Promotion and marketing is one of the key areas of business but one of the most difficult to get right. You might be great at what you do, with a team of specialists who are all experts in their dedicated roles. But if people don’t know about your business and what you do, it doesn’t matter how much expertise your team has, you’ll struggle to generate enough income to be able to pay them.
The good news is there are many ways to market a business. Advertising is an easy way to let people know about your business but it can also be expensive and requires a dedicated marketing budget if a campaign is to be sustained over a set period of time. Whatever the level of exposure the campaign receives, only a small percentage of that will result in a enquiry and in turn, a small percentage of that will result in sale. Therefore, much thought must be given to the numbers involved – particularly when considering the throwaway nature of many advertising forms, such as newspapers and magazines.
If you don’t have a big marketing budget, social media can be a free and easy way to spread the word about your brand. Using Facebook and Twitter to build a following can pay dividends in the long run, particularly if your followers are genuinely interested in what you do, whilst Instagram can be a great tool for showcasing your goods if your products have a particular visual appeal. And whilst it’s easy to simply view these platforms as a place for lots of free advertisements, it’s important not to forget the “social” aspect of social media. Interacting with followers and other businesses is more likely to bring success than simply spamming people’s timelines. In addition, it provides a vital and easy form of communication for people who want to talk to you, whether it’s to ask a question about one of your products or services or they want to give you feedback on the service they’ve received.
However, one major drawback to social media is that it can be very time consuming. That’s not a problem if you’re able to employ one or more people to manage your accounts full-time but if you’re not in a position to do that, it’s easy to neglect your social media accounts. At the very least, if you’re running a business, try and check your social media accounts every day, just to keep track of who may be trying to get in touch.
One of the most effective ways of boosting your brand is through word of mouth. This isn’t something you can directly affect – you can’t force people to talk about you – but if you keep busy enough to generate a buzz, it can have a very positive effect. Simple face-to-face contact can help build relationships with other businesses, which can sometimes translate into their clients and customers becoming your clients and customers if they recommend you. In addition, networking events, conventions and trade shows are a great way to meet new people and tell them about what you do. You can even get a selection of branded promotional products with your logo and web site on that you can hand out to people so they will remember you in the future.