With online advertising, like traditional media advertising, large businesses have obvious advantages. But they have weaknesses too. With online advertising, small businesses can be successful by applying a certain tactic of guerilla marketing. That tactic is to focus and concentrate resources.

Trout and Reis explained it best in their book Marketing Warfare where they define the Principles of Guerilla Warfare. They give three principles of which Principle Number One is the key to how a small business can successfully compete online with a bigger business. It says

Identify a segment that is small enough to defend.

Where the big business can afford to hire enough people to work many social media outlets, buy lots of advertising on many media, or advertise over a large geographic area, the small business can concentrate their resources. While they may not have the ability to manage a bunch of social media accounts, the small business may have the ability to out market the bigger business in one or two social media. While the small business may not be able to buy more advertising than the big business can in a 20 county market area, the small business may have enough advertising budget to dominate two or three counties.

With Cost Per Click Advertising, there are many ways the small business can shrink the parameters down to a size where they can compete. With Cost Per Click, the media will do whatever it can to get enough clicks to capture the budget you set. So the advertisers with the bigger budgets have an inherent advantage because the online media has to show their ads more to capture the bigger budget. However, the smaller business can compete by narrowing parameters like the time of day their ads appear, the geographic area where their ads appear, focusing keywords, or placement of ads by the devices the ads appear on, or in the case of banner ads, the sites they appear on. Depending on how a campaign is focused, whether it’s limited to a geographic area, time of day, or devices and websites, the online media has to show your ads more in those focused parameters in order to get enough clicks to capture your total budget, and they don’t want to leave money on the table.

Online digital marketing, whether it is social media cost per click, or SEO can be very time consuming and complicated. So if you do not have the time to manage an online campaign or the time to learn how to do it, you may want to find a person or firm that can handle it for you. In our next blog, we’ll talk about what to look for when shopping for someone to manage your digital online advertising.