Promoting your business is the key to earning new customers and staying top-of-mind with your existing clientele. In addition to the tried-and-true methods, new and creative ways of getting the word out have emerged over the years. Let’s explore a few channels—old and new—and discover those that will work best for your business.
Social media platforms such Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are great promotional tools. Not only are they free (unless you opt for paid advertising), they are also viewed by millions of people every day. A simple post about your business could reach thousands of potential new clients. Social media also provides the opportunity for more informal interactions with the people who follow your pages.
PRO TIP: Have a plan/strategy for your social media posts. Create and schedule posts in advance (use a service such as hootsuite.com) so you don’t have to worry about updating each platform every day.
Business websites are an extremely important piece of the marketing puzzle. More often than not, your website is the first impression customers get of your business—so make it count. Be creative, produce great content, and interact positively with your customer base.
PRO TIP: Your website up-to-date. Stale content gives the impression that you can’t make the time to give your customers the up-to-date info they’re looking for.
Word-of-mouth can make or break a business, and thanks to social media, word-of-mouth has gone digital. It’s important to ask your loyal clients to fill out a review on websites such as Google My Business or your company’s Facebook page. A few good reviews on these reliable sites will go a long way toward creating a positive impression of your business.
PRO TIP: Check your online reviews regularly and respond to customer comments. Thank customers for their kinds words, and develop a strategy to respond to posts that are critical of your services.
Public Relations Events
Even in an increasingly digital world, promoting your business at physical events is still an extremely powerful way to grow your business. Attend a trade show or put together a community BBQ (and contact the local media of course), and you have yourself a golden opportunity to do some direct, face‑to‑face promotion. Update your brochures and sales materials to give them a fresh look!
PRO TIP: Partner with a local charity to raise funds for a cause.
Direct mail and email marketing are two powerful ways to ensure you’re reaching your customers. Each one has its advantages. Direct mail has a 4.4% response rate, according the Direct Marketing Association (2017). A study by the UK Royal Mail found that direct mail owes its effectiveness to the fact that people love to give, receive and handle tangible objects. 57% of respondents said that postcard marketing made them feel more valued as customers. Email marketing has the advantages of being economical, as well easy and quick to deploy. Clients also opt-in to email marketing, meaning they are already receptive to your marketing messages.
PRO TIP: Combine direct mail and email marketing to create a multi-channel promotion that delivers a highly effective one-two punch.
Online Search Engines
Search engines such as Google and Bing are the modern-day Yellow Pages. Ensuring your company is listed in these directories makes it easier for customers to find and utilize your products and services.
PRO TIP: It can take a few weeks for a new website to show up in online search results. Google and Bing both offer paid advertising through their Google Adsense and Bing Ads services. Choose your budget and get quick results.