First of all, why promoting your business is a necessity?
Business Promotion is something which you have to do anyhow, whether you like it or not! You can’t rely solely on your services and products, no matter how good they are. To gain profit and to run your business effectively for long-term, promoting it, is a necessity.
There can be several ways in which you can advertise your business. You can promote it either Offline or Online. Before moving further, understand that promotion requires a specific budget.
Since we are talking about small businesses, we will take into account some of the inexpensive yet effective ways to promote your business.
Promoting offline is an efficient way to communicate with your customers and educate them about your products time-to-time.
What are some of the strategies to advertise your business offline?
Business cards can be a very effective way to let people know about you. Drop your business cards with attractive images and offers to lure people.
Give your business cards along with every product that you sell. You can also give them to your customers whenever they come over to meet you.
Business cards should have an accurate description of your business with some attractive offers. The cards shouldn’t look too much messed up. Be simple and clear.
You can even include a QR on it that leads to your website when scanned.
Advertise through Newspapers and offline media
You can contact your local newspapers and magazines to advertise your products. Marketing effectively has a vast impact on your business’s growth.
Let’s look at one of the examples:
One of the leading newspapers of India, Hindustan Times urged the people to find out the reason behind the missing ‘I’ in their 21 Oct’18 editions.
Later at the end of the newspaper, an advertisement was put up regarding the importance of Iodine in your salt on the occasion of World Iodine Deficiency Day. The ad was put up by “TATA Salt” to attract customers.
Isn’t it a smart strategy to market your business?
You can join clubs and business groups and increase your business contacts. These groups provide you with the exposure to market your products and brand.
Be a part of the Trade Fairs
Try accommodating yourself in any of the trade fairs and sell your products. Try engaging with people as much as you can.
These were some of the ways to promote your business initially. However, the age of today is dependent mostly on Online Marketing but, you shouldn’t put your offline marketing aside.
Online marketing provides you with an edge over the offline marketing by showing you the real-time insights. You can view the reach of your products and the demographic areas it is targeting.
What are some of the ways to promote your business Online?
Social Media Marketing (SMM)
Social Media Marketing or SMM is a powerful way to market your business – be it small scale or large scale. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and many more give you the opportunity to engage with customers through creative posts, videos, polls, and blogs.
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According to the International Telecommunication Union, as of 2018, 55.1% of the world’s population has Internet access. Out of the total population (7.59 Billion), 54% of the people are on social media.
Now promoting your business online makes sense. Target the people where they already are!
People today use social media almost every day and not once but again and again and again. The latest data from GlobalWebIndex shows that the average internet user now spends around 6 hours each day using internet-powered devices and services.
Let us look at some of the compelling social media platforms that will help you take your business a step ahead.
Launched in 2004 only, Facebook has managed to attract 2.24 billion active users by the end of 2018!! The numbers are quite huge. Right tactics in the right direction will surely flourish your business.
According to a survey done in the USA by the Pew Research Centre, 79% of Americans use Facebook- the platform with the second closest usage percentage is Instagram, at 32%.
Some of the things that you can try on Facebook are:
Post about yourself, your products, the area you cover under your business, and the way you work.
Be in touch with the users through comments, live video, live audio, and polls.
Showcase your products through an exciting video. Tell people about your journey.
Attract them with various offers and contests.
Launched in 2006, Twitter has fewer users (336 Million) than Facebook comparatively. Twitter is a great place to promote your products. However, it requires a bit of creativity because of the word limitations.
Instagram is all about pictures and videos. Though Instagram allows you to post videos within a certain time limit, it has gained 1000 million users by the end of 2018!!
Instagram can be a great marketplace to showcase your products through short videos.
Follow the right Hashtags, mention some big brands in your posts, engage with people through comments and stories, and you are good to go.
Smart is necessary. Though Instagram also provides you with the insights, your job is to figure out the interests of the people.
Lastly, don’t misguide your customers. Be genuine and sensible. Show them what they are looking for rather than what you want them to see.
These were some of the most important social media platforms where you must promote your business. If you haven’t yet done this, start as soon as possible.
YouTube is another platform where you can put up videos regarding your products and business.
YouTube allows only videos and a little bit of description but, videos are more important and effective than the descriptions.
Be clear and concise with your videos rather than beating around the bush.
I will start with an age-old saying – Content is King. Content is what makes your brand valuable, adds importance to your business, and attracts customers.
Content Marketing is still new for some people but, it will soon take over the Online marketplace.
To the point, meaningful, and simple content is something that gains you the right momentum for your business. A long content with almost nothing meaningful is a sheer waste of time.
Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to sell your products. A well-drafted email is sure to interest people. You can sell your products, tell your story, and communicate with them regularly.
Try not to misguide your readers else you might land up in their spam boxes!
As quoted by Neil Patel, ” Simply posting enter your email for updates isn’t going to get anyone excited to do so. Instead, consider sharing specifics.”
Refer the picture below to understand clearly.
Once you have established connections, you can do cross promotion by selling someone else’s products through your website and asking them to do the same.
However, cross-promotion doesn’t work for every business but, it’s worth giving a try.
You need to analyze figure out if your competitors are using the same strategy or not. Competition research is important.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Optimizing your website for the search engines is the most important part in developing your business. SEO requires regularity and particular techniques.
According to Search Engine Land, SEO is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” search results on search engines. More traffic means, more people will connect with you and, this will eventually boost your market.
Forum and Group Promotions
The Internet is flooded with forums and group discussions where you can promote your business.
You need to answer people and clarify their doubts. This will bring you and your business in the limelight.
Forums can help you to build an online community of yours. Show your expertise and gain customers.
Well, guest posting has emerged recently and, it has now become a necessity. This improves your domain authority in Google search and also generates more traffic to your website.
The blog needs to be simple, helpful, well-written with examples, and understandable.
The best example of Guest Posting is this Blog itself.
Blogging is a great way to gain readers. The content and the quality of your blog must be good to get long-term readers.
Till date, blogging has helped many online businesses and brands to increase their business.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Pay Per Click is one of the most effective ways to advertise your business but, it is very expensive.
Since we are talking about small businesses, you can opt for SEM anytime at later stages once you have a full-fledged flourishing business.
These are some of the inexpensive ways in which you can promote your small-scale business.
It requires a hell lot of patience, techniques, and planning to let your business flourish.
Start developing connections and try participating in discussions, regular meetings to understand the demands of the market.
If you know what your consumer needs, you know everything!
However, you can also hand over your marketing work to a reputed Digital Marketing Company. There are many companies that would love to work for you and help you to grow your business.