With the COVID-19 outbreak, many people used it as a chance to step out on their own and establish their businesses! Which is amazing, but where do you go from here? A small business usually means a small budget, especially where promotion is concerned. Time, money, and resources are all limited, so dreams of a marketing campaign big enough to rival the Christmas adverts are just dreams. However, it doesn’t mean that promoting your business is impossible, and it can just be as effective!
For example, did you know that 46% of all searches on Google have local intent? And did you also know that it’s free to add yourself to Google’s business directory? Here are some fail-safe ways to promote your business, even if it’s new or well established!
Reviews and Business Listing Websites
By using a business listing site, consumers can find top companies or better service providers. They can also use the site to read or write reviews and make buying decisions based on their needs. Customers are the bloodline of your business so use them as promotional material! If you list your business on these websites and lead your clients to it, they can create amazing reviews that link new customers to you!
Monitor and Respond to Reviews
Many online directories allow anyone to add a listing, so it might still be on there, collecting reviews even if you didn’t list your business. So be sure to claim your listings wherever possible and monitor these sites frequently. This way, you can respond to reviews—which is another great way to promote your business. Not only can you resolve (and even reverse) negative reviews, but the way you answer reviews (positive and negative) can reveal your brand’s values and give potential customers an idea of what it’s like to do business with you.
Create and Verify your Google Profile
Who does not use Google in this day and age? Your Google Business Profile (Google’s term for your Google listing) is what allows your business to show up in Google Maps results. The local section of Google Search results, and also—when someone types in your business name and location—the right-side Knowledge Panel in Search results. As Google gets better and better at catering its results to the searcher’s location, this free listing should be a top priority.
The key to using your Business Profile to promote your business is to verify ownership of your listing through your free Google My Business account. Once you have privilege, you can optimize your listing to appear higher in search results and more relevant searches.
If you’re ranking on Google Maps or showing up in the Local Pack of regular results pages (this is very doable), your business is promoting itself 24/7. Even better, you can publish posts directly to your Google listing, putting attractive promotions in front of your audience at a time when they have high intent.
Use a Website
Every business needs a website, no matter how old-fashioned your company or clients may be! Your website is the go-to for current and prospective customers. Even if they find you on social media or Google, they will want to go to your website, and, like your Google listing, it serves to promote your business around the clock. As well as a promotional tool, the website also tells the story of your business, provides contact information, and reflects your brand’s personality and what makes it unique!
Although there are completely free solutions to get a website in place for your business, you will inevitably need to move to some form of a paid website if you are serious about promoting your business. Having your domain name, a professional look, feel, and the ability to scale and add features as needed are all essential for growth.
Use Social Media!
Social Media is a beast when it comes to promoting your business. But everyone is on it now. With cookies keeping track of what customers are buying and looking into, you should utilize it for your business!
Facebook is the largest social network online, and it can be a great way to keep in touch with existing customers and reach new customers. By creating a Facebook business page, you can keep your contact details visible, use Facebook events to promote and maximize attendance to your events. Run Facebook live sessions, tutorials or behind-the-scenes sneak peeks. It’s also a great business communication channel!
Video marketing is a great way to promote your business, and YouTube lets you do it for free! Despite being one of the more recently launched social media platforms, Instagram is the third most popular platform. With its diverse posting formats (permanent images, short-lived Stories, IGTV series, live sessions, Story Highlights, and more), there are various ways to use Instagram to engage your audience and promote your business.