You’ve had a great idea. You’ve invested your capital, you’ve got your business up and running, yet no-one knows about you. Now what?
Getting the word out about your products and services is essential if your business is to become a success. But for most new businesses and start-ups, money is tight. So how can you get the most bang for your buck?
Sharon Williams, CEO of Taurus Marketing says defining your aims and goals as a business is essential.
“You can’t hit the bullseye clearly if you can’t see it. And you can’t reach your destination if you don’t know where you are going. So it really does pay to work backwards from the end target, put a stake in the ground and clearly define where you want to be. Having a clear business strategy in place from day one with measurable goals means both you and your team remain focused on outcomes and deadlines.”
Defining your target audience is the next step. Who are your customers, who are your competitors? Researching your target customers and understanding their needs and behaviours will ensure you have a better chance of fulfilling their needs and that any marketing you do will be on point.
Of course all that is moot if you don’t have a recognisable brand. If you want customers to identify with your product, a strong brand is essential. Keeping the look and feel of your brand across all your collateral – from business cards to in-store signage to your website – will also help you get your brand messaging across.
“If you lay your collateral out on the table or view your digital footprint online, it should look uniform and from the same family. Use the strengths and differentiators in your business to create a strong image that is instantly recognisable, and will engage customers and draw people back,” Williams says.
Limited cashflow can often put the kybosh on grand design plans but it is still possible to create a uniform brand look by utilising a full service business that can package up multiple elements of your marketing collateral for you – from website design to business cards to brand identity.
With more than 90% of Australians using Google to search for products and services online the importance of a strong online presence has never been greater.
Getting your website right is key. Your site is the window to your brand. It’s the ultimate platform for educating, informing and interacting with your clients. In can even be your store front – if you set it up for e-commerce.
Make sure you include a blog on your site. It’s a great way to get your business’s message out there and create engagement with your brand.
A small amount of money can go a long way if you get the right support
While we’re on the subject of blogs, remember content is king. it’s a good idea to hire a freelance writer to do your posts. For a small monthly fee, you can have content written especially for your blog that resonates with your target market and drives conversions to your brand. Best of all it is highly shareable. You can drop those posts onto your LinkedIn, add them to your Facebook page, Tweet out short sharp nuggets of info and include them in your EDMs.
Whilst where on the subject of social media, no small business should be without a social media presence. Social media allows you to directly engage with your customers/clients as never before. It can provide instant feedback to a brand and is especially useful for influencer marketing. Setting up your social media is free. The key is to ensure you remain active and post items that are of interest to your customers. Monitor what type of posts get the most engagement and create more content along the same lines. There are also plenty of tools like Tweetdeck, Hootsuite Everypost and Buffer which allow you to post across multiple accounts and schedule posts to save time.
Thanks to built-in metrics it’s easy to analyse the who, what, when and how of your social users on Facebook and with Google Analytics you can keep up-to-date on what’s happening on your site as well.
Think about investing in Google Adwords. Get the keywords right and the result will be a boost in your search rankings, which in turn will drive more traffic to your site. For a few dollars you can also boost your posts on Facebook to increase the reach of your messaging. As a start-up or small business it can be difficult to think about spending your money on advertising but you can test the waters on social media with just a few dollars and easily monitor results.
Of course, nothing beats guerrilla marketing. Getting your brand or business out on the street with a clever stunt is something all PR people dream of. Coming up with that stunt is the hard part. Should you have a clever idea that you think will work as a stunt for your brand why not give it a try – who knows you might end up on the morning news like these brands.
Did you know? A Nielsen consumer survey report on advertising found that catalogues and flyers have the highest impact on people’s buying decisions. A huge 62% of the 9,000 people interviewed rated them as the top effective advertising channel. TV scored 52%, and then personalised direct print mail (29%).