In order for your business to survive and grow, you need customers. In order to get customers, you need to promote your business. In today’s digital world, the possibilities are endless!!
The most common ways are:
- Search engines (namely, Google Search and Maps).
- Social media channels (including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, TikTok, and Pinterest).
- Online directory listings (there’s more to them than you may think!)
- Your local community (events, sponsorships, and press).
Using Google to promote your business is a no-brainer. First and foremost you need to create and verify your Google Business Profile. Once you have ownership, you can optimize your listing to show up higher in search results and for more relevant searches.
TIP: you can publish posts directly to your Google listing, putting attractive promotions in front of your audience at a time when they have high intent.
Your website is the go-to for current and prospective customers. Even if they find you on social media or Google, they will want to go to your website, and like your Google listing, it serves to promote your business around the clock.
Social Sharing is Caring! Don’t just publish posts—promote them! On social media, via email newsletters, or even turn them into downloadable guides to help you collect leads. Better yet, if you produce content with shareability in mind, your blog posts will likely get noticed by other credible websites that will mention and link back to your site on their site or social media feeds—promoting your business for you.
Create listings on the major directories. Smaller directory sites pull data from larger ones, which means that by creating listings on the major sites, you’ll also likely begin showing up on smaller directories automatically. Below is a list of the major directories to start with. All of them are free, but often have paid options for advanced features.
- Applicable niche directories like TripAdvisor, Angie’s List, etc.
- Better Business Bureau
- Yellow/White Pages
Get online customer reviews. Word-of-mouth is, if not the most powerful way, one of the most powerful ways of promoting your business to the right people.
Tip: Testimonials on your own website are great, but reviews on official platforms like Google, Facebook, and Yelp are even better.
Join online communities. One of the best ways to get a hand up is to offer a hand up to others. Join communities and groups relevant to your business or industry on LinkedIn, Reddit, and Facebook, and offer people good advice and suggestions when they have problems or questions. Make sure your own profile information points back to your business.
Network, network, network. Attending local networking events is a great way to increase your presence in your community. This works better for some types of businesses than others. If you provide services directly to other small businesses or consumers, then local networking is going to be far more rewarding than if you sell products online, for example.
Run email marketing campaigns. Email marketing has been around for ages, but the strategy has by no means become less effective over time. Email is a popular channel for consumers and businesses alike:
- People like to stay informed.
- People constantly check their email.
- Email offers detailed reporting.
- You can segment your lists for targeted, personalized emails.
- Email marketing platforms offer flexibility, creativity, and most importantly, ease of use.
Bottom line: you can effectively promote your business, with or without money. Implementing the strategies in this post is sure to pay off, especially if you regularly review and revise your strategy.