59% of Small Businesses Use Video for Advertising, Survey Finds

Chatbots are all the business buzz – and for good reason.

They give customers of any-size business critical answers to pressing questions quickly.

They can:

Boost your average order value.
Accelerate the buyers’ journey.
Reduce your customer service costs.

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A new report finds that a good number of small businesses (29%) are spending somewhere in the sweet spot of  ($750-$2499) monthly to get the data needed for good online advertising results.

WordStreams Online Advertising Landscape in 2019 report also found that only 10% of the respondents had a monthly advertising budget less than the low end plateau for effectiveness of $750 monthly.

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People have a lot of opinions when it comes to debt and borrowing. At one extreme, some believe that all debt should be avoided and there’s no room for argument on the subject. Others perhaps borrow a little too freely, taking out new financing with little thought about whether doing so will be a benefit or a hindrance in the long term.

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Cybersecurity remains one of the most challenging issues for small business owners. And the problem leads small business owners to seek out managed service providers to present them with solutions.

But a new report from Continuum says the state of cybersecurity among small businesses in 2019 still needs to improve. The data suggests great opportunities for service providers who offer cyber security as part of their package.

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It is hard to start a profitable business in a competitive landscape. No doubt, business starts with a primary goal of making profits. Getting these profits from the phase of no client to multiple clients is a period of learning, falling, getting through and finally managing to sustain.

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Ranking a business website higher enhances its chances of gaining a lead that could ultimately turn into a new business sale. To rank, a website higher needs quite a few steps and does not happen overnight. Let’s figure out the five most common and impactful professional SEO tips that a CEO insists upon.

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Spreadsheets have long been an important tool for businesses. You can use them for just about anything. This includes budgeting and planning out important marketing campaigns.

No tool seems more synonymous with spreadsheets than Excel. Microsofts tool allows you to easily fill in spaces and create tables. But it also takes advantage of some more advanced features. However, starting from scratch will not give you a productive business.

You may want to take advantage of all that Excel has to offer. But maybe you don’t know exactly how to get started. So templates become a great option. Check out some sources for Excel business templates that can help you in 15 different areas of business operations.

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As any entrepreneur will tell you, owning a business comes with a lot of demands, pressure and hard work, but it can also be extremely rewarding. Thanks to an impactful conversation with an old friend and fellow business owner several years ago, I realized that I was wasting a lot of money by just having one credit card to pay business expenses.

Multiple credit cards can provide big bonuses.

Credit card companies are fighting a turf war, and they all have enticing offers to get us to sign up with them. My rationale is, why be exclusive to one bank? Why choose only one credit card? Why not enjoy the benefits from multiple banks?

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Owners of small businesses should consider hiring their children.

A young person whos claimed as a dependent on their parents return can still have $12,000 of wages in 2019 and pay no income tax. The Standard Deduction offsets the wages.

The parents probably provided more than 50 percent of the basic support of the child (housing, food, clothing, medical and transportation expenses). The parents can still claim the exemption for the child, but dependent exemptions are no longer done (allowed). If the child is younger than age 17, the parents do get a Child Tax Credit of $2,000. That credit directly offsets income tax of the parents.

If the business is a sole owner business, a single member LLC or a partnership owned only by the childs parents, there are no payroll taxes for the child or the employer to pay on the wages.

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As a (new) small business owner myself, I am very much talking from experience with these stay sane tips. You will find that you can never prevent work from piling up but you can lay down some strategies that will help you manage the work.

You need to consider your own state of mind and do what is best for you. Whatever your goal is in a business, your dream will eventually turn into an illusion when you become overwhelmed. There are a few secrets to staying sane by breaking up stress. Here are a few tips to get you started.

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Owning and operating a small business is challenging in today’s market. And common issues that small business leaders often must handle on their own are the countless HR tasks and responsibilities that take a significant amount of time and energy to properly manage.

The frustration and stress involved with modern HR has resulted in an increase in the use of outsourcing solutions. But one in particular can prove to be valuable to small employers: professional employer organizations (PEO).

