One thing that all businesses require in order to succeed is customers, and to attract those people, you are going to need to promote your company. There are several ways to do this from the basic to the more extravagant. With that in mind, we are going to take a look at some of the ideas that you might want to consider advertising your business potential clients and customers using a range of different channels.
We are going to start by looking at the newest of the marketing styles that you can choose from, and that is digital marketing. The rise of the internet over the past few decades has been nothing short of sensational and the opportunities it has afforded businesses like yours to grow are ideal. There are plenty of ways to promote yourself online, and we are going to take a look at some of those plans now.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The first area of digital marketing that we are going to look at is known as search engine optimization (SEO) and is the unpaid arm of search engine management (SEM). The idea with SEO is to increase your visibility on the internet, particularly in the organic results of search engines. The way you do that is by making the most of the information we currently have about the way search engines judge websites. The reason you should spend time perfecting your SEO is that over 90% of search engine users don’t go beyond the first page of their search results, meaning if you don’t appear within the top results then you’re not going to get much if any, traction from search engines.
So is good SEO practice? Well, the idea, as outlined above, is to use the information available to us to prepare a website for the ‘crawlers’ that a search engine sends out when terms are looked for. We are going to address some of the basics of these methods, but it is important to note that SEO is an incredibly intricate part of digital marketing and you should dig as deep as you possibly can with your research.
The most basic of ideas behind any SEO plan is keywords. These are the words and phrases that are associated with your product, services, topics, industry. This is what Google and co will be looking for on your website when terms related to your company are searched for. Using a free keyword planner tool, you will be able to identify what words and phrases should be included on your website to attract the ‘crawlers’ to your page. Be careful not to flood your pages with keywords because this is often a sign of a spam website and will have your site flagged.
As mentioned, keywords are just one aspect on SEO. Something else that you should consider is that once the ‘crawlers’ have recognized your site as relevant to the search terms, they are going to judge it. In order to build up a reputation that makes your website a more viable candidate to appear in the top results, you should ensure that you have high-quality content that encourages users to stay on the site for an extended period, and that loading speeds don’t take too long. These are some of the ways your page will be assessed.
- Social Media
Another aspect of digital marketing is the use of social media. It can seem like everyone, and their dog is on some form of social media these days, and with over a billion users spread across the various networks that is likely the case. You as a business should be looking to get a piece of that action, but knowing where to start is the most essential part of your social media strategy.
Because websites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are free, there is a tendency to jump on and create as many profiles for your brand as you can. However, one of the key things to remember is that the time of the person promoting your company through these channels costs your business money – so it isn’t free. What that means is that you should identify where your customers are most likely to be active and target those sites first. Just because Facebook has the most profiles, that doesn’t mean your demographic is active on there.
Something else that it is crucial for you to consider is what your strengths are? If you are selling a product that is going to look good in front of a camera, then sites like Instagram and YouTube are going to be friendly to you. However, if you are selling yourself or advice, then sites like Twitter or LinkedIn are going to be better for promotion purposes.
The trick with social media is to treat it much like traditional media. If your target market weren’t reading the New York Post, then you wouldn’t spend your budget on that newspaper. The same applies to social media.
Just because it is new and popular, you shouldn’t just spend your time promoting yourself online. There are many positives to getting out there and showing off your business in the offline world as well. Here are some of the ways you might want to consider when it comes to getting off the internet.
- Branded Items
In much the same way as you are attempting to create greater visibility through SEO, having branded items to pass to members of the general public is a way of having your business garner greater recognition offline. There is, of course, a spend associated with having products made up of your branding. However, it cannot be underestimated how this tried and tested form of marketing works. That being said, getting your branding into the hands of the wrong demographic isn’t worth your time. You need to ensure that you have done adequate market research to determine where you should be handing out your branded items.
When we refer to branded items, what do we mean? Well, the short answer is anything that has your company’s name and logo on it. But it should be considered much more than that. While it might be useful to you to promote via leafleting, it will no doubt be more productive to use something that is going to find its way into a potential customer’s everyday use. That is why in the modern day handing out free USB sticks, water bottles and stationary is going to be more profitable for you in the long term. If someone sees your branding on a daily basis, then they are more likely to consider you trustworthy and seek out your business.
Another area of offline marketing is the events world. Now, this applies if you are event planning for your own company or looking to speak at a conference elsewhere. The idea is to get your name out there through strong public speaking, utilizing the free branded items discussed above and by being present at any event that is linked to your industry.
Remember that any marketing strategy aims to increase custom by demonstrating the benefits of using your business. Events are a perfect place to do this, especially if is industry specific. You are going to have an audience of people ready to hear what you’ve got to say, and in the modern day, there are thousands of events taking place around the world for you to attend. Depending on the size of your company, starting your own event where you welcome other companies to present but with your branding around the venue is a good way of demonstrating the strength of your business to potential customers and rivals.
Television & Radio
Finally, we are going to look at using television and radio to promote yourself. Budget plays a huge factor in TV and radio advertising, so much so that you could argue that the brands who advertise during the Super Bowl Halftime are actually the kind of companies that need that coverage the least, such is the cost.
Depending on what you’re selling, television and radio are to be treated differently. The listener can tell when an advertisement has been repeated for radio from the TV, and it often takes away from your message. Where using this form of media differs from the ones discussed above, is that you are looking to create something creative and catchy to attract attention. In the modern day it is getting harder to promote through television because of the number of distractions during ad breaks, but if you can find a way to become water cooler talk, then you are going to profit in a very healthy way from your TV advertisement. For most new companies, promotion on TV and radio is going to be the last thing they think about, especially if your work is done via a website. However, that doesn’t mean you should avoid it altogether. There are great benefits to advertising through the medium of television and radio, especially if you target your market through research into their viewing habits.