So you started your small business, now you just have to promote it. Easy, right? Not really, but it’s totally doable if you allot enough time and resources, which are proven to pay for itself (and more) in the long run.
Here are the proper steps to take to get your small business on the map and customers in the door!
Establish Your Brand
- The first step boils down to the raw fundamentals. Establish what makes your business unique. What makes you stand out? This is going to shape your brand for potential customers and always consider that all future marketing and promotional efforts will come down to your brand?
- Do you like Coke or Pepsi? The infamous taste test proved that the preference of most were tied to the brands that each respective company followed.
- Your brand should have a set of characteristics and values that people identify with. That’s ultimately what makes them choose one brand over another.
Build Out Buyer Personas
Your buyer personas should reflect your ideal customers. They should highlight what kind of people will shop at your business and why. These are the type of people your brand should appeal to, your brand’s messaging and feel should accommodate these people.
Good buyer personas come from extensive research. We know it’s annoying and business owners don’t have tons of time to dedicate to things that seem insignificant, but it’s well worth the investment. Knowing who you’re targeting will help shape everything from your website to taglines, your tone of voice, creative concepts, and everything in between!
Build a Solid Website
Your website is like a bridge that connects customers to your business. It’s how they can learn about what you do and how to move forward.
Consider your ideal customer when designing your website. Even consider hiring a top web design agency! You want to focus on making everything seamless and easy for your customers, an aesthetically pleasing site is nice, but should not be your priority. Your website isn’t part of an art exhibit, you should focus on performance!
Find Avenues for Discovery
Having a great website is awesome, but it’s only as powerful as its actual potential. In other words, your website can’t be that effective if potential customers aren’t regularly finding and visiting it.
Here are some golden opportunities for generating exposure!
Search engines are especially fitting for local businesses. People are likely to search for things like “restaurants near me” (or anything as far as industries are concerned). Search engines are great because they bring customers to sites that offer products/services that people are directly looking for. Leveraging these search engine threads to rank for relevant keywords allow businesses to significantly increase traffic and potentially, sales!
Your customers are using social media, so you should too! Don’t make the mistake of being present on all social networks because it’s just too time-consuming Instead, focus on 1-2 outlets that your ideal customers will be using (this is another benefit to doing persona research).
Social media not only offers a method for potential customers to find your business but also a way for them to get help! Customer service has evolved and people are looking to networks like Facebook and Twitter to contact businesses rather than calling, so being active on these networks presents a whole new opportunity for customers acquisition AND retention!
Local Press Outlets
Leveraging local press is a great way to raise awareness for your brand. You have to create something “newsworthy” and pitch it to the press in a way that serves their best interest. Getting featured in an article or covered in a TV segment will provide you with the boost you need to increase other marketing efforts.
Starting and promoting a newsletter can help nurture current and potential customers. Sending them exclusive promotions mixed with education content is a great way to establish brand loyalty and maximizing e-commerce sales.