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A Small Business can be identified as a being a privately-owned corporation, partnership, or sole proprietor that have fewer staff and less annual revenue than a regular-sized corporation. The European Union (EU) defines a small business as one with under 50 employees.

Small business or as they are sometimes known, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) contribute 47% of revenue to the U.K. economy. They have a key role in boosting productivity but need support to expand activities and increase their economic impact.

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Smart companies are not just those that have intelligent leaders. They also have systems, tools and proper planning in place that allow every department or function to run together seamlessly. To become a smart company, you need to integrate smart ideas into every facet of your business. Here are some tips from members of the online small business community.

Manage Your Website Effectively
Your website is one of the most important tools your small business has. To manage it effectively, you need access to the right tools. In this WP Buffs post, Brenda Barron provides a full explanation and walk-through of GoDaddy Pro, so you can see if it may be helpful for your business.

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SBDC Centers offer free consulting and free or low-cost training. (Find yours here.) Their results speak for themselves: SBDC clients grow sales by an average 18.1%, which is 4.3 times the national average. March 20th is SBDC Day, and to celebrate, we assembled some tips from their experts.

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Small businesses can be more vulnerable to cyberattacks than larger companies because they often do not have sophisticated and comprehensive systems to protect themselves from hackers, viruses, malware and whats called ransomware. And owners who are focused on customers and employees may not ensure that their defenses are up to date.

But there are things small businesses can do to improve cybersecurity.

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Whether you are an entrepreneur plotting to launch a startup or a CEO strategizing where to put another office, knowing where the next hot city is would be a game changer. Should you expand to Raleigh? Would you attract better talent in Austin or Atlanta? With the new Surge Cities Index, Inc. and innovation policy company Startup Genome crunched the data to score and rank the top 50 metro areas in the U.S. on seven key indicators–from early-stage funding metrics to job creation. Finally, here’s the smartest way to answer the age-old question: Where should you go next?

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We are creatures of habit. Everything we think, say and do is a result of deep-seated habits etched into our minds through years and years of repitious behavior. Those very same habits either help to propel us forward or to hinder our progress in life. In fact, the state and quality of our lives right now is a direct reflection of our daily habits.

Habits are an undeniably powerful part of life.

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Big companies often have big perks. That is especially true in the technology Opens a New Window.  space, where free meals, gyms, and even day care are quite common. Even more traditional large companies that do not offer those kinds of benefits still have things that smaller businesses Opens a New Window. do not — there are more opportunities for advancement, more training opportunities, and maybe even the option of transferring to another location.

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The latest report from Clutch says 39% of small businesses will add sales and marketing employees.

This data point underscores the importance of sales and marketing in today’s digital commerce. You must optimize websites, social media channels and eCommerce sites to make it happen. And you need sales and marketing employees to do  the heavy lifting.

Some small businesses have already created a digital presence. And the job of sales and marketing generally goes to in-house staff. This job often goes to employees with the necessary skill sets or to someone learning on the job. But remember how important these positions figure in the company’s growth.

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Billing your customers is, of course, vital — but even more critical is getting paid for those bills. Thanks to the ongoing evolution in the payments industry, there are more payment tools and platforms to choose from to help find the perfect option for your business based on how many payments you receive, the type of business you have and your budget.

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Ever wonder how people get chosen to speak at TED? Well, it is curator Chris Andersons job to weed through the thousands upon thousands of possibilities and choose who will appear on the events prestigious main stage. Clearly, the guy is amazing at separating the wheat from the intellectual chaff.

Which is why TED fans (or anyone looking to make themselves smarter and more aware in easily digestible 20-minute chunks) should pay attention to Andersons picks for the 10 best TED talks of 2018. Touching on topics ranging from astronomy to social justice to artificial intelligence, they are guaranteed to change how you think about the world.  

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Switching careers can feel intimidating, but you have got to make some moves if you’re spinning your wheels at your current job. Tech industry jobs are hot right now, and you can make great money once you’ve got the know-how to compete with other tech candidates. Here’s a breakdown of the fields with the best opportunities.

