Advertising your small business is stressful – with so many choices and, usually, so little budget how do you choose which channels to use and where to spend your money? It is important to find the answers, as knowing how to promote your small business in the best possible way sets you on the path to growing your market and expanding your reach. Reaching the right audience, in the right way, at the right time is the key to successful marketing, and it is different for every business, but there are some general things that can help.
Here are 4 free and 3 paid ways to advertise your small business in a crowded market.
Social Media Marketing
LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok – the list of social media platforms goes on, with Wikipedia estimating that there are over 130 different ones to choose from now! The key to using social media to advertise your small business is choosing the platform that your customers are using most, and then updating your page regularly. The only cost to a successful social media marketing campaign is your time investment.
If you have a list of customer (or potential customer) email addresses, using them wisely is a great way to market your small business. Send out helpful articles, sales messages, and rewards to those who sign up and you will create a faithful following that will convert as well as your social media audience, or even better!
Don’t overlook your website. If you are doing all this work to drive people to your website, you need to make sure it converts them into leads. Make the most of your data and analytics to ensure that it is working as hard as you are. Search Engine Optimisation is another great way to make your website do more for your business. By optimising your website to be found in the search engines you can increase the number of visitors, and with no direct costs, your only investment is time and energy.
Another fantastic way to market your business is by creating valuable content. This could be blog posts, videos, and even podcasts. It is a great way to express your brand’s personality and help you to find new customers. It can also support your social media and SEO work, so it’s a great option to use in combination with the other free marketing ideas we’ve suggested above.
PPC (Pay-Per-Click) marketing is a really effective way to market your business as it allows you to send your message to a highly targeted audience and set a tight budget. Google Ads and Bing Ads are the most common, and each gives you a chance to test multiple adverts and campaigns to see which performs best for your goals.
Instead of relying on organic growth in your social media profiles and pages, you can create very visual social media adverts and display them to a highly targeted audience. As well as giving you the opportunity to reach a wide number of people for a small budget, the advertising options on these channels give you access to a huge range of in-depth data which can help you to make future advertising decisions.
If you already have a bank of customer data or have run successful paid campaigns in the past, then remarketing is a great option. Remarketing is usually a cheaper option than other paid marketing options, and has a higher conversion rate.
Whatever your budget, whatever time you have to invest, there is a marketing solution for your small business. Take your time, make a plan and good luck!
If you’d like to speak to one of our team about how we could help you attract new customers with catchy and clever advertising tactics, you can get in touch here. Alternatively, pick up the phone and call us on 01600 891525 – we’d love to hear from you!
Social media can seem mysterious to the business person who wants to use it for promoting their business. But much of what they do can be demystified with the three A’s, attention, audience and assessment.
Social media networks, like the news networks before them, are focussed on attention. Specifically, getting long bouts of attention from users. We hear a lot about how social media is ruining attention spans with short blips of content, but users can spend hours a week, if not a day, scrolling through the endless stream of content.
With your business posts you are looking to interrupt this stream with something that grabs the attention. This doesn’t have to be something outlandish or shocking, it can simply be something that stands out for your audience.
Depending on the social media network the audience may be seeing things about their friends and family circle, the celebrities they follow, their interests. Then there’s your post, what can you do to make yourself seem different to these other posts? How can you annex some attention?
This can vary by industry and social media platform so it always requires some research before you start but a key indicator is to do some competitor analysis. Where are businesses like yours set up on social media? What does their follower audience look like?
This will give you an idea of what is working but it also gives you a basis from which to ask, does this audience exist somewhere else where my competitor doesn’t have a presence? Can you be first to contact an audience via a different channel? This certainly gives you an opportunity to find new customers and clients.
Once you’ve thought about how to grab attention and who to aim it at, you should engage in continual assessment of your posts.
Look at what gets engagement and what doesn’t. When you pay to boost posts, how do the results compare with your expectations? Were the results bad, or your expectations high?
The idea that there is some concrete formula that will see you right for social posts, that will bring business flooding in every time, is a fallacy. The networks themselves change modelling and algorithms on a frequent enough basis that any formula would be short term, but what they cannot change is what an audience is looking for on social media.
Define your audience, talk to them in a way that differs from the rest of the content they’re encountering and keep assessing what you do to ensure you maximise your potential, that you explore new ideas and give your audience a reason and opportunities to connect, engage and do business with you.
If you’d like a hand solving the mystery of social media marketing, then get in touch and we’ll work it out together.