If you’re a small business owner wondering how to gain more market awareness and brand visibility, this article is for you. The tips in this article don’t require you to spend money on marketing – but of course you will need to invest in time. Knowing how to set yourself up for leads and enquiries can be useful, especially if you don’t have the cash to invest in a marketing budget.
Marketing is one of those business functions that sometimes comes under the spotlight when times get tough.
It’s counter-intuitive really. Every business wants to generate more visibility, more awareness and more leads, yet without the marketing resource, it’s hard to make it happen.
In this first of a two-part blog series on how to promote your business in ways that won’t break the bank, we offer five inexpensive methods to generate more brand visibility, more market awareness and more business leads.
1) Make a list of what you know, not what you sell
Your expertise is one of – if not the most – valuable assets you have. In many cases it’s worth more than you might think.
Base your list on “how to do things”, keeping in mind what problems your customers want to solve, and how the product, technology or service you sell helps them solve it. Think of it like a sort of professional “show and tell”.
Once you have your list, start arranging the topics in the form of an ‘editorial plan’ of content that you can share with prospects and customers over the next few weeks and months.
Don’t be over-ambitious – just get started on this, and you might surprise yourself.
Top tip: make a list now of the top 10 things you know most about, where your knowledge and expertise is key to why customers buy from your business.
2) Get into the content mindset
Sometimes it can feel a little alien to “share knowledge”. But giving away a golden nugget your knowledge, expertise or experience, in a way that helps, instructs, explains, teaches or even entertains people, will show that you are an expert in your field, proving your credibility.
Credibility earns you brand trust among customers.
And when people trust your brand, they’ll buy from you.
We’re not suggesting you give away your trade secrets or crown jewels. You’re simply helping people by offering a taste of what they’ll get if they work with you.
Top tip: Think about useful ways you can share your knowledge. If you’re a gardener, share your tips for a great lawn. IT Consultant? Tell people how to secure their computers. Estate agent? How can you increase the value of your home?
3) Create your content
The trick with content marketing is to create it once, and use it many times. This is called content recycling.
Here are 5 ways to recycle your content:
- Start with a blog
Besides being useful for showcasing expertise, blogs are great for Google. Google loves new content, so anything new and original that you add to your website will help with ranking for a particular area of expertise – especially if you link to your blog to a product or service page and vice versa.
Aim for 500 – 1000 words and post it to your website as well as direct on to your social media channels. It’ll help not just your content marketing, but also your SEO.
- Shoot a video
Shoot a video of yourself on your smartphone giving a short, potted version of what you wrote in your blog. It might feel a bit strange at first, as nobody really likes seeing themselves on film or hearing their own voice. But with a bit of practice you’ll soon be speaking and advising like the expert you are. For best results, keep it under a minute.
- Create an explainer
If you’re feeling a bit more confident, try a short video explainer. Going back to your blog, take the key points then create shortened message soundbites, images, photos or graphics. Add a musical backing track from a free music library and use a free video application to stitch it all together.
- Design an infographic
Not the easiest thing to do if you’re not a designer, but creating an infographic that visually communicates the main learning points you’ve covered in your blog is another way to communicate your message. You might need to think laterally to come up with visual features to go with the words.
- Live Stream
Live-streaming on Facebook and Instagram is now one of the most popular, instant and real time forms of communication. It’s your own opportunity to share your personality and expertise with your intended audience.
Top tip: You don’t need to do all these. But by recreating your content in different media, you’ll have a better chance of engaging your target audience in a way that suits them.
4) Share on social media
If you’ve gone to the trouble of creating your blog, video, explainer or infographic, amplify it by sharing with your connections and followers across social media.
Find out where your customers are.
Do they use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok or Snapchat? They are all used by potential clients – so it’s really important that your business can be seen and heard on these channels.
Top tip: If you haven’t done it already, create your target customer personas so you know exactly who you are targeting, what their problems are and how your product, service or expertise is going to solve them. Make sure these are the types of potential buyers who will see your content.
5) Engage with your customers on email
Most email platforms allow you to email your own customers. If you have their email addresses, use one of the many free email platforms to send a personalised e-shot to your customers.
If you posted that blog on your website why not write an email around the topics you’ve shared in the blog, and provide a link to the article on your website.
While you’re at it add your social media buttons so that your customers can engage with you there too.
We hope you can put some of these techniques to work for you in generating visibility, awareness and leads.
But if you’re struggling to find the time to focus on your marketing and need a helping hand, consider using the team of outsourced marketing specialists at C4B Media to fill the gaps. Our “done for you” marketing services can be customised to your business goals and budget – so you can focus on your core business.
Kick off with a FREE 1-hour marketing workshop, where we dive into your business and find you 3 free ways to generate more visibility, more awareness and more leads.
Call us now on 01763 877110 or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.