The seven most popular ways to promote your business
The seven most popular ways to promote your business
Watch free bite-sized videos on how to craft a press release that grabs attention and discover what you should include for success.
- Social media
Social media plays a critical role in marketing your business if used effectively, and the opportunity to reach and engage with such a huge audience is not to be missed.
Social media is a great way to connect with people who already engage with your brand and introduce the business to people who are yet to discover you. 58% of consumers visit a brand’s social pages before visiting its website.
What are your business goals?
Before you begin developing a social media marketing campaign, you need to consider your business goals and marketing plan. Do you want to reach a wider audience, generate more traffic to your website or increase product sales?
It is also important to understand who your target audience is, what platforms they are likely to use, and what kind of content they will find useful and engaging. Our guide to social media platforms will help you find the right one for you.
What should I post on social media?
Creating relevant content for your audience is crucial to the success of your social media, whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. When creating content, think about what your audience wants to see and what valuable content you can give them in return for their attention.
If you are in a service-based industry, free resources and tips from your business can go a long way – you’ll become their go-to when searching for information, leading to potential new clients. If you are a product or brand, invest in photography and video and create a consistent brand identity with your assets. It’s also worth knowing that video is one of the most engaging assets, so use it whenever possible.
Social media is not just about putting the right content out there. As a business, you need to generate a two-way conversation with your audience so they feel a human connection, making you more memorable and more likely to keep followers.
It’s important to regularly review your channels to understand what’s working. Each social platform offers basic analytics. It’s good practice to dig deep into your analytics on a weekly and monthly basis to analyze, review and tailor your strategy to maximize results.
- Digital advertising
Targeting specific audiences, executing data-led strategies, and delivering measurable results are only a few of the benefits of marketing your business via digital advertising. The main digital advertising channels are PPC (Pay-Per-Click), display, and paid social. All of them run across mobile and desktop devices.
Digital advertising can be a minefield, but it’s completely transparent and accountable – you will be able to see, down to the penny, where your budget has gone and which aspects of your campaign have been the most effective.
What is Pay-Per-Click?
Search (PPC) campaigns are often run on Google Ads, which is Google’s online advertising network. They can help you advertise to your target audience whilst optimizing any ad spend to give the best return on investment. PPC campaigns can be tailored so your ads are only shown to people who have made a search that is relevant to your product or service.
What is display advertising?
If your objective is more about brand awareness and not leads, then you should consider displaying advertising instead.
Believe it or not, the Google Display Network (GDN) claims to reach 90% of all Internet users worldwide. It’s a vast network of web pages, news sites, blogs, video platforms like YouTube, and email providers such as Gmail.
Users browsing sites within the GDN may not be interested in your product or service just yet, but you will get the chance to pitch it to them. You can even remarket to users who have already visited your site in the past but didn’t convert to remind them of the solutions your business can offer them.
What is paid social advertising?
Whilst social media profiles are free to set up, consider investing in paid content, too, particularly on Facebook and Instagram. In basic terms, this means you assign a set budget to a post which boosts its reach, allowing it to be seen by more people.
Facebook, the world’s largest social network, is an excellent alternative to Google if you want to advertise your business in a highly targeted way. You can do this by setting up ad campaigns targeting users by age, gender, location, job title, interests, and even behaviors. They’ll see text, images, and videos displayed in Facebook stories, in-stream videos, Facebook search and messages, articles, and the Facebook app.
If you decide to appoint an agency to look after your digital advertising:
make sure you understand what they are saying to you, and keep asking until you do
be prepared to pay a fee for their strategic advice and implementation in addition to the advertising spending itself.
- Press advertising
To be effective in magazines and newspapers, your advertisement needs to be both big and bold.
If your advertisement doesn’t stop someone in their tracks and make them take notice, then you will have wasted your money on buying the space.
What should be in my advert?
The headline, text, and images you use are crucial. Rather than focusing on what you want to say, think about your target customers – what do they want or need to hear from you? Get inside their heads and think about a message that will resonate with them.
Focus on the benefits of your product or service rather than the features. If your business manufactures underfloor heating, plumbers will want to know that it’s easy to install and will deliver them a good profit but if you’re targeting homeowners directly, they’ll want to know how it makes them feel when they step on it in the middle of a bitterly cold night.
Sometimes it can be challenging to think in this way, so you might want to consider using a creative agency to help you formulate ideas. The added benefit is that you’ll then be able to adapt their ideas into all sorts of other marketing materials – e-shots, mailers, posters – so paying someone to come up with ideas is worth the cost.
Read our top tips for creating a successful advert.
- Direct mail
Back in the pre-digital era, direct mail earned the nickname ‘junk mail’. Not a morning went by without there being a pile of letters and leaflets on the doormat. It had become a victim of its success – sadly, all the well-targeted and relevant messages were lost among the irrelevant ones.
Direct mail can be wonderfully effective, provided you follow three key rules:
Use good quality data. If you manage your database, make sure it’s clean and up-to-date. Alternatively, consider buying data from a reputable data broker – it’s far more affordable than you might think.
Send content that is relevant to the recipient. It’s pointless promoting a children’s nursery to a database of over 70’s.
Make sure your mailer piques interest by standing out and featuring intriguing messages that resonate with the recipient.
Although direct mailers are more expensive than e-shots, they can be far more impactful and effective. Emails can be easily deleted and go unread, whereas it’s far harder to ignore a physical mailer that also has a longer shelf life, especially if the creative content is strong.
immediate and you can quickly see the number of customers who have received your email, opened it, and, clicked on any of the links or offers within it. This will give you a quick indication of how well the email is performing in terms of overall engagement, sales, and, return on investment (ROI).
The data will give you actionable insights, too, so you can see which are the most popular types of content, products, services, or, offers for any specific audience. You can then tailor your follow-up emails to reflect these learnings.
Integrated as part of a wider campaign or used as a standalone activity, email marketing is one of the best ‘returns on inveinvestmentnnels there is.
Don’t know where to start?
Our PR experts are on hand to help FSB members with their public relations management, from drafting press releases to advising in the event of a PR crisis.