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What is the best retirement plan for a self-employed person? Which is the best retirement plan for a small business owner? More importantly, which is the right retirement plan for you – as a business owner and / or a self-employed individual? Choosing the best retirement plan for you and your personal financial goals will depend on a few factors. Those include how much you can save into a retirement plan, whether or not you have employees and when you are setting up the retirement plan. Is it during the tax year or when filing taxes? To name a few.

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Here are 15 examples of great integrated marketing campaigns that work by combining content, digital and website marketing, with traditional marketing methods like PR.

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Here are three popular things that are actually not mandatory for all small businesses:

1. Aggressive Marketing

It is easy to go overboard with marketing. With so many tools available, your gut instinct is to try anything with the slightest potential. Even if you stand to lose money, you want the assurance of knowing you are doing everything you can to gain the interest of your target audience. And it is difficult to ignore a marketing tool that has worked marvelously for other small businesses. If they had to do it all over again, these businesses would likely spend 10% of their time developing their products or services and 90% marketing them.

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So what sets those who actually take the plunge from those who only dream? What pushes a keen hobbyist or excellent amateur into actually becoming a business owner? A recent study of more than 400,000 people out of MIT came to decisive answer, and it is not the one you are probably expecting.

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Many successful entrepreneurs were inspired to start their businesses after noticing a hole in the marketplace that needed to be filled, whether it was Bill Gates creating an operating system for home computers, Pierre Omidyar starting an online auction site, or Elon Musk building a reliable electric car.

But what happens when you want to jump feet first into a marketplace thats already crowded? We spoke to the entrepreneurs behind a wide-ranging group of successful companies in some of the most competitive digital spaces — from butchers to home brands to eco-friendly cleaning products — to get their insights into what makes a business that lasts.

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Today, tens of thousands of people are considering starting their own business, and for good reasons. On average, people can expect to have two and three careers during their work life. Those leaving one career often think about their second or third career move being one they can run out of their own home. The good news: Starting a home-based business is within the reach of almost anyone who wants to take a risk and work hard, as are a plethora of other low-cost ideas.

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Now, I do not want to burst any happy bubbles for those of you who are already treading the traditional pathway, but that traditional narrative no longer makes much sense, because over the past two decades, big corporations, big academia, and big corporatist government have rigged the business world so that the longer you wait to start your own company, the less likely you are to be successful.

Because of this, young entrepreneurs (Mil

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The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) included a bevy of changes that will affect the 2018 federal income tax returns of many small and medium-sized businesses and their owners. As tax return time approaches, here are the 10 changes that are most likely to affect your business or you as an owner.

1. New flat 21% tax rate for corporations
Before the TCJA, C corporations paid graduated federal income tax rates of 15%, 25%, 34%, and 35%. Personal service corporations (PSCs) paid a flat 35% rate. For tax years beginning in 2018 and beyond, the TCJA establishes a flat 21% corporate rate, and that beneficial rate applies to PSCs too. So the tax cost of doing business as a profitable C corporation is greatly reduced, and this favorable development will show up on 2018 corporate returns. Enjoy.

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When done correctly, a tagline can become synonymous with a brand. A good tagline should communicate your companys message quickly and effectively, helping your target customers understand how you can help them in a way that’s easy to remember.

Since it is something that will likely appear in all of your companys marketing materials and may stick with you for years, your team should put a lot of care and consideration into crafting your tagline.

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A business plan is a written description of your business future, a document that tells what you plan to do and how you plan to do it. If you jot down a paragraph on the back of an envelope describing your business strategy, you have written a plan, or at least the germ of one.

Business plans are inherently strategic. You start here, today, with certain resources and abilities.

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Very few entrepreneurs have an accounting or finance background. Here are four tips to ensure your small business is achieving profitable growth.

Most small business owners start their own business because they have a passion for something, a new idea, want to be their own boss or are seeking more financial stability and/or earning potential. However, very few entrepreneurs have an accounting or finance background.

