Where Can I Advertise My Business?

Advertise my Business

There are more methods of advertising than ever before.  So when you ask the question “where do I advertise my business” check the information below for an answer.

Prior to trying to figure out where to advertise, it pays to educate yourself about all the options and ways to advertise your business.

Where to Advertise My Business?

The most common ways to advertise your business include:

  • Newspaper Display Ads
  • Newspaper Classified Ads
  • Radio Ads
  • Television Ads
  • Pay per click ads
  • Online display ads and banner ads
  • Retargeting ads
  • Social media ads
  • Yellow Pages
  • Local deals
  • Online native ads
  • Magazine ads
  • Outdoor advertising
  • Direct mail

So which ways to advertise are best for small businesses?  That depends on your objectives, your budget, your customers and your industry — among other factors.  

For example, newspaper display ads may cost you up to $500 per column inch — based on the size of the audience the paper reaches.  

Meanwhile, pay per click ads charge per click — sometimes as low as $1.90 based on the keywords you are using. But digital ads will give you a better idea of exactly where to advertise and how many people you are reaching.  

Comparing Methods of Advertising Your Business

To answer the question “where do I advertise my business” see these pros and cons.

Newspaper Display Ads


  • Easy way to reach your local community regardless of their technical sophistication.
  • Great way to notify customers of special events and offers in a timely manner.


  • More expensive than some digital advertising and marketing options.
  • Reach a general audience making it harder to reach niche markets and unlike the case with digital channels, it is very hard to measure success.

Newspaper Classified Ads


  • Much less expensive than display ads
  • Text based, so require no design work
  • More focused on customers with a specific need since they are divided into categories.


  • Often very short (in order to keep prices down) thus making it more challenging to effectively communicate your message.  
  • Limited reach seen by only those in your town or local community — unless your local paper publishes its classified ads on the web.

Radio Ads


  • Greater reach than newspaper ads especially if the station is powerful and caters to a regional audience.
  • Still often cheap to produce and you may be able to get a station to offer ad creation at little or no cost with a large enough purchase of air time.


  • Costly to purchase air time during peak hours of listenership (like drive time when listeners are heading to or from work).
  • Taking late night hours (though probably considerably cheaper) may mean you don’t reach many customers when you advertise your business.

Television Ads


  • Gigantic reach sometimes being seen by audiences in a whole region of your state, sometimes, depending on the network, by the whole nation.
  • Immensely popular medium generally reaching a larger audience than either radio or newspapers.


  • More expensive than newspaper or radio ads and reaching the audience in more popular time spots may be prohibitively expensive
  • Require more spending and expertise to create than ads in other mediums and may even require an agency or TV ad director and talent.

Pay Per Click Ads


  • Easier to target to a specific niche audience than more traditional ads
  • Only cost you if a customer clicks on them


  • Require some special knowledge and research to choose the best keywords to use in the ad.
  • Can be considerably more expensive depending on the popularity of the keywords selected.

Online Display Ads


  • More visible on a website than other kinds of ads perhaps encouraging more readers to click.
  • Only pay for prospects who click through to see your message or offer.


  • Becoming more unpopular with some readers who see them as more obtrusive.
  • Can draw more attention by adding animation but can also annoy potential customers leading to lower conversions.

Retargeting Ads


  • Give you more visits by targeting visitors who have already been on your site.
  • Like Pay Per Click, charge you only for clicks you receive and let you set a budget for how many of those you can afford,
  • Perfect for e-commerce businesses, since, according to Ezoic, an artificial intelligence adtech platform, about 50% of retargeting ads are by ecommerce businesses (in Podcast 5).


  • Might put off a few potential customers who find being followed around the web by these ads annoying or even creepy.
  • Limited your ad budget since ads will only be deployed on other sites that fit your budgeted rate.

Social Media Ads


  • Facebook allows you to target audiences based on demographics, interests, geographical locations and other specifics.
  • One of the best ways to advertise at low cost. Can start with low rates giving you an opportunity to experiment with their effectiveness without incurring large expenses.


  • Can still be expensive depending on the size and demographic of the group you hope to meet.
  • Value disputed since some argue many conversions are simply other marketers interested in expanding their networks by clicking on your ads.

Yellow Pages


  • Offers online presence packages like the ypProfile including mobile friendly web pages to make it easy for customers to find you.
  • Claims more than 60 million consumers visit its YP.com site each month, so by getting an online listing you’re making it possible for these potential customers to find you.


  • Listing comes with a regular monthly cost which is not insignificant and this is a regular recurring cost similar to hosting fees so you’ll need to determine if this cost is worth it.
  • Hardly the only name in online business listings so you may have to do some budget crunching and decide which one is right for you.

Local Deals


  • Often allow you to set up a local deal coupon at no upfront cost with sites like Groupon collecting its fee from a percentage of the purchase when a customer redemes the offer.
  • A nearly guaranteed way to get an influx of new customers in the door to sample your products and services.    


  • Price plus the fee to the local deals provider means you’ll be selling at least some of your products and services for well under what you usually receive.
  • Sometimes attract bargain hunters who are not loyal long term customers and are likely to move on to the next local deal without  giving your brand a second thought.

Native Ads


  • Stand less chance of annoying potential customers like other kinds of advertising.
  • Are less likely to be weeded out by ad blockers.


  • Force you to put all your eggs in one basket when deciding where on  the web your ad will appear.
  • Could cost more to advertise your business, depending on the popularity of the site where you want to advertise

Magazine Ads


  • Could reach a far larger audience than your local newspaper —  and certainly far beyond your local geographic area.
  • Have a much narrower focus than general circulation newspapers, so you can target a more niche audience.


  • Can be expensive — especially if you want to advertise in a more general interest publication with a broader audience.
  • Come out less frequently — every month, two months or quarter generally — so this is not the place to advertise your specials of the week.

Outdoor Billboard Advertising


  • Effectively raise awareness of a local business among local motorists traveling in the area who may be your best customers.
  • Promote a service or product to thousands with a simple phone number or webpage included in the message.


  • Quite costly if you want to reach a large enough audience with multiple signs.
  • May be ineffective for targeting niche audiences — except perhaps the niche of those in your area who drive automobiles!

Direct Mail


  • Very effective for local businesses seeking to reach all the potential customers in a specific zip code.
  • Also able to reach a more targeted audience — with the right mailing list.


  • May mean paying to deliver marketing messages to people who have no interest in your product or service.
  • May increases the overall cost to advertise your business, especially if you buy mailing lists with names and addresses which are now out of date.   

Read the complete Small Business Advertising Guide:

Photo via Shutterstock

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Shawn Hessinger Shawn Hessinger is the Executive Editor for Small Business Trends and a professional journalist with more than 20 years experience in traditional and digital media for trade publications and news sites. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and has served as a beat reporter, columnist, editorial writer, bureau chief and managing editor for the Berks Mont Newspapers.

2 Reactions
  1. There are truly many methods of advertising. It is about testing them and finding out the ones that work well for you.

  2. I enjoy meeting useful info, this post has got me even more info!

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