In this day and age, with advertising everywhere you look, the Internet playing a bigger role in business growth than ever before and new businesses sprouting faster than you can say “marketing tips”, cutting through all the white noise to stand out among your competitors and get the attention you need is harder than ever.
The good news is getting your brand out there does not have to cost you a lot of money, but you will have to invest time and effort if you truly want to see your business grow. Those in the industry know that there are a few top marketing tips that no small business can afford to ignore, so here they are:
Use the power and reach of social networking
Get on top of social networking by creating business accounts on all the big players in the social media scene. These are free but know that in order to make the most of them, you’ll need to spend time engaging your followers and keeping abreast of latest news and developments. At the very least, you should be on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ and Twitter. Instagram is also a very useful marketing tool, particularly if your small business is image oriented.
With all social media, participation is key. For example, don’t just use LinkedIn to add connections. Do get involved in conversations, upload information and articles that relate to your product and/or service, and keep the dialogue going with your followers and connections. Make sure that your website, if you do have one, is mobile friendly as well.
Advertise on the move
If you have a company car or use your own vehicle, invest in car magnets with your company branding and information on them. Large panel magnets or car stickers can be designed and put on your vehicle so that you can begin to build brand awareness even while you are driving around your local area.
Host an event
Community information points, newsletters and noticeboards in libraries, community centres, doctors’ surgeries and local stores are a great way to raise the profile of your business. While many of these do not include advertisements for companies or businesses unless you are willing to pay for it, most will be happy to put up flyers or print an announcement free of charge if you host an educational event or information day, for example, or even sponsor a local community event. This is also a good way to get to know your immediate customer base, as well as build up a good network of contacts.
Apply for an online business award
Trade associations and industry chambers of commerce often have business awards that you can submit yourself for. Displaying an award on your website will go a long way, and even if you don’t win, you might get a mention in local trade journals and online newsletters so it is worth surfing the Internet to see what opportunities are out there, particularly within your specific industry.
Design eye-catching business cards
Every shake of the hand should be accompanied by your business card, and there are plenty of websites where you can design your own business card and have them printed at a very low cost. Once they arrive, start giving them out to everyone you meet – it will definitely help to get your brand out into the marketplace.