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The standards for small business success have unquestionably gone up. Todays small businesses must do a lot more to stay competitive than their predecessors. Myriad businesses, however, take this notion a bit too far. Once they discover yet another resource or strategy with the potential to elevate their success, they jump all over it. This is partially due to the many online articles urging business leaders to devote more effort to virtually every element of their businesses.

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Many small businesses start out with a single location or product offering and grow over time. Expanding your business is a good way to increase your long-term profitability and reach a wider audience.

But while growing your venture might be something you’d like to do eventually, now might not be the ideal time to dive in. Here are four reasons you might choose not to grow your business, and instead stick with the status quo.

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Advertising Is Growing Amazon’s Business, So Let Amazon Help Grow Yours Too

If you’re expanding your venture, consider investigating Amazon advertising.

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

One of the largest shows in the world for brands and private label sellers on Amazon recently wrapped in Las Vegas. The Prosper Show, is an annual conference focused on sharing best practice education and providing networking for established brand manufacturers and Amazon sellers. One of the event’s keynote speakers was Collin Colburn, an analyst from Forrester Research who covers digital advertising, shared some great takeaways about how Amazon is growing its advertising business — and how you can use it to give your own venture a boost.

Amazon is now the third largest seller of digital advertising in the US, third only to Google and Facebook.  Forrester estimates that Amazon did $10 billion in worldwide advertising sales in 2018, a whopping 117 percent increase over 2017.  

Colburn’s take is that Amazon’s strong and growing ad business helps many of Amazon’s other business units.  For example, as brand manufacturers and sellers buy more advertising from Amazon, more products get sold, making Amazon’s top line revenue grow even stronger.  

But why Amazon advertising and why now? 24 years in, Amazon is still attracting a ton of people to its site. It’s estimated by Forrester that in 2018, 200 million Americans visited Amazon’s website. That’s over two thirds of the US adult population and is tied with the number of Americans who visit Facebook annually.

28 percent of Americans reported to Forrester that they used Amazon to research their most recent retail purchase, and 25 percent said that when hunting for a new purchase, they opted to look at the product in the store. So not only does Amazon have substantial traffic, when those people do go to the site, they are actively looking for new products.

Read this: Ultimate Guide to Amazon Advertising I Amazon I Barnes & Noble

Here are Colburn’s five “to do’s” for your brand’s Amazon ad strategy:

  1. Learn your customer’s life cycle. According to Colburn, there are six customer life cycle stages that Forrester has been talking about for ten years: discover, explore, buy, use, ask, and engage.  Each customer of yours is in one of these six life cycle stages, learn about each one.  

  2. Use the channels that support each stage of your customers life cycle. Colburn told the Prosper audience that most sellers are capturing new customers in the explore and buy stages on Amazon. He encouraged sellers start earlier in the life cycle (i.e. the discover stage).

  3. Determine the right media mix. He mentioned that this is a challenge for large consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands, likely because they may be still in traditional media mix spend models.  He said digital advertising will grow from 45 percent of all advertising to 57 percent by 2023, so make sure digital is getting a fair share of your brand’s budget.  

  4. Acknowledge that in-store sales still matter. While 84 percent of all US sales will be transacted offline in 2019, 36 percent of those offline sales will be influenced by digital.  Colburn noted that the majority of the dollars that are moving to Amazon advertising from brands are moving there from shopper and trade marketing budgets not off of Google and Facebook.  

  5. Do not over-index on ad spend on Amazon (versus all other channels). He encouraged brands to start testing ads on other retailer’s websites including Walmart, Target, Best Buy and even Kroger.  Of course the size of your marketing budget matters, you don’t want to be spread thin, but to the extent that you’re under-indexed on digital, spend as much as you can without a decline in return on ad spend (ROAS) on Amazon, then look into these other websites and apps (providing your product is sold there).  

