If you’re in the business of, well, pretty much any kind of business, then you need to get noticed.
This is where the art of promoting your business comes in. In many ways, it’s like alchemy.
Many claims to have the perfect formula for business promotion, but only a few have truly perfected it. There are many factors involved which can be intimidating for first-time entrepreneurs.
If you’re trying to get your business off the ground, you might be thinking:
“Do I have to go through all that trouble promoting my brand?”
Alternatively, you might tell yourself:
“All that PR stuff seems like too much work…I need to put up a website and print the URL on my business card – that should be enough…”
Here’s the thing – in a sea of similar businesses, it’s critical to make your mark and set yourself apart from the rest.
Otherwise, you’ll get lumped in with everyone else, and that’s NOT a good thing. No company can afford to get bogged down in obscurity, lest they get swallowed up by the competition.
If not enough people understand what your product or service is about – or know that your brand exists in the first place – then you’re right as toast.
So one of the top reasons for promoting your business is to build brand awareness. The more you educate your target market of who you are and what makes you tick, the more likely they are to patronize your business.
That’s why companies live and die by their ability to spark curiosity and build hype.
In other words, promotion is as essential as breathing. Poor PR and marketing equal ZERO sales.
So now you might be thinking, “Ok, so how do I get the word out and drive traffic to my business?”
As we said, there’s an art to building brand awareness. It’s not always a smooth ride, and it can go sideways at any moment.
However, you can ease yourself into it and pick up your momentum as you go along. Here are some business promotion essentials to get you started.
In today’s world, you’ll need a good-looking website that’s easy to navigate if you want to get your foot in the door.
That means you’ll need to get a web designer that understands what your brand is about and translate that into an elegant homepage.
It’s critical that they know what you need to get across to your target audience so that the benefits of your product or service are front and center.
Also, given the current trends, you’ll need to make it mobile responsive as well. After all, more and more people are browsing the web and buying with their tablets and phones.
Once you’ve got that part figured out, what’s next?
So it’s not enough to have a site that works. After all, there are probably thousands (if not millions) of businesses out there with a similar website.
That’s why you need to carve out your spot in cyberspace if you want to get your piece of the pie. Moreover, to do that, you can employ many methods:
Search Engine Optimization (SEO): To put it simply, this is the process of making your website “just so” to get noticed by the likes of Google, Yahoo, and Bing. If you’ve tweaked your site enough (e.g., using keywords and meta tags), then you should show up on the first page of your customer’s search results. Getting those coveted rankings is the Holy Grail for SEO specialists.
Paid Traffic: Google has an advertising program called Adwords if you want to use your PR and marketing budget to attract customers. Adwords allows you to bid on specific keywords related to your business so your ads will show up on different websites. If the right conditions are in place (i.e., your bidding amount plus a lot of other factors), then Adwords will choose to put your ad on websites that are running Google ads.
Social Media: This may seem like a no-brainer. Anybody who’s anybody has a Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter page nowadays.
However, like the first two types of online promotion, social media is a whole other ballpark with rules of its own. Also, like Google Adwords, you can also run paid campaigns to promote your homepage.
However, don’t freak out – like other PR methods, this can be studied. You can also get a specialist on board to help position yourself as an “influencer” on the social networks. This will drive traffic to your homepage and convert your loyal followers into buyers.
However, as hyperconnected as the world is today, you shouldn’t discount the role that traditional media plays in your PR efforts.
Even in the 21st century, promoting your business (and website) through TV ads, radio segments, posters, billboards, magazines and newspapers are STILL a viable option.
Don’t forget about conventions and trade shows, either. You can set up a booth, arm yourself with some company literature and get up close and personal with your target market.
(And rubbing elbows with your peers in the industry certainly won’t hurt!)
It’s important not to get overwhelmed by all these promotion opportunities. You can start by focusing on one area of your PR efforts, like improving the SEO on your website, for instance.
After that, you can flesh out your marketing strategy and move on to the other aspects of promoting your brand. Eventually, these small changes are going to create a snowball effect on your business and result in higher revenue.
So you need to take that first step to get the ball rolling. As long as you keep taking action, your brand will stand out soon enough.