There are so many ways to promote your business now, word of mouth, the internet, large printed advertising. However, often when your business is all set up how do you work out what is the best way for you to market? If you are a small business making handmade items, paying out hundreds of pounds for printed advertising is not going to be financially viable and is not cost effective. So, what are the best ways to market your business?
Websites, Social Media and SEO
With 97% of consumers using the internet to search for local businesses your online presence is more important than ever. A website gives the ability to have somewhere to point customers to view your work, as a way to book in with you or as a way to contact you. A website makes your business seem more established and more trust worthy. To find out what type of website you might need for your business, visit our ‘Which type of website is right for you?’ blog post.
Your website needs to have a clear description of what services or products you offer. It is important your website does not have a homepage full of text or lots of images, as people will be put off reading. Your website must have your contact details and you will always benefit from having a website professionally made for you. You can make your own website with some companies using a template but it may leave your site looking generic. If you want any special unique features with a unique looking website, you’ll need a web designer to create your perfect site.
Once your website is ready, you want it to be seen. This is where you need some SEO. SEO just stands for Search Engine Optimisation, which really means where your website sits on Google. If you’re an electrician in Plymouth, you want your website to come up first when people search for ‘Electrician Plymouth’ on Google. There are many things you can do to help your Google ranking depending on the type of website you have. When you build a website with Ocean City Marketing, we offer an SEO package that will increase your Google Ranking just like our other page 1 customers!
Social media is also widely used by businesses and consumers now, including even having your social media feed on your website! (We can do this too!) Make sure you work out what social media platform will work best for you. If you don’t have anything visually pleasing or interesting to look at, Instagram may not work best for you as it is an image-based platform. We can set up and manage your social media platforms for you including write your posts! Social media is great for getting customers and potential customers to see and share your work, the power of social media is that you can be spread far and wide!
Word of mouth
Having great customer feedback will never fail your business. Even if customers see your advertisement somewhere else, they will likely use the internet or ask locals and other customers to ask about the reputation and reliability of your business. When it comes to reviews, 1 negative review could cancel out your 9 good reviews. Always do your best to ensure your customer experience is always left good, or at least neutral. Networking also falls in this category and it can benefit your business to attend networking meetings. If you sell Business to Business this could be where you will find most of your clients. You can also suss out your competition, meet potential clients who need work done on a bigger scale and create alliances with similar companies. Not all businesses similar to yours are ‘the enemy’! You can learn from their mistakes and learn what has worked for them. Its rare that someone will remember your name, the business name, the contact details and what your business do, so having a website is extremely beneficial and enables people to search for you on the internet.
Printed advertising ranges from business cards, posters, swing signs, bill boards and printing vinyl stickers on vehicles! For these to work, these need to be eye catching with punchy text, great imagery and have the business name and contact details! You will also need a website for when customers look for you online.
Paid advertising on Television or Radio can be costly, but if you’re a large business wanting to reach a large audience this can work well for you. If you are going to do this you will most definitely need a website… notice a theme here?!
At Ocean City Marketing we have a friendly bunch of staff, knowledgeable in all these areas who can produce an eye catching website, juicy social media posts and punchy graphic design. Contact us now to book in for a meeting on 0800 772 3208