10 Effective Ways To Market Your Business
10 Effective Ways To Market Your Business
Marketing a business has become easier and more efficient with the help of social media and the internet. Finding a product or service to sell is only half the story. Now you have to get out there and tell people about it. However, here are some ways in which you can effectively market your business.
1. Create a brand & logo
Don’t be fooled by how simplistic this first tip may seem. Widespread brand recognition is your ultimate goal, and your business needs to inspire credibility and persuade others to spread the word about your work.
You need to create a brand you can build on from the start. Start by taking inventory of your business’ unique value proposition, its personality, and the values that define it. Then you can start to think about your visual brand.
Hiring a design firm may be costly, but there are popular crowdsourced design services on the web, such as crowd spring, that provide a selection of custom logo designs for your brand, and at an affordable price. Your visual brand may evolve with your business, but you need to start with something on which you can build your business’ reputation.
2. Create a website
Setting up a website is relatively easy. Making sure it’s attractive, functional, accessible, and mobile-friendly can make your business look professional. There are many affordable website services you can use to get your business online fast and with little cost.
These services offer ready-made website templates with lead-generation features, free logos and other features. Or, if you’d prefer to have more control over your site, you can always use WordPress, the world’s most popular (and entirely free) content management system. Thanks to the vast selection of available WordPress themes for professional business websites, anyone can easily set up a fully functional and expertly designed site. The overall cost of a site can vary from the type of design and function. Additionally, before marketing your website through any online channels, make sure your metadata is accurate and follows Google Webmaster guidelines.
Remember, too, to put everything on your website. If you book a stand at a trade fair, for example, get your team to wear t-shirts with your logo, phone number and website details on the back. You could even paint your car with your company logo and include your brand’s contact details.
3. Get some business stationary
You’ve got your brand, you’ve got your logo – now to get it out there. You want to create the strongest association possible between your logo and branding and your actual business, this is where business stationary comes into play. Print business cards, order letterheads and envelopes – you can even get a franking machine to print your company brand onto all outgoing post.
Make sure you’ve got your website listed on your business card, at the bottom of emails, printed onto all physical advertising copy leaving your office. The best way to get the word out, is to establish mental imagery with your company.
4. Engage with Google
Google has some smart tools to help promote your business. You can create an account on Google Business and Google Places. More people search for businesses online than anywhere else, and adding your website and company information to Google’s business directory can be helpful.
Most importantly, it’s free and straightforward, so there’s no reason not to. You can also manage your listing information, including business description, product or service details, pictures, videos and offers. Being listed in local directories can also increase the number of trusted inbound links to your website.
5. Optimize! Search engine optimization
Your website will be of little use if nobody can find it on their search engine. To generate the most online traffic, and therefore customers, you need to rank highly on Google. Because really, does anyone click to the second page of results?
To rank, you will need to work on your SEO techniques regularly, monitoring your statistics closely and refining your features accordingly. One of the first things to do is carry out keyword research on sites like Serpstat, SEMRush or Keywords Everywhere. What phrases are your customers searching? What questions do they have? Do your best to answer all their queries, in one place. But be wary of keyword stuffing: Google can spot this a mile off and may penalize you for it in the rankings.
6. Ask for reviews
Most local and national sites and directories allow customer reviews. Encourage your customers to write reviews about your products or services. Whether good or bad, reviews make your business more credible to future customers and can be lessons learned for you.
You can ask for reviews on the website by leaving a comment section, include a review link in your email marketing or even add a Pop-Up on your website to encourage people to leave feedback. Be sure to record customer feedback somewhere prominent on your site, so that others can find and read the results.
Maximize your brand awareness by sending out press releases, advertising in local or national newspapers, magazines and radio stations. If you’re just starting out, your local newspaper may have a section in the paper just for that. Also, try printing out the URL of your website on your business cards or letterhead, as a well-known URL can play a significant role in business advertisement.
High-quality ads can be costly, but they’re an expense that’s likely to have a lucrative payback. The single best way to increase your revenue is to increase your client base, which, quite simply, means reaching more people. That leads us on to Google ads.
8. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is one of the most effective ways to maximize brand awareness. It involves enlisting other people with wide-reaching platforms and capitalizing on their following to increase your company’s exposure. In return for endorsing your product, the affiliate marketer will get a commission on all sales generated through their link.
The most valuable affiliate marketers are undoubtedly social media influencers. The term ‘influencer’ is crucial here: not only will their endorsement reach hundreds of thousands of potential customers, but if followers think their favorite Instagram personality is using your product, they’re more than likely to follow suit. Items of clothing, for example, have been known to sell out in minutes when a famous Instagram influencer tags their outfit.
To capitalize on this method, be sure to use social media marketers within your niche. Fitness influencers are inundated daily with affiliate marketing opportunities from health and fitness brands, as their target audiences match almost exactly.
If you don’t have the time to seek out relevant affiliate marketers, there are many affiliate channels you can use, which have tens of thousands of affiliates actively seeking products to promote.
9. Facebook ads
One form of advertising that deserves a special mention is Facebook ads. Facebook holds a lot of data on its users, which means they can perfectly target specific demographics of people who might need your products. To get the most out of Facebook ads, you need to know your customer well, so you can tell Facebook who they should target.
You can use metrics like age, marital status, geographic location and hobbies to whittle down your target market. Using these metrics, you can implement strategic landing pages, where you can encourage visitors to enter their data, creating valuable business leads.
Facebook ads can be costly but have the advantage of reaching the public on a colossal scale. Experiment with your Facebook ads and see which copy and landing pages generate the most leads.
10. Offer discounts
This may seem like an obvious one, but you’d be surprised how many people overlook it. People love a good deal. Even the smallest of discounts can generate a huge increase in sales, if targeted in the right way. Too often, small businesses are scared of reducing their prices and suffering a loss in revenue, forgetting that the promotion will bring in new customers they wouldn’t otherwise have.
If you’re worried about lowering your prices too much, a clever trick is to increase your base price, and then offer discounts on those. Your products are instantly more psychologically appealing if they’re reduced.
If you’ve got an eCommerce store, use an active discount code. Send it out via email and post it on your social media pages to increase your online sales.