Fundamentals of online advertising that every small business needs to know

In today’s digital era, teeming with apps, platforms, and tools, all designed to help you promote your business, it’s surprising that so many barriers still exist when it comes to advertising online with confidence.

Advertising has been democratized, with even the smallest ventures able to make a global impact if equipped with the right know-how, but many entrepreneurs and small business owners remain perplexed about paid-for promotion.

Brice Dondelinger is a champion of the notion that, given the right tools and guidance, every entrepreneur can navigate the world of online advertising with confidence. He is one of the four co-founders behind, a platform that provides small businesses with a user-friendly and affordable tool to promote their services online.

Brice is asked about online advertising by side hustlers, solo-entrepreneurs, and start-ups all the time, so he’s shared the most-asked questions exclusively for Startup Magazine.

Why should I use online advertising to promote my business, and which platforms are right for me?

“Today, whether you’re an established brand or solo-entrepreneur, online advertising is essential for any business looking to enhance their visibility and attract customers. Compared to other marketing tactics, online ads can be activated in an instant, offer more precise targeting, and allow for immediate interaction and feedback from your target customer. A great place to start is with Facebook, Instagram, and Google Ads - each of which offer unique benefits.

“For example, Google search ads place your business strategically at the top of Google search results, when the keywords used by potential customers match the keywords that you have defined for your marketing campaign. Another approach is to use your competitors’ names as keywords for your Google search ad, giving your business visibility when prospective clients search for your competitors.

“Facebook and Instagram ads are particularly effective for image-focused promotions, brand launches, or special offers when people are not actively shopping online. Consider a Facebook ad with a tempting offer or an Instagram post showcasing a visually appealing service. Statistics show that online advertising can boost brand awareness by 80%, proving their efficacy, especially for service-led businesses in niche markets.”

How many ads do I need, how often should I advertise, and for how long?

“Creating a mix of Google, Instagram, and Facebook adverts is crucial; a single ad won't suffice. When creating your ad campaigns, it’s worth testing different images, ad copy and keywords, and running these various tests for a minimum of 10 days so that you can effectively evaluate and refine your marketing strategy as time goes on.

“Despite being a traditional concept, it’s worth educating yourself on The Rule of Seven, a marketing rule that remains relevant in today’s age, emphasising the need for repeated exposure and several touch points to build trust and drive action. Think about successful global giants like Nike and Coca-Cola. Even though the whole world knows who they are, they continue to invest in advertising via various channels.”

How much does it cost to advertise my business online?

“The cost of online advertising is influenced by several key elements. Your geographical reach, the selection of demographics, the popularity of keywords (in case of Google ads), and the competition within your industry all influence the budget required for effective campaigns.

“A budget of £150 for an initial 10-day Google ad campaign is a common approach. However, it's essential to underscore the significance of actively monitoring your budget's progression. Regularly assessing metrics such as impressions (eyeballs) and clicks (website visits) at intervals is a best practice. This diligent monitoring enables businesses to gauge the performance of their ads and also to facilitate timely adjustments to optimise results.

“This advice is equally applicable when extending your advertising efforts to platforms like Facebook and Instagram. The principles of effective budgeting and vigilant monitoring remain key, ensuring that your investment yields the desired impact and resonates effectively with your target audience.”

OK, But I don’t know how to set these ads up, and I am not a graphic designer, so how do I create an advert for Google, Facebook, or Instagram?

"To set up advertisements on platforms like Google, Facebook, or Instagram, start with the fundamentals. Ensure that you have a functional website and at least a Facebook page to advertise on Meta platforms, as these serve as the basis of your online presence.

Crafting compelling ad copy is a key aspect, and following each platform's guidelines and ad policies will help your copy work harder for you. A well-crafted ad should emphasise your unique selling points and engage your target audience. You should also leverage tools such as Google Keyword Finder and Facebook Ad Library to gain valuable insights into your competitors’ strategies within your industry.”

Are there any tools available that make it simpler to launch adverts online?

“Absolutely! Time-pressured entrepreneurs seeking a streamlined solution can try a platform like ours – As entrepreneurs, we understand how many plates you find yourself spinning every day, which is why we created – to help small business owners advertise online and grow their businesses.

“Picture Balloonary as your one-stop-shop, equipped with AI-powered capabilities for crafting both text and image components, guiding you with targeting and ad budgets that you control to advertise on Google, Facebook, and Instagram. What sets Balloonary apart is not just the technology but the human touch – agency-level support ensures that you are in a position to be successful when you get started with online advertisement. And every ad that is launched with Balloonary is checked to ensure it adheres to the various platforms’ strict ad policies.

“A distinctive feature of Balloonary is not only the ad creation process but its ability to launch ads seamlessly across multiple platforms from within Balloonary, saving you time and effort.”