12 tips to promote your business
You need to get the word out about your products and services, but what’s the best way to promote your business? Fortunately, you have options. In addition to tried-and-true business promotion methods, the rise of social media has created an abundance of new marketing opportunities. It’s now easier and more affordable than ever to advertise. Learn more about how to promote your business with these digital marketing and social media tips.
Register your business with Google — it’s the new yellow pages. It allows potential customers to find your company’s location and hours of operation easily. Customers can also post reviews of your business. By setting up a Google My Business account, you can make your company more visible in online searches, extending your reach with a free form of advertising.
Google My Business
What you are seeing here is one paid ad, followed by THREE Google My Business listings before we even see the normal organic search results. If you can rank your GMB listing in these top 3, you can pull in large numbers of highly qualified leads day in and day out without needing to spend a dime on ads.
Google My Business combines all your different Google platforms into one central place, which includes your Google+ profile, Google Maps profile, your Google reviews, access to data on Google Analytics and Google Insights, and more.
How to promote your business locally
Recent consumer trend data from Shopify revealed that more than half of North American buyers changed the way they’ll shop going forward. One breakout trend has been support for local and small businesses. Here’s how you can take advantage of this:
Create a Google My Business profile
“Google My Business gives local businesses a separate online presence other than their website,” says Amy Falcione, founder of local marketing agency Big Picture Marketing. “Your listing gives a brief but detailed description of what your business offers and who you are.”
Amy explains that people use Google My Business to check and see if you’re legitimate. You can add photos and videos of your shop, and provide links to your website or appointment booking software. You can even give people a look inside your business to build trust and credibility with potential customers.
If someone decides they want to engage with your business, they have your contact information, website, and business address right in the listing. People can easily visit you online or in-person.
Join local events
A local event refers to any affair that attracts an audience from a local market. Artisan markets, craft shows, trade shows, and festivals are examples of events small businesses can promote themselves at locally.
“Right now, many local businesses are meeting online. They are using live streams and online meetups to show off products online and reach people at scale,” Amy tells Shopify. “But as areas start to open back up, we don’t want to overlook the power of local in-person events.”
Local events help small business owners meet customers one-on-one and create individual connections. People can touch, feel, and smell whatever you’re selling and interact with your products.
“Another way to promote your business locally is through workshops and lectures,” says Amy. “For example, if you run a candle making business, you can run local workshops to teach people how to make their own candles. It’s a great way to build your reputation in the community and increase brand awareness.”
Offer local delivery
People are buying more from independent businesses. Our consumer trend data shows that nearly a third of buyers bought something online and had it delivered to their home during the first three months of the pandemic.
Offering local delivery is a smart way to capitalize on this trend. When a customer orders something from your online store, you can personally deliver it to their doorstep. It serves as an alternative to traditional carrier shipping and in-store shopping, and is a thoughtful way to sell to concerned customers.
Get local press
Another great way to promote your business locally is by getting local press coverage. Getting a story in the local news is not only free but can also drive thousands of potential customers to your website or local shop.
“Start by creating a press list of all the publications you want coverage in,” Amy says, “then write your own press release and start pitching it to reporters. Make it easy for them by getting your own quotes and statistics and making your story sound newsworthy.”
Press releases that focus on community empowerment encourage local reporters to cover your business. If you can nail down getting local press, you’ll be able to capture your audience’s attention and interest in no time.
Free: Press Release Template
To help you get started, we put together this template to help you structure your story using a common press release format. You can replace each component with your own information and adapt it according to your needs.
Get the press release template delivered right to your inbox.
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19 Awesome Marketing Strategies For Small Businesses
The Facebook Ads Manager also makes it fairly simple to run and test multiple ad sets, allowing you to hone in on a winning formula and reach profitability without needing advanced technical expertise.
That said, many new users have a lot of difficulty succeeding with their initial campaigns. It takes some persistence, but on the plus side, Facebook’s popularity has produced numerous 3rd party tools that can help you succeed.
If you run a business that has a strong visual component, it might be worth trying out Instagram Ads instead. As a subsidiary of Facebook, Instagram Ads benefit from the same data base and targeting options, while allowing you to connect with an audience that is better primed for visual sales.
Why is it Important to Build a Small Business Marketing Strategy?
