Regardless of whether your small business is a new or established one, marketing can play an important role in its success. Marketing can help you grow and retain your customer base, increase awareness and strengthen your brand. Here are five easy ways to market your business.
1. Get on Google My Business
When it comes to being found online, Google is the place to be. So make sure that you create a free listing on Google My Business. The listing includes your business name, address, phone number, trading hours, photos and directions. When someone searches for your business, your listing will appear at the top of the search. It will provide people with all the details they need to find, contact or visit you, making your business more discoverable to new customers.
2. Run a competition
There’s nothing quite like a good old-fashioned competition to attract new customers (and email addresses for your e-newsletter database). The prize should ideally be products or services from your business to showcase your offering. The competition can be promoted in-store, on your website, in a blog, and on social media, with the winner being featured in subsequent coverage.
3. Use social media
Previously, businesses were told they should be on every social media platform. Today, the focus is on mastering the most suitable social media channels to market your business. For a fashion retailer, this may be Instagram or Pinterest so they can take advantage of the visual, inspirational nature of the platforms. On the other end of the spectrum, an accountant may benefit from using LinkedIn to widen their business networks or position themselves as a thought leader by posting regular articles. Facebook works well for businesses that want to create active communities or promote regular special offers.
Regardless of the platform, invest time in asking and answering questions and starting conversations. The key to mastering social media is being social. Sharing both curated and original quality content will help market your product to customers and, more importantly, engage with them.
4. Form partnerships
Aligning yourself with other small businesses that you know and respect is a good way to market yourself and grow your network. For example, if you run a fine dining restaurant that regularly hosts occasions like weddings, think of complementary businesses to partner with. You may want to approach a local florist, patisserie, and winery to create a referral network.
Advertising may be the traditional approach to marketing your business, but when done through the right channels it can truly pay off. Consider an ad in a local newspaper, a Google Adwords campaign, targeted display advertising on your preferred social media platform, or listing your business in a local or online directory. It’s important to consider your specific target audience and think about how (and if) the ad will reach them; and always measure results to determine if the ROI is worth the spend.