One of the biggest challenges for small businesses and startups is getting the word out about their products and business to acquire new customers and build your business brand. Having a website is not going to magically generate sales.
Couple that with the fact that businesses online face even tougher challenges and significant disadvantages with the advent of search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing and social media marketing. Competitors have established themselves and may have larger marketing budgets than your business does. Time and finances can get stretched beyond budgets very quickly trying to catch up.
So how does a new business compete?
There are a number of offline and online marketing strategies that can help boost your business brand and connect with potential customers. Here’s a closer look at four of my favorite tactics and a couple tips to maximize your efforts from them.
So many businesses focus solely on digital marketing tactics. This is an error. Your business needs to diversify. Participating in a trade show of your targeted niche can give your business fresh prospect interest in what your business offers and accelerate the development of key relationships.
When exhibiting at a trade show, there are a couple key pieces to success. Having an eye-catching trade show booth to draw people in, high quality branded sales collateral to give to visitors to your booth, along with hosting a contest helps attract more people.
Video is huge and can give your brand tremendous exposure. Gary Vaynerchuk of the famed WineLibraryTV created daily videos about wine for several years. Over the course of those years, Gary’s videos helped contribute to build his personal brand. They also helped his family’s business jump from a couple million a year in revenue to over $50 million a year.
Being able to create videos about your niche and your business as a way to connect with your prospective customer base is a powerful way to develop brand advocates as they become your “fans” while driving customers to your business.
Beyond basic pay-per-click advertising, one of the more underutilized marketing opportunities for many businesses is remarketing ads. Also known as ad retargeting, remarketing allows your business to show your ads after they’ve visited your website, to stay in the customer’s mind.
Remarketing is a powerful Internet marketing tactic because you are getting brand exposure and becoming more recognized by your target audience.
Engage In Q&A Sites
Beyond the standard social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, a rapidly growing channel to target are Q&A sites like Quora and even LinkedIn’s groups. Being able to participate on these sites gives exposure to your business because you’re giving value in responding to questions. Providing answers and referencing resources can establish you and your business as an expert in your niche. Added bonus – you can connect with the people who are asking the questions.
Businesses have a near infinite number of tactics and opportunities to drive traffic to their websites and build a consistent revenue stream. Once you’re done with the basics of SEO and paid advertising, focus your efforts on video, content development, relationship building via social media networks and exhibiting at trade shows. Define your goals and target the channels that will help your business reach those goals.
Think outside of the traditional marketing box to grow your business and build your brand.
Trade Show Photo via Shutterstock
I have seen how video has made big brands. This is because video always has a personal touch in it. It makes people identify with the brand more.
Timothy Carter: Could you list some small business companies that have been good at building their business brand?
Yes it is true that trade show are great platform in building or promoting business brand, but ensuring that it should live up to the expectation of its customer is important. Else all hard work while promoting can go in vain.
In addition to create videos, how about starting a podcast show as a strategy to build your business brand?
Tim – All these are great suggestions. Also, don’t forget the basics needed to create a brand reputation in the first place – great products and excellent customer service. No amount of marketing will help if you don’t have these basics in place.
Very true Harry. Many companies try to do too much right off the bat instead of investing quality time in creating and effective brand their audience can connect with.
Very true Harry.
A great product and excellent customer service are essential.
A podcast is a great way to go especially if it’s on iTunes to get that part of the population that loves podcasts in the business niche!