your budget might already be stretched thin.

Luckily, there are effective ways to market yourself now that will pay off in the long run.

Build your website

First, people need to find you online just as they can in person. To ensure they can, you’ll need a website. A website is critical to showcasing your products or services to customers. In fact, 81% of shoppers do online research before they make a purchase.

Building a website might sound intimidating, but there are so many website-building tools (like SquareSpace or Wix) that make it easy for anyone to make their digital footprint in a few hours. While you’re working on your site, check out our Nationwide Business Solutions Center to get some tips on cybersecurity best practices so that your site and anyone who visits it are protected.

Set up a social media presence

Create a social media presence by putting your business on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Yelp and wherever else your target market lives online. On top of having new outlets with which to reach people, you’ll be able to directly interact with your customers.

Our Nationwide Business Solutions Center can help you create a brand personality on your social media pages that matches your business.

Set up local listing services through Google

Did you know Google has tools specifically designed to help local businesses appear in local searches?

Tools like Google My Business and Google’s knowledge panels will help improve your visibility and allow customers to leave online reviews about your business. The more positive reviews you have, the higher you’ll rank in searches.

Use paid search ads for small business advertising

Search providers allow you to pay for ads that target your specific demographic(s). With Google and Bing ads, your business can appear at the top of search results pages when someone from that demographic searches for your particular product or service in your area.

The best part? You only pay when someone clicks on your ad.

Create a business blog

A blog not only gives you an outlet to cultivate a more personal experience with customers, but it’s also a great opportunity to establish your brand as an authority in your space. Create how-to articles, checklists, downloads and anything else that will offer free value

You’ll also want to time up your content to match what’s happening in your email marketing and what’s going up on your social media pages. This will create continuity in your marketing and help drive people to your marketing funnel.

Use basic small business SEO techniques

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of writing and building your website in a way that organically attracts customers through search engines, such as Google. Strategically placing the words and phrases that your customers use helps your business climb the ladder in online search rankings.

Check out our Nationwide Business Solutions Center to see how you can start putting SEO tactics like keywords, internal linking and mobile-friendliness into practice.

Email newsletters

You might have heard that email is dead, but email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to reach your customers. In fact, email boasts a potential return on investment (ROI) of up to 4,400% (or even more) and McKinsey reported that it is 40x more effective at acquiring customers than Facebook and Twitter combined.

So, that shiny new website or blog you have? Use them to collect customer emails in exchange for something of value, like a discount or free download. Then, you can send coupons, talk about sales and events, and link back to your website and blog.

Your customers will stay up to date with everything happening at your business, and you’ll always have a simple and effective outlet to market to them.

Learn more about running and promoting your small business

Set aside a little time each day to work on your website, write a blog post or send an email. Marketing your business might feel overwhelming at first, but taking these steps can result in major ROI.

Visit our Nationwide Business Solutions Center to find other resources that we offer to help with other parts of running your business.

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The information contained in this blog was obtained from sources believed to be reliable to help users address their own risk management and insurance needs. It does not and is not intended to provide legal advice. Nationwide, its affiliates and employees do not guarantee improved results based upon the information contained herein and assume no liability in connection with the information or the provided suggestions. The recommendations provided are general in nature; unique circumstances may not warrant or require implementation of some or all of the suggestions. Nothing in this brochure is intended to imply a grant of coverage.