Doing More With Your Ad Dollars: An Independent Retailer’s Guide to Advertising

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July is Independent Retailer Month. And while small businesses enrich our communities and account for two out of three jobs in the U.S., running your own business is challenging -- especially when marketing your brand and developing a clear advertising strategy.

We’ll always stress the importance of a solid, paid marketing plan, but there are plenty of ways your business can aid in that plan. From affordable options to free, organic reach -- we are sharing all of our tips and tricks on how small, independent retailers can stand out to consumers and do more with their ad budget.

Social Media

Never underestimate the power of a solid social media plan. Did you know 94% of small businesses that use social media for marketing rely on organic (non-paid) content? Your followers and potential customers want to hear from you! Ever searched a business and saw they weren’t on social media? Or maybe hadn’t posted in ages? Being active on social media not only legitimizes your business, but gives customers a chance to know who you are and what you are about.

Sharing and creating content doesn’t have to be hard. Follow brands that inspire you or align with your business. Sharing their content can lead to more engagement and potential follows from like-minded accounts. Create posts that align with your customer base. Sharing tips and tricks, helpful information, as well as promos and giveaways are all great posts for engagement.

And don’t forget the power of video. Did you know half of social media users prefer video over other types of content? While high-quality video is a must if you’re scaling your advertising efforts to linear or CTV platforms, low-quality video can be a good thing when sharing on social media — making your brand feel authentic. Don’t overthink your social presence; being present is already a step in the right direction.

Email Marketing

Email marketing can generate a lot of return for minimal investment. With the right strategy and content, email marketing can help you build relationships with your clientele — from gaining new customers to retaining your most loyal ones. There are many different formats and opportunities to use email marketing, for example:

  • Welcome Emails

Welcome emails are a perfect way to set expectations with new clients and often perform extremely well.

  • Newsletters

Create value for your product or service by sending newsletters to current clients. Giving them free, valuable information about your expertise can create loyal customers who trust your brand as the know-all and go-to.

  • Special Offers or Incentives

We all have our favorite brands, services, and products that we look forward to buying from — especially when sent a promo code or coupon. These emails are a fast and efficient way to spread awareness of your latest offer.

Whatever content you decide to produce, email marketing can provide valuable insights and data and be an easy, effective way for your business to prosper.


Reaching your exact audience doesn’t have to be overly expensive or complicated. On average, people spend five hours a day on their phones, mostly in apps. AdMessenger by a4 allows you to target users on mobile and primarily in-app. This fully customizable scrolling text display ad allows your business to use its logo and branding colors and easily change up your messaging — at any time. The best part? There’s no production cost or lag time — making for a simple, affordable way to stand out with targeted advertising.

Rate My Professors

Did you know that there are over 19 million college students in the U.S.? While many may think this young demographic doesn’t have the finances to make financial decisions, students have a spending power of over $593 billion in the U.S. Owned and operated by Altice USA, Rate My Professors is one the most recognized and trusted resources for class and professor ratings. With over 38 million page views per month, display ads on Rate My Professors can easily geotarget audiences on a city, state, or national level, making this an easy avenue to get your brand in front of large audiences.


Not every business has a massive budget or numerous resources to advertise, which is okay. It doesn’t mean there are not options for every budget. Whether there are things your brand does internally or simple solutions we provide here at a4, we have your back. Contact us today to speak to one of our trusted experts in advertising.

Posted at MediaVillage through the Thought Leadership self-publishing platform.

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