If you’re the owner of a small- to medium-sized business, you may find yourself searching for the best methods of promoting your business. Diamond’s Business Services Manager, Phil Fry, offered his advice on four of the most commonly asked questions regarding business promotion.
How Important is Brand Identity?
Brand identity is one of the most important aspects of any business. It creates a consistency in order to make your business recognizable by just the logo, colors, and/or tag line. Keep your brand consistent across all platforms including: business cards, ads, web, social media, packaging etc. If you have the budget, consider hiring a marketing company or graphic designer to help develop your brand image as it will be worth the investment.
How Can I Make More Connections?
Networking is a great approach to connecting to other business owners and residents of your community. Join your local Chamber of Commerce. Stop by and talk with owners of other local businesses in your area about what they are involved in – sometimes they can become a great ally. Make your presence known in the community. Support a local school, fundraiser, or township event. Get your name out there, but most of all, ensure that what you’re supporting makes sense for your business. For instance, if your business is selling organic hand soap, you might consider sponsoring a community color-run event – and of course, provide plenty of your samples.
Which Methods of Promotion Work Best?
This depends on your product. If your business is selling a tangible product, you should always have an ample supply of samples available. If your business is providing a service, then offer free consultations. Although it may take up some of your time, it could pay off in a big way. The most powerful form of promotion continues to be word of mouth. Ask your consumers to tell their friends, possibly even consider a refer-a-friend promotion. If a referral program isn’t for you, consider collecting testimonials to use in your advertising.
Should my Business Have a Social Media Presence?
Every business should have a website, period. It is a must have. If you can’t do it on your own, consult with a company to help you develop a site. Next, you should have a presence on social media. If you’re approaching social media for the first time, start with Facebook. You should attempt to post something, at minimum, once a week. Engage with your followers and respond to questions and reviews in a timely manner. To encourage “likes” consider a contest or giveaway. Ask your customers to “like” your Facebook page and write a review if they are satisfied with your product or service. Once you find you’ve conquered Facebook then consider expanding to sites such as YouTube (only if it makes sense for your business). Video tutorials and education show you’re trusted and an expert in your field.