Posted By Seamus Barton
12 Tips for Advertising Your Small Business
Opening your first small business is an exciting milestone and an amazing accomplishment in itself. Although revenue and employee numbers may be less than larger businesses, your small business is unique, and with the right marketing tools and techniques, it can grow exponentially.
If you’ve invested most of your savings towards opening your business, there’s no doubt that money will be scarce and budgets tightened. At this point, you may begin cutting corners to help save money anywhere you can.
As you run through your list of expenses and begin to slash a few numbers in each budget, be careful not to eliminate your expenses in the marketing department. Whether it’s traditional advertising methods, online marketing strategies, or a combination of the two, the right marketing techniques can expand your small business and do wonders for your customer base.
With our world propelling forward in this digital era, a number of very effective and low-cost advertising and direct marketing methods are available for you to explore and use. If you’re in a bit of a financial bind and need some simple, cost-effective ways to market your small business, you’ve come to the right place. Troi Mailing Services is here to offer you 12 marketing strategies to help get people talking about your small business.
Do Your Research
Jumping into any project without performing some background research, creating an outline, and getting yourself organized, is all a recipe for disaster. For example, starting a direct mail campaign without a well-designed strategy could result in a waste of time, energy, and money.
Don’t use hit-or-miss techniques when it comes to advertising; strategize, and create a thorough plan of action. List all of the advertising routes that would be beneficial and effective for your business and a budget that you can stick to.
Target the Right Community
Doing your research before launching your marketing campaign is the best way to understand your target demographic. Who would be interested in your product or service, and how can you best target your potential customers?
Neighbourhood Mail (formerly known as Unaddressed Admail) can be used as a tool for engaging with your local community and other preferred target areas. This is an easy and cost-effective method of filtering demographic information for direct mail campaigns.
Advertising directly to your target demographic is the best way to ensure a return on your investment. You can accomplish this by researching where your target demographic would spend most of their time outside of their homes and try to tailor your advertising for these locations, such as incorporating your logo or flyer in public places, such as libraries and other stores.
Prepare Your Elevator Pitch
Every opportunity is a good opportunity to market your business or put your name and services out there. Whether people remember your business or not will vary from one person to the next, but you can be guaranteed that if you don’t market your business, you’ll remain largely unknown.
The simplest form of marketing is through word-of-mouth, which is why it’s a good idea to have an elevator pitch prepared and ready to share. This will empower you to market yourself and your business at a moment’s notice, anytime, anywhere.
Create a good hook to catch the attention of those listening, followed by a simple, informative, and memorable elevator pitch to help sell your product or service. With a well-prepared pitch, you’ll be spending next-to-nothing on advertising your business with effective results.
Meet, Mingle, and Network
Networking is one of the most effective ways to market yourself, meet individuals, and advance yourself as a professional and business. Networking opens the doors for several amazing opportunities you may not have known about.
Help build up your business by getting yourself out there, meeting with your potential customers, vendors, and service providers, and getting to know them all. Commit some time to network regularly; although you may not see the results instantly, making good, strong networks are important assets for any business.
Collaborate and Cooperate
There’s no shame in reaching out to other local small businesses to help you out in your promotional journey. In fact, reaching out to other non-competitive businesses in your locality and cross-promoting with them is a great way to build and expand your customer base. You could plan to use bundled direct mail promotions, or agree to post flyers within each other’s businesses to help promote and grow together.
Similarly, don’t shy away from asking for customer referrals, and offer to do the same for other businesses to gain a mutual benefit. Many people are very willing to pass on referrals if asked specifically, so don’t be afraid to ask.
Market Your Business Online
With today’s widespread use of social media and other online forums, people can remain connected and informed easily. Many social media outlets allow you to create a free page for your business that potential customers can like and follow. This route of marketing is highly effective and very affordable.
Devote time to updating your social media accounts and ensure that you use all platforms to reach as many potential customers as possible. Here are some channels you should be taking advantage of to market your business:
Social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, etc. are a must; be sure to include all the contact information for your business so that potential customers can reach out to you.
