8 Ways To Promote Your Small Business
You have arrived. Your small business has top-of-the-line goods and services and your customer service is equally unmatched. You are confident about what you can do and proud of what you have achieved so far.
But, business isn’t rolling in or maybe not as much as you would like. What do you do? At SIGN.COM, we work with many small businesses and here is our list of seven effective ways you can get the word out there about your small business.
- Commit to a Marketing Budget
As a small business, your money is tight. But don’t make the mistake of neglecting marketing spend, which is the engine for generating new business. A healthy annual marketing budget for an established small business is at least 5% of gross revenue. For a new small business, you might need to start as high as 15% and then over time eliminate the less-effective marketing tactics. But whatever you spend, plan ahead and commit to on-going marketing investments.
- Clearly Identify Your Target Customer
This seems like an obvious one, but you’d be surprised how many businesses fail to do this right off the bat. But if you don’t know whom you’re trying to sell to and attract, how are you going to get them interested in your business? Once you know who your audience actually is, you can begin to formulate a plan of attack that will bring them in.
- Focus on the Facets of Your Small Business that Stand Out
What does your small business bring to the table that nobody else in your market is offering? What are you best at? What do you customers say you are best at? What would you like to be known as? Lead with these facts when promoting your business, and if you are directing it towards the right receptive audience, you’ll reap the rewards.
- Set Up a Real Website!
We cannot stress this enough! In this digital age, it is vital that you have an online presence. This will expand your customer base to the growing masses the look online before deciding on who or where to buy. If your budget doesn’t allow for a custom design for your website, try companies such as SiteSell, HomeStead, Squarespace, or GoDaddy to create one. It is also important that you consider a domain name. These sorts of sites will provide you with templates and the opportunity to secure domain names.
- Invest Your Time, Money, and Energy into Social Media
You won’t regret it! Setting up business profiles, pages, or channels with LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, etc… are vital to sustaining a viable small business in the digital age. While creating these pages, profiles, and channels, it is also important that you include good descriptions of your small business and the goods and services it provides. Also include keywords and hashtags, as these social media search engines will pick them up.
- Create Facebook Ads and Google AdWords
Print ads and banner ads are all well and good, but if you want to attract the most focused customers, it is important that you invest in services such as Facebook Ads and Google AdWords.
Facebook Ads will allow you to target specific demographics (those ideal customers we discussed earlier) and pinpoint potential customers you haven’t reached yet. If you so desire, you can set a small budget (less than $10 per day) to target these specific customers who fall under certain demographics such as age, gender, education, and interests similar to the goods and services that your small business provides. From here, your business can start to create a database of potential customers.
As for Google Adwords, which is the Google search engine’s paid advertising program, they can be a very effective way to get your small business and its website listed on search engines for your desired search terms. AdWords and PPC (pay-per-click) can be extremely effective if you are in need of traffic to your website. It is important that you create focused, long-tail keywords, however, in order to create the highest possible amount of customers who click-through. This sort of campaign shouldn’t be too expensive either, with an average daily budget running from $10-20 per day.
While investing in keywords, websites, and social media is vital – it is also important that you make blogging a high priority for your small business. Blogging can become an excellent marketing tool. Blogging, however, does require your time but most especially your patience. For optimal marketability, you should start to set some time aside every week for your website’s blog. The more you put in to this blog, the more you will get out of it. It has been documented that small businesses with a regularly updated blog are twice as likely to generate leads with potential clients as businesses who do not put their time and energy into blogs.
- Invest in Signage
Business signs are a great way to advertise your storefront and get noticed for your goods and services. But you have to create signs that people will notice and remember. Just keep in mind: make them BIG. Make them noticeable. Use the right banner or sign material. And above all, keep it legal by obeying all local signage ordinances.