One of the biggest challenges that a small business must overcome is the need to advertise and get themselves known. Whether it’s the website that needs updating. Or that the company has no social media presence. Anything of this nature should be a top priority.
This post is designed to help you get your business onto the radar of as many potential customers as possible. These topics are quite complex, so you’ll need to do some research of your own. But soon you’ll have the tools to do it!
For most modern business’, their website is the first thing any customer will see. As we all know, first impressions matter and this is especially true when any money is involved. People simply don’t trust bad websites, and usually, won’t buy from them. If you don’t have a huge budget, services like Squarespace and Wix allow you to build a professional site yourself. Alternatively, you can hire a freelance designer to do the work. Though, be aware, this can be risky.
If you are willing to invest a little more time, effort and finance, you can look into using a digital agency. Digital Agencies are like normal web designers; only they offer to do a lot more for you. They will redesign your site, and it’s SEO so that you can reach and appeal to the greatest customer base possible. Companies like Sterling Talon boast that they can even show immediate results. All of their work is done with your business in mind. This is arguably the best way to guarantee traffic to your site.
- Social Media
Social media is a boon for businesses in this modern age. You don’t have to go far or put much effort in, to reach out to millions of customers for free. It’s hard to know where to start, though. You can find sites like sproutsocial.com, that can help you find the best times to post and which site to post on. Then, spend a few days building up a collection of a couple of months worth of posts. This helps you to plan sales, coupons and any creative ideas you might have. Use sites like buffer.com to setup a schedule, and your social media work is done. That is until you run out of content and have to make more.
For a business of any size, a brand is everything! It looks unprofessional if you have no house style, logos or consistency. This sort of work is best left to the professionals, but you can do some of it yourself. If you are arty, you can design your own logos and house styles. Though, for true perfection, you’ll need some help. Companies like Storm Brand Design can help you to create a solid, consistent brand. This gives you the benefit of an outsider opinion, instead of relying on friends and family. It also gives you a greater pool of resources to get ideas, and guarantees results.
Advertising is, of course, another essential element. Your website, leaflets, shop front and anything else with your logo, is an advert. This makes consistency even more important. Along with this, you also have some more traditional advertising methods.
Services like Google Adsense offer a way to advertise online, without having to pay a premium for ad spots. You only pay for clicks on your advert, instead of paying for people to ignore it. All advertising like this is targeted. This means that cookies are used to make sure that the advert is relevant to anyone who sees it.
It isn’t advised to use radio, tv or published advertising. These methods are good to reach out to a lot of people, but usually ludicrously expensive. Only use this method if your services are offered locally, and you can use a service that targets people in your service area.
- Free Advertising
Anything free should be used to it’s full potential. As said above, your social media efforts can be looked at as free advertising. But there’s also loads of other ways to advertise for free.
Word of mouth can be the most successful way for you to gain customers. By treating each customer as best you can, you will build a reputation worthy of envy. Even if you have to give bad news, or you let a customer down, always offer solutions and show that you are working as hard as possible.
For local businesses, Google allows you to setup your business on their Maps service. This will make your business, and it’s reviews show up in Google searches, absolutely free.
Do some research for yourself, and be creative. You can trade a bit of work for great ways to reach your customers, for free. Sometimes the effort won’t pay off, but don’t lose hope. It doesn’t take much to turn a bad situation around.