How do you promote your business?

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You work hard to make your business a success. You put the hours in to make sure the job gets done right. You go the extra mile to make sure your customers are satisfied.

But with all of the time and effort you put in, how do make sure that your business keeps growing? How do you ensure that a steady stream of customers continues and increases?

You have to promote your business, get the word out there about your company. Let people know why you are the go-to source, the expert in your field.

Few people have a ready-made pulpit to get the word out about their business. Few business owners have free access to share information regarding their services and products with the masses.

Promoting your business is a complicated effort that can be a confusing maze of ads, media outlets and price ranges. How do you promote your business in the most cost-effective manner? How do you know you are getting the most bang for your buck? That likely depends on your business, your budget and your desired audience.

There are multiple avenues to consider when looking to promote your business. Here are some promotional tools and questions to ask yourself:

 Billboards: Very high-visibility tools, but could be out of some business’s promotions price range. Can you afford the cost? Can you boil down what you need to tell your potential clients about your product or service to just a few words? Can your message be quick enough to be noticed and remembered by a motorists on a highway at 55 mph? Is there a billboard location near enough your business to make the expense worth it? Are you willing to commit to a billboard lease agreement, and the time frame that goes along with it?

 Social media: A growing promotional tool that can get your business’s name in front of potential customers several times a day. Do you have products that would work being pictured on Facebook? Do you have a Facebook presence currently, with your business being “Liked” by customers? Do you have someone who can update your business’s Facebook page regularly? Would purchasing an ad on the side of Facebook pages benefit your business? Do you post updates and news about your business on Twitter? Do you have the time to do that? Do you have a Linkedin account? Do you use it to let connections know when you have picked up a big new client or other news? Is there a YouTube video posted of what you do and who you are as a business?

Website: That same video of your business doing what it does on YouTube should also be on your business website, along with plenty of other information about your company. Do you have a strong web page that draws in potential customers? Is your domain name the same as your business name, making it easy for customers to find you? Are your keywords strong enough to get your listed in search engines?

 Print ads: Do you have a lot to say about your product or service? If so, print advertising might be a good option for you. Do you have listings of products, such as a car dealership, that would be beneficial to have before the public in print form? Is your product pretty stable, where it would be good to have it listed in a publication that might be on an end table for a week or month? Or is your product supply always changing and not geared for such longevity advertising? Are you a smaller company that could benefit from getting your message out through a lower-cost medium. Do you want to use coupons to gauge the response?

 Broadcast ads: Using radio or television can get word out about your product or service to a wide audience. Is your product message succinct enough for a 30-second radio or television commercial? Can you afford the mass-marketing effort, which often includes hired talent? Do you want to reach a broader audience or would a more-targeted audience (watchers of college football, etc.) be better?

 Direct mail: Letting people know about your product and your sales can be achieved by sending the information right to their doorstep. Would targeting certain ZIP codes be beneficial to your business? Then, direct mail could help. Like print ads, coupons can be a way to know how receptive people are to your message. Do you want to offer coupon deals? How many homes do you want to reach?  How much of a discount do you want to offer on the coupon?

 Flyers: Paper pieces can be handed to people or put on their cars or in their mailboxes with your information and deals. Do you have the manpower to target certain areas at certain times with your flyers? Are those the best times or simply the most convenient for your staff? Can you afford the manpower to put pieces in mailboxes and in doors?

Business cards: A great way to get your business’s name out to people you meet. Is your business card unique enough to get noticed? Is all your company’s information, including your website, on your card? Do you make sure to always have cards with you?

 Vehicles: An eye-catching way to promote your business is to paint a car, van or truck with your business logo and information. Do you have a company vehicle to which you can do this? Is your business along a major roadway, where a painted vehicle parked near the roadway would serve as an ongoing advertisement? If you are not along a thoroughfare, is there one nearby where you could park the vehicle at the close of business?

Samples: People love free stuff. Handing out free samples of your product will get people’s attention. Are you willing to give people a taste of your product free of charge? Are you near a high-pedestrian-traffic area where providing samples would be worth your company’s time and effort?

 Contests: Having a contest with your product as a prize is good, low-priced advertising. Whether you or a third-party, like a radio station, conducts the contest, it will get attention if the prize is good enough. Are you willing to give up product for the publicity? Is there enough name recognition for your product that it carries value and weight with the public?

 

I’d be interested in your responses. Send me your thoughts at manageyourtwitter@gmail.com. And, as always, I would love to be a sounding board for ideas about promoting your business.

Comments

  1. This is a question I ask myself quite frequently. What is the best way to promote. so far I have stuck with online promotion. I am interested in potentially starting a print/physical campaign, just not sure where to start and If I can even afford doing that. There are a ton of people who are online, yet there are still so many people to target who do not go online much or are not online savvy.

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