A business website is essential, even if you have a large following on social media sites. Make sure you create an easy-to-read and eye-catching website and use it as a repository of information, product listings, and promotions for your potential customer to explore.
Blogs and articles
Blogs and articles serve as a way to inform your potential customers about a number of topics and increase your chances of being found in search engines—guest post and use blogging platforms to expand your reach beyond your website audience. Try to use search engine optimization tips to help make your page more likely to pop up when someone searches for what you sell or provide.
Promotions and coupons
Coupons and other promotions are excellent ways to motivate new or returning customers to pay a visit to your business and use their coupons. Many people are very likely to go out of their way to use a coupon, which can be a great strategy to help increase your customer base.
Additionally, you could give away samples of your products to as many people as you can. Hearing or reading about a product and actually being able to experience it in person are two different things, with the latter being a more effective technique to make a successful sale.
Contests and giveaways are also great and easy ways to get people excited and motivated to win prizes such as free products or gift baskets. Incorporating this into a direct mail campaign can help get the attention of potential customers and take them to your website to learn more.
Don’t Forget the Accessories
Imprinting your business name, logo, and slogan into your potential customers’ minds is the first step to get them interested and looking into your business. This can be done in a lot of ways, and in most cases, it’s the small details that make all the difference. You could:
Get branded stationery
Use business cards and other business stationery as a direct marketing tool to show your potential customers that you take your business seriously. Include all the appropriate information, contact information, and links to your website and social media.
Create an advert-on-wheels
Use a magnetic sign on your vehicle showing off your business name, logo, slogan, and a contact number so that you can advertise while you’re on the go. Alternatively, you could use your entire vehicle as an advertising board and have the information professionally printed across your vehicle.
Email advertising is a very effective way to share regular information, monthly newsletters, promotions, and discounts via electronic communication. Ensure that you ask permission from individuals before you place them onto your mailing list. Keep your business on your customer’s minds by regularly sending them emails with catchy headlines.
Don’t Forget About Direct Mailing
Although we may be engrossed within our digital world, direct mail campaigns continue to pass the test of time. Flyers, brochures, postcards, unaddressed Neighbourhood Mail, and other print advertising are all very effective ways to promote your business.
These can be printed in bulk and if mailed to an exclusive list of individuals, can be a very cost-effective way to spread the word about your business. Be sure to include all your contact information, a map if possible, and the steps people can take to reach out to you. Well-designed and eye-catching print advertisements are an excellent way to deliver a snapshot of your business right into your customer’s hands.
Attend Trade Shows and Events
You can build your professional network and elevate yourself and your business by participating and conducting a number of different events, including:
- Webinars to discuss new and exciting topics that could interest your customers
- Attending professional groups
- Demonstrating your knowledge in your field by drafting an article and sending it to non-competing newspapers, magazines, and other websites
- Promoting publicity about your business by seeking permission and then sharing it on your own website and social media sites to help create credibility for your business
- Speaking at conferences, volunteer organizations, and local businesses to increase name recognition and network for yourself.
Get Your Customers to Help You Advertise
Your current customer base can be a great source for reviews and testimonials. New customers are more likely to approach your business if they hear good reviews from those who have personally experienced your products or services. Ask your customers to share good reviews with others and request their permission to use their testimonials on your website and direct mail advertising to help build credibility for your business.
Finding the Right Marketing Strategy for Your Business
The advertising and marketing industry combines research with the latest tools and techniques to enhance businesses and sell products. We are bombarded with advertisements and marketing messages daily, some that we may or may not even be aware of.
Large corporations and companies usually have the budget to advertise on a large scale; however, this doesn’t mean that your small business can’t advertise as effectively on a smaller budget.
Use as many of the cost-effective strategies we’ve suggested to spread the word about your business. Direct mail advertising can be used alongside all of these strategies to boost engagement. Spend some time learning to understand your target demographic and use all communication channels to get your message out there.
For more tips for advertising your small business, call Troi Mailing Services in Toronto at 1-866-486-9350 or contact us here.