Chances are that your business has a logo, or at least an awesome name for which you are working to gain recognition every chance you get. You may already be promoting your business in obvious places like store signage, business cards or print ads, but there are numerous other fun and unique ways you can help build credibility, recognition and a connection with your desired customers:
1. Online Presence
Establish an online presence for your business that is in line with your brand. No website? No problem. A domain name lets you connect a custom Web address to your social media page, allowing it to act as a business website. Now when a customer types in your Web address, it takes them directly to your social media presence. Having your own Web address makes it easy to tell people where to find you online. And, if you want to create a website in the future, you already have a great Web address that your customers know.
2. Branded Email
A business-branded email (e.g., [email protected]) shows the world your company is established and professional, whereas a generic email, like [email protected] may project inexperience — or even worse, raise doubts about whether you’re a real company. Moreover, by using branded email, every time you send an email it promotes your business.
3. Phone Calls
Make sure that the people who answer your business phone answer it professionally and courteously, and name your business in the same way every time. It’s also important that your after-hours message shares your business name, location, hours and Web address, so customers can look up information about your business even when you are not open.
4. Employee/Customer Apparel
Outfit your staff and customers in shirts, jackets and other clothing that features your brand colors and/or your logo and Web address. This makes it easy for customers to identify employees. And each customer wearing your branded apparel becomes a walking, talking billboard for your business.
5. Business Cards Re-Imagined
You may already have business cards, but whether you do or don’t, make sure that any future cards you create are emblazoned with your logo, tag line, Web address and contact information. Consider using double-sided cards with a customer loyalty coupon on the back so people will hold on to it.
6. Promotional Giveaways
What is your brand known for, or what do you want it to be known for? For example, if you sell wine, consider giving away branded wine keys to your customers with your company logo and Web address. No matter what your business focuses on, everyone needs to stay hydrated and most people can’t function without coffee. Logoed items like mugs and water bottles as thank-yous or giveaways will get used and remind customers of your business with every sip.
7. Make a Video
If you own a smartphone, you can make a simple video at a very low cost and then share the video with your social media networks or on your website. Video is the most popular type of online content today. The trick is to create a video that is useful, interesting and in line with your brand.
8. Generate Creative Content
Many small business owners have created a niche and loyal following for themselves by creating and sharing content via blogs and articles. It helps to set them apart from their competition by positioning them as experts in their field. The trick is to think of topics or experiences you can speak about in unique ways to gain the attention of customers.
9. Email Marketing
Build an email list by asking customers for their email addresses at the checkout line or on your website and social media sites. This is a great way to ensure constant communication with them about information such as promotions and discounts, or events. The key is to send professional looking and sounding emails infrequently enough to not be annoying, but enough to stay top-of-mind. There are many reasonably priced email marketing services that can be leveraged to make the email marketing process easier and can help ensure that you comply with all applicable laws. Read: Tips for Leveraging Email Marketing for more information.
Before going out and investing a bunch of time and money into any of these suggestions, it is important to ask a few questions to make sure you invest in the right promotional opportunities.
- Who is your target audience? How old are they, what do they like to do? The answers to these questions will help you understand which promotional activities will appeal most to them.
- What is a realistic budget for marketing your business? This will help you prioritize promotional opportunities to get the biggest bang for your buck. Free and inexpensive activities like social media and websites can be a cost effective way to reach a broad audience.
- How can you measure the effectiveness of your promotional efforts? This will help you determine which activities you should keep doing, or invest more or less into.
For more tips on how to get more exposure for your business, check out this article on social media marketing.