1) Determine Your Goals
The first step in promoting your company is outlining your goals so you can figure out the best way to achieve them. For example, are you hoping to grow your social media following? Or are you hoping to connect more with your local community? Do you want to increase brand awareness or boost sales? Once you decide exactly what you hope to accomplish, it becomes much easier to lay out a game plan.
2) Find Your Target Audience
Now that you have a vision, it’s time to find the people who are going to be a part of it. You can start by forming a profile of your typical customer. For instance, if you sell gym equipment, you can logically assume your typical customer is either someone who owns a fitness facility or an athlete who wants to exercise at home. Once you determine a basic customer profile, it’s time to go deeper and consider attributes such as age, gender, income, and location. When you have a general idea of who you’re marketing to, creating effective marketing materials becomes much more intuitive.
3) Consider How Your Brand Is Viewed
The next step is to view your company’s branding from an unbiased perspective. There are many aspects of branding to consider, from your logo and corporate colours to the content you put out on social media. Your goal should be to establish your company as an authority in your field. Using the same gym equipment company example, you would probably want a sleek, modern logo that shows you offer cutting-edge equipment. You could also put out content that covers relevant topics such as exercises and fitness diets.
Branding your company is a major part of marketing it, so you may want to overhaul your brand’s image before and/or while you revitalise your advertising. Never underestimate the power of high-quality, professional branding. You may need to outsource to graphic designers, copywriters, and other professionals to help you get your branding on track.
4) Test and Track Your Ad Campaigns
You don’t want to commit to a full-fledged advertising campaign until you’ve tested it and tracked its progress. You can start by promoting a post on social media, and then checking in on the analytics over the next few days or weeks. If the ad does well, you can feel comfortable promoting it harder. If it doesn’t pan out, you only spent a small amount of your budget anyways, so now you can revamp it or scrap it entirely. Online social media and advertising platforms make it easy to track views and conversions, so take advantage of those tools.
5) Consider Your Timing
In a fast-moving world, timing is everything. If you run a restaurant, you wouldn’t advertise your breakfast menu in the evening, right? Consider when your target audience is most likely to see your ad, as well as when it’s most likely to respond. If you sell office supplies, it makes sense to advertise your products during the workday when office managers are placing their orders, rather than during the evening when they’re not thinking about office inventory. While it may be tempting to push your ads into the world as soon as they’re ready, try to wait for the best possible moment, even if it’s weeks or even months away. Pay attention to your relevant community, your competition, and any other factors that could affect your views, and then put your ad out when the timing makes sense.
6) Seek Out Help
In a small business setting, owners tend to wear many hats. This doesn’t mean you should be expected to handle the duties of an entire marketing department on your own. If you’re not a skilled photo editor, hire one. If you’re not able to create professional videos, find someone who can. Putting out low-quality ads is cheaper, but it also tarnishes your brand and rarely yields successful results. When it comes to advertising, quality beats quantity.
7) Try Low-Cost Advertising Options
You don’t necessarily need a huge budget to advertise your company. Sure, you may need to pay for advertising content, but you can still promote your company on the cheap if you know how. Here are some great options for low-cost business advertising opportunities:
- Trade shows and other networking events
- Speaking engagements
- Community events
- Customer referrals
- Online reviews
- Social media engagement
- Business cards
- Hosting events
- Customer loyalty programs
If you’re passionate about your company, sometimes the best business marketing is simply getting out there and spreading the word. Instead of focusing all your attention on one strategy, take a marketing mix approach. Engage your audience online, in-person, and through tangible advertising mediums. Hold contests and give away coupons. Pay attention to which advertising campaigns yield the best results, and reproduce them in new ways. Learn from your mistakes and improve upon your successes.
Advertising takes time to master. Find what works for your company and continue on that path, but don’t feel tied to it. As long as you pay attention to your market, your community, your competition, and changing trends, you should be able to keep your advertising relevant and effective.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]