The struggle of making your small business visible in crowded markets

A group of identical dots, but some stand out.

Today, right now, literally hundreds of millions of Americans are reading magazines, watching TV, driving to work, using the internet—and most importantly, seeing advertisements. With so many eyes out there to absorb your messages, does your small business still feel invisible?

The good (and also kind of bad) news is, it’s not just you. Every Fortune 500 company, small business, and independent creator on the planet is vying for the same space and time in consumers’ minds. As a result, there is a whooooole lot of content out there, leaving the advertisement space unbelievably crowded. How crowded? This crowded:

  • The average American sees up to 10,000 advertisements per day.
  • About 3.2 billion images are shared on social media each day
  • Around 82 years of video content is uploaded to YouTube every day. 
  • There are around 340,000 billboards in the US
  • There are nearly 1.8 billion websites on the world wide web

So how does a small business become visible among the billions? If you follow this one rule, it’ll instantly place your content in the top percentile of small business advertisers:

Don’t half-ass it.

Let’s be blunt; not all advertisements work. Many are boring, busy, forgettable. But that makes thoughtful, well-crafted content all the more visible. Take these four tips the big companies know that’ll up your small business’s advertising game.

Simplify. Cramming five messages and ten images into your advertisements doesn’t make any of that content memorable. Decide on the most important thing and make it the thing. Spread the rest across your other channels. 

Drop your biases. No one medium is king. Print is not passé. Digital is not drab. Broadcast is not bloated. It depends on your audience, your selling point, your business model. (We happen to know a lot about that.)

Make your reader feel something. Entertain them. Inspire them. Reassure them. Hell, make them angry, if you think it’ll work. In the iconic words of Maya Angelou, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Don’t forget to connect. When it comes to visibility, nothing beats a handshake. (Or, during pandemic, the elbow bump.) People connect with people. Your best  📣 might very well be the one you offer face-to-face. 

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