When starting a new business, the most difficult part is getting noticed by the public. In fact, many companies give up so quickly on marketing activities if they do not see a return on investment immediately. The truth of the matter is that brand awareness takes time. Short of a publicity stunt or national scandal, you will need to work hard and long to get the word out and build a following.
If you are up for the challenge and take the right steps, then you have a good shot of imposing a lasting impression on your target market.
Back in the “olden days,” if you wanted to drum up some new business, you would place an ad in the local paper. Guess what! Newspapers and magazines still exist. That’s right – print is not totally dead, and it’s still a good space to promote your brand. Likewise, the internet has created a bunch of web space to place ads. Be sure to find websites that make sense; you wouldn’t want to put a web banner up for your plumbing company on a website for crafting classes.
An even more effective way to promote your brand is by getting in front of your audience. Consider attending a local business exhibition for your industry. Depending on the show, you could reach thousands of potential clients or customers in just one day. The challenge will be standing out in a hall full of your competition. You know what they say – Go Big or Go Home.
Run a contest on social media driving attendees to your stand; have them mention your company in a post for a chance to win a big prize. This is a quick and immediate way to generate buzz for your stand at the show, while simultaneously pushing it out over the web. Another vital aspect to perfect is your exhibition stand. Differentiate yourself by building a stand with a company such as Nimlok, this will add an element of professionality and your competitors will be left hidden in the crowd.
Social media is often thought of as a way to promote your business for free. True – most social media sites offer a public forum for you to showcase your brand. The problem is that your content is only getting pushed out to those in your immediate circle (usually). In order to expand your reach, you’ll either have to get clever with hashtags or pay for sponsored posts.
That said, social media profiles are necessities. Sign up for (and maintain) all of the accounts that are available to you. It is very important to have multiple points of visibility for your company.
Look for ways to get involved with your industry community. A great way to do this is by finding out where your target market goes for advice in your industry. Many times, you will be able to chime in on open forum where you can voice your expertise. The main focus should be building up your reputation as an expert in the field. Don’t try to sell yourself or your business to those on the forum threads. Just leave your business email address or website as your contact information. It’s subtle and you won’t come across as a money-hungry sales person.
The rise of technology has made it a lot easier to create buzz around your business. While the opportunities are more accessible, the challenge is finding the right strategy. With patience and hard work, your business will receive the recognition it deserves. Cover all the bases by creating numerous points of visibility, from in-person events to print ads. Focus on distributing your brand everywhere and building up your reputation as an expert in your industry. Your audience will have no other choice than to trust the best.