The difference between small business advertising and marketing is that advertising is a paid media placement to promote your business, i.e. buying an ad. Advertising is a specific technique and one part of marketing. Marketing in small business is a much broader set of activities to promote your product or service.
- Advertising might be a TV commercial, a radio spot, a quarter-page magazine ad, a newspaper classified, a billboard or an Internet display ad.
- Marketing in small business includes social media, free business listings, strategic product pricing, publicity, email marketing, content marketing, search engine optimization and more. It also includes advertising.
While advertising shares similarities with some other forms of promotion, advertising is usually more within your control. Small business advertising may better drive the results you need. Small business advertising also amplifies the impact of other forms of marketing, by making sure more people see your messages.
Advertising and Marketing
Here are scenarios to illustrate the difference between small business advertising and marketing in a small business:
- Advertising: You develop a creative advertisement about your new product. Then you pay to place that ad where you’d like it to appear. You have complete control over the message of your small business advertising. You also have control over where it appears.
- PR and publicity: You announce a new product with the help of a publicity agency. A media outlet covers it. Unlike with small business advertising, you have no control over where or whether your story will appear. Nor do you have control over what they write in response to your press release and interview.
- A sales event: You run a special sales promotion in your store for the new product. You carefully craft the promotion and pricing to make it seem like a good deal. But you still are faced with getting the message out about the special sales event. This is where small business advertising comes in — to better drive results. So you create ads that draw attention to the sale, to get people to the store to ask for your product. Without advertising to highlight your event, it may not be as successful.
- Social media: You put the word out about your new product through your social channels such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. However, only your followers and a limited number of others see your social updates. Those who see the update love the authenticity and some buy the product.
- Content marketing: You write and publish content on your blog or on other sites, as a method to develop thought leadership, develop a personal brand, highlight your company brand, improve your position in search engines and develop a dialogue with customers.
Marketing in Small Business
The above five scenarios are all part of marketing in small business.
Often it’s not a case of advertising OR marketing. Rather, you can get better results by combining advertising and other types of marketing for a one-two punch.
Here’s an example of how content marketing and social media combined with advertising will bring a bigger impact. You write an awesome blog post. You share it on social media to get visibility there. But sadly, only a handful see your social media update or blog post. So you decide to promote your social media post. You boost or promote your update (i.e., place a social media ad) to get your message more widely seen by thousands, get more social shares and drive more sales.
Small Business Advertising
Some refer to combining advertising with other content marketing techniques as a “POEM.” POEM stands for Paid, Owned and Earned Media. In a content marketing setting, owned media is the blog post you write. Paid media is the boost for the social media post. Earned media refers to the sharing others do after seeing your social media share more widely. See more examples of using Paid, Earned and Owned Media.
Do you now see the difference between advertising and marketing in small business? And do you see how small business advertising can amplify other marketing techniques?