There’s another part of running a business that is crucial to success, however, and it might not come as naturally. For someone to become a customer, they first have to know about your business. While this isn’t news to anyone, making it happen can be tricky at times. Learning how to effectively promote your business is what can set thriving companies apart from mediocre ones.
Fortunately, the range of options for promoting a business has exploded in the digital age. The small business owner no longer has to rely on printing flyers and word of mouth alone. But where to begin? While the number of options can be overwhelming, there is a bounty of inexpensive (or free!) channels available for those who know where to look. We’ve compiled a list of eight ways to promote your business to get you on the right track in 2020.
Get Ready to Promote Your Business Next Year
1. Turn Your Email Signature into a CTA
One of the longest-standing and most popular methods of digital business communication is email. It’s increasingly difficult to find a business you can’t communicate with via email address. In fact, there’s so much email communication happening in the B2B and B2C worlds that it creates a great marketing opportunity.
The email signatures your company uses will be seen by everyone they send a message to. Why not include a call-to-action (CTA) link? There are a number of ways to build an attractive CTA, and including it in the signatures of your company’s emails will expose it to a great number of people.
2. Create E-Mail Marketing Campaigns
Let’s build on the idea of a promotional email signature. Email marketing campaigns are all but essential in today’s business environment. They have one of the highest conversion rates of any marketing channel and they allow direct access to highly specified audiences.
One of email marketing’s most notable strengths is that it allows you to build and nurture relationships with potential customers. You can keep prospective customers who aren’t ready to buy your product or service in the sales funnel until they are ready. This is immensely valuable in any industry, from healthcare to B2B sales. Don’t throw away leads if you don’t have to!
One of the best ways to build an email subscriber list is to offer something of value in exchange for an email address. This can be done with any kind of digital content. A free demo, a sneak-peek video, or access to an ebook are all examples of valuable digital content.
Once you’ve got a list of customers who have shown interest, you can send emails that re-introduce your company, establish authority in your industry, and speak to different segments of your target audience.
Monitoring which types of content your subscribers interact with will provide you with invaluable marketing information. With an understanding of their interests, you can now provide them with information that they find relevant and interesting.
3. Ask for Reviews
An often overlooked way to promote your business online is to ask for reviews. Reviews are becoming an essential piece of the promotional puzzle. This report from 2018 states that 86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses. And this trend will not be going away any time soon.
Online reviews are how businesses build trust and credibility today. This makes them wildly important. Positive reviews make great promotional material. Nothing establishes credibility like references from other consumers.
Another value of positive reviews is that they can actually boost your search engine ranking. Search engines are programmed to take into account the importance of good reviews and will rank a business higher in search results if it has a higher number of positive reviews.
4. Create Content
At ContentFirst Marketing, content marketing is our specialty. Creating engaging, quality content works wonders when it comes to ranking high in Google searches and attracting potential customers.
We believe that high-quality content is key to developing a strong content marketing strategy. It’s easy for small businesses to fall into a rut of creating generic content that doesn’t engage their audience.
Here are some basic steps you can take to optimize the content you create:
Even if you don’t have the resources to create your own videos, take advantage of Youtube’s massive library of video content. Videos are the most widely shared type of content on the internet, and are highly engaging. An engaging video that connects with people on an emotional level can reach mass audiences with just a few clicks. It’s a medium that needs to be part of your online marketing strategy.
A good way to further diversify your content is by adding relevant images to blog posts. Infographics are effective at engaging the reader and conveying information in a more memorable way. They’re a great way to make sure your content doesn’t become dry and difficult to digest.
Even with amazing content, your content marketing strategy isn’t worth much if it doesn’t reach the right people. Some great ways to promote your content are with email lists, posting on a social platform, and contributing to online community sites such as Reddit and Quora.
5. Use Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is here to stay. When done right, it leads to more organic traffic to your site from search engines. It increases brand awareness and exposure for free!
These days, the best way to implement SEO is to create quality content. Gone are the days of endlessly shoving keywords into the content you create. Fortunately, the algorithms that search engines use to rank results aim to rate the value of the content. The more time people spend reading and benefiting from content, the higher it ranks. Create content that is useful, interesting, and engaging to make the most of SEO.
6. Get an Online Business Listing
You’ve got a website and a blog, that’s great! But are you making the most of your online presence? Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo also act as business directories. Setting up a business listing with Google and Bing is easy to do, free, and makes it easier for potential customers to find you. For a business listing with Yahoo, you’ll have to pay, but you’ll get listed in several different online directories.
A business listing used in conjunction with positive customer reviews greatly improves online visibility. Be sure that your listing includes accurate NAP (name, address, and phone number) data. Having quality and consistent NAP data is known to drastically improve search engine rankings.
7. Join Social Media
There are billions of people actively using social media today. That number has done nothing but grow for the past decade, and it isn’t showing any sign of stopping. Whatever your product or service, there’s no doubt that your target audience is using social media. This makes using a social media platform a must.
Social media is a great place to post content that your target audience is interested in. You can educate prospective customers, engage them on an emotional level, and prove the value of what you’re offering. Content posted on social media has the added advantage of being easily shared. Your content can potentially go viral and reach massive numbers of people!
8. Encourage User-Generated Content
User-generated content can be extremely powerful in helping you reach as many potential customers as possible. By encouraging social media users to share your content or reference your business in their own content, you’re gaining access to a much wider audience.
This type of content has the added benefit of connecting with people on a meaningful level. More today than ever, consumers are responding to advertising that feels authentic. Content that is created by someone who isn’t otherwise affiliated with a brand glows with authenticity.
This type of promotion combines the benefits of positive reviews and a social media presence. If someone is helping to promote a business, it can be assumed they have a positive opinion. Not only is user-generated content very high-quality promotional material, but it also has the potential to reach tons of people—it does the work for you!
Will This Be Your Year?
When it comes to ideas for promoting small businesses in 2020, the list of possibilities is endless. The continual development of digital marketing techniques and opportunities makes it an extremely exciting time to be in business. The efficacy and affordability of these techniques have only grown with time. You no longer need to have a massive budget to reach a wide audience.
While the benefits of doing business in the digital age are many, navigating it can sometimes be difficult. The digital landscape and how people interact with it are constantly changing. Staying on top of these changes and emerging trends is what can set your business apart. Make 2020 a big year for your business.