Whether you want to explore the possibility of getting started with Amazon Advertising as a first party vendor to Amazon or a brand seller on the Marketplace, or you’re a seasoned brand executive wanting to get a jumpstart on your potential for further growth, you owe it to your company to explore Amazon advertising as a channel for acquiring new clients and grow your overall revenue.  

Read this: Ultimate Guide to Amazon Advertising I Amazon I Barnes & Noble

5 Methods For Scaling Your Facebook Advertising

Harnessing the power of Facebook’s advertising platform is a tricky road to navigate; this is especially true when it comes time to scale your advertising efforts. Just because you have experienced success at lower spending amounts doesn’t mean that you simply spend more money and generate the same success.

The Facebook algorithm is a finicky beast, and scaling must be done carefully and according to best principles.

It is important to understand that increasing your investment in Facebook ads is no minor decision. Sure, there is a vast audience to reach, but you want your pitch to those potential customers to be efficient and successful.

Let’s examine a few strategies that will propel your Facebook marketing and advertising into overdrive, moving your business forward and keeping your goals squarely on track.

#1. Increase Your Budget (Wisely)

Increase your Facebook budget wisely

You may be thinking, “Well, duh, isn’t that the whole point of scaling?” Admittedly, it is the most elementary entry into our list. Even so, you must tread carefully and make smart decisions about how and when you apply more funds to your advertising.

Don’t blindly throw large sums of money at an ad expecting similar returns (even if that ad previously performed well). See, here’s the deal — Facebook optimizes your ad sets over time, which is why ads often perform better as time goes on. If you throw too much money at an ad too fast, it can throw off the algorithm, which then causes your ROI to massively drop.

Scaling up too quickly means overcommitting your resources before they have any time to prove themselves. While you may have an ad that knocks it out of the park at a lower tier, it will still require time to prove its value at a higher level. Depending on the size of your audience, an ad that performs well at a lower ad spend may struggle when you increase the amount of money behind it.

You need to be sure that the ad will continue to generate a high ROI as you increase the amount you spend. To ensure this, moderately increase your spend — too much too fast is asking for trouble and plenty of lost dollars. 

On your ad manager, go to the ad set you want to revise and click ‘edit’. Click on ‘adjust budget’ and you will be able to increase it by a certain percentage. Generally speaking, don’t increase your ad spend more than 20% per day. 

The longer an ad has to find and engage with its target audience, the more likely its performance will increase over time.

Once you do increase your investment keep a close eye on the ongoing performance of your ads. Even the best ads — ones proven though plenty of testing and past positive returns – will grow stagnant over time.

An unwillingness to change will cost you money.

#2. Use Facebook Audience Insights

Audience Insights for scaling Facebook ads

The thing about Facebook having so many users is that it knows a lot about those users. By a lot, we mean A LOT.

In utilizing their ad platform, you also have access to that trove of data. So make use of it. Using Facebook’s Audience Insights tool, you can expand your reach to an even larger group of potential customers.


Click on ‘Audience Insights’ on your Ad Manager page and enter the custom audience details for the ad you want to scale. 

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Assume your initial advertising focused on those that loved the outdoors. However, through audience insights, the data showed that those same folks also loved dogs.

Not only can you retarget that original group with their interest in canines, but you can also create content aimed directly at dog owners that are active nature lovers too and discover pages that your target audience is likely to follow.

You can view this information under ‘Page Likes’; this is a gold mine of information and lets you tap into a new set of audience who are most likely to be interested in your ad. 

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#3. Create Lookalike Audiences

Lookalike audiences

Another key factor in scaling your Facebook ads is allowing the platform to do some of the work for you.

Using the Facebook pixel, you can track what tasks a user performs on your site after engaging with one of your ads. From there, Facebook will analyze the activity data automatically, then create a wider target audience based on those actions.

For example, assume that a large contingent of purchases made on your website is from college-educated users that live in New England. Facebook can use that data to create a similar, yet much bigger audience which you can then target with advertisements.

Under the ‘Audience’ tab, click on ‘Create a Custom Audience’. Start with picking your strongest lookalike audience — it can be from your customer purchase list, app download list, website visitors, etc.