Every business wants to get their name out there, but when you’re a small business with a modest budget, it’s hard to come up with traditional and online marketing ideas while balancing marketing expenses against the expenses of actually doing business. And with advertising costing as much as it does, it’s no wonder that so many small businesses struggle to get noticed.
Here’s the plot twist, though: advertising isn’t the best way to generate leads anymore. The average person today sees around 5,000 ads a day, a number that’s over twice as high as it was in the ‘80s. As a result, ad blockers are now used by more than 250 million people. So if ads aren’t the way to build a customer base, what is?
Did you know that 50% of small businesses don’t have a dedicated digital marketing strategy? Small businesses often deal with a limited marketing budget. As a result, it can be a challenge to earn visibility in a local community.
A marketing strategy helps you increase brand awareness and develop a pipeline of qualified leads that will turn into sales. With the right digital tactics in place, you can scale your small business marketing efforts to earn more customers in your local area.
A Marketer is Only as Good as His Tools
This section can be the most intimidating if you’re new to marketing. There are lots of tools designed to help you track all of these metrics and data. Some of the best are free. If you are primarily using a website, check out Google Analytics to monitor all of your website traffic and measure your online marketing campaigns. Hootsuite is great for social media scheduling management.
Let’s say you run a pizza restaurant called Pizza Party Delight. You begin working on your plan by pulling together market information you’ve gathered over the past few years. This includes:
From the material you’ve gathered, you see that your average customer is between 18 and 35 years old, earns an income of between $22,000 and $35,000 and works, but doesn’t live within walking distance of your business.
Your market research also tells you competing restaurants in your area mostly offer take-out options, and you are one of the few restaurant businesses with a dine-in experience. While you do offer delivery services, the bulk of your income is generated during the day through eat-in and take-out orders. All of this provides you with the basis for your Market Overview section.
You know from one of the news articles you’ve collected that an apartment building a block from your business has recently been rezoned. According to the article, a large accounting firm is slated to move into the top two floors of the building later this year. This is definitely a market trend that will have a positive impact on your business.
However on your way to work the other day you noticed several retail businesses in the building two doors from your restaurant have closed down, and there are now “For Lease” signs in their windows. You know this will present a challenge for your business, as your market research tells you both the employees and customers from these businesses often stopped by Pizza Party Delight for a slice or two.
Using this information, you’re able to write a comprehensive Market Analysis section outlining both an upcoming opportunity and an immediate challenge facing your business. You’re ready now to move on to your marketing objectives.
You have a number of objectives you set out in your Marketing Objectives section. The time you’ve spent on the first part of your marketing plan has also added a new objective to your list. Because the bulk of your current business comes during the day from employees of local businesses, you decide you also want to increase your evening profits by focusing on potential customers who live within your delivery area.
While working on the Marketing Strategy section, you decide you want to use a two-pronged approach to reach your goal of increasing your customer base for deliveries: you want to combine print marketing with digital marketing.
While researching strategies, you learn about Every Door Direct Mail ® (EDDM ® ) offered by the United States Postal Service. It lets you easily send a flat mailer to everyone in your delivery area. Sounds like a great way to reach your predefined target audience (those who live in your delivery area) and you know your competitors are seeing success with mailings as well.
You decide to include a print coupon in your EDDM ® mailer that requires the reader to go to your website for redemption. Once they land on your site, you can plan to capture their emails, paving the way for future digital marketing campaigns. This helps you drive down future cost, since you’ll be able to email offers and incentives instead of sending a mailing every time. It also helps you meet the goals outlined in the Measurement/Controls section of your plan, providing you with concrete numbers.
By following these steps, you will be able to make realistic progress towards full implementation of this campaign. You also know the amount of spend you have available for this campaign, as you’ve already calculated everything out while preparing the Marketing Budget portion of your marketing plan.
As for the timing of each of these actions, the Measurement/Controls section has your detailed schedule to help you monitor your marketing efforts. These meetings provide you target dates when it comes to implementing each of your steps.
Of course, this example focuses on only one campaign, you will have similar steps for each campaign you launch. A comprehensive marketing plan forces you to think critically about your business, how it will grow, how it responds to changes in the marketplace and allows you to measure creative efforts.
If you want some help figuring out how to add print, direct mail, EDDM ® and other components to your marketing plan give us a call at 800-930-6040. Printing For Less has been helping small and medium size businesses for over 20 years, we can help you stand out and get results.