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Once you have uploaded the data, Facebook will match it to the corresponding profiles on Facebook. Now, you need to establish the size of the audience, between 1 and 10% which will define the post reach. Remember that as you increase the percentage, the quality of your audience will continue to decrease. 

#4. Go International With Your Audience

International targeting

When setting up your business, you may not have planned on going international, but through the help of platforms such as Facebook, the world is shrinking. You should definitely take advantage of it too.

The first step is seeking opportunities in countries that speak the same language. For example, if you live in the United States, you can expand your audience to other English-first countries, such as Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

From there, all it takes to grow even further is to translate your ad into the language of your target country or countries.

One item of note is that even if the principals of Facebook remain similar internationally, the users do not. Before expanding beyond your own backyard, recognize that some things get lost in translation from one country to the next.

This tip applies not only to your ad content and the product or service you’re selling but also to the spend and ROI (the cost to convert in one country may be uneconomical versus another).

Regardless, few things are more exciting than realizing your appeal reaches far beyond your city or state.

#5. Freshen Up the Content

Freshening up your ads

When scaling your ads, it is essential to avoid ad stagnation. If you start to see a high-frequency score on your ads, it may be a sign that your audience is seeing the same ads too often and that you need to freshen up your ad sets.

Consider creating ad sets using a variety of approaches, such as videos and slideshows, which add a nice bit of variety to the standard ad format. You can change different elements in the ad like the caption, link or creative.

On the ‘Adverts’ tab in Ad Manager, click ‘Duplicate’ for the ad set you want to edit and replace the text and/or creative. 

If you replace the advert, remember to stop the previous ad and if you wish to test both the ads, let both of them run and compare the results. 

It is also a good idea to use one ad format when doing the initial targeting of an audience, then use the other when retargeting; this keeps your audience from seeing the same ad repeatedly and prevents ad fatigue.

Final Thoughts

Taking the next step and scaling your Facebook advertising certainly comes with a bit of uncertainty. Adjustments may be necessary early on, and the potential to lose some of your ad dollars in the initial stages is ever present.

The benefits though far outweigh any risk. A greater audience equals more engagement, more customers, and more sales.

Remember, budget and increase your spend wisely, develop your audience through multiple channels, and provide them with content that ensures their engagement no matter where they are in the buying process.

Scaling your Facebook advertising can mean plenty of success for your business. Mapping out the road ahead ensures a smooth ride later on.

GoDaddy Social adds social media advertising for franchises

Attract local customers with Facebook + Instagram advertising

We’re excited to announce that we’ve expanded our solution for franchises to include social media advertising on Facebook and Instagram. With this upgrade, GoDaddy Social now promises local customer acquisition for franchise brands.

The new Instagram and Facebook ads are designed to drive results for locations within a franchise system by attracting new customers with campaigns featuring advanced targeting, on-brand creative, and automated optimization. 

A do-it-for-you service

Franchises face the unique challenge of growing a national brand while maintaining an authentic, local presence in their individual communities. GoDaddy Social strengthens brands online with reputation management and social media marketing on the platforms that matter most to consumers. We’ve assembled a team of experts with a deep understanding of the franchise space and powered them with industry-best technology to deliver results for franchises at both the corporate and local level.

The fully do-it-for-you service features:

  • Corporate dashboards providing oversight of the performance of an entire franchise network
  • Network-wide review responses and review management executed for individual locations
  • Account management and performance reporting for franchisors and franchisees to facilitate data-driven decision making
  • Professional photography, social profile optimization and on-brand social posts for each location to amplify the brand and engage local customers
  • Social media advertising on Facebook and Instagram to reach and engage potential new customers

Reaching new customers

The addition of social media advertising is the latest in a number of upgrades to GoDaddy Social to provide a comprehensive solution for franchise networks. With this expansion, GoDaddy Social delivers on its promise to help franchises save time, protect their reputation, and attract new customers—with ease.

Let us do it for you

Interested in having us do it for your franchise? Learn more about GoDaddy Social for Franchises here.