Often, small businesses find themselves struggling to be heard through the online noise of having to compete with larger brands, operating in the same market, who have already built long-lasting credibility and trust with their customers.
For those business owners who resonate with the above and find it a challenge to get their brand noticed online, here are some simple steps to follow which may be able to help you along the way.
With almost every business choosing to promote themselves online, the market is becoming increasingly saturated, making it harder than ever to get your brand noticed. Due to this, it is vital that your company’s brand has a clear and strong message which will allow your target audience to become familiar with the products and services you offer and turn to you as their preferred brand of choice.
In order to create this, it is important to have a strong logo where key features such as the colours and fonts used have been carefully selected to connect with your audience and represent your business in a positive manner. Having a catchy strapline can also help to make your business more memorable and allow you to stand out from the crowd and gain an advantage over your competitors.
Utilising free tools such as social media to promote your business online is an extremely cost-effective way of getting your message across to a wider audience than you may have been unable to reach previously.
Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn allow you to create and post content that your audience wants to see which in turn can help generate an increase in brand visibility and sales. It is also important that while using these platforms, you interact and engage with similar accounts and followers to ensure you convey a personable and friendly approach through commenting, liking, and sharing content which will help get your business noticed.
The thought of interacting with the media can seem daunting for many business owners. Often, it is an experience that is unknown and can therefore lead to many businesses shying away from shouting about their accomplishments within both the local and national press due to fear of putting themselves out there.
But in fact, taking advantage and interacting with the media can have many benefits and is another key, cost-effective way, for businesses to get their brand noticed.
Engaging with various media outlets on a regular basis by, for example, sending in current news articles or press releases, will allow you to share newsworthy content, and if published, can get your business name and story out to a wider audience through free editorial content. This is therefore a fantastic way to work alongside the media by utilising their editorial features which in turn will help you grow your brand organically and for little or no cost.
As a small or medium sized business, joining your local chamber of commerce will enable you to become part of the wider business community which can be extremely beneficial. It will open up doors to many new opportunities such as networking, business support, mentoring and much more, all of which are great ways to get your brand noticed.
Prepare a 60 second pitch, organise business cards and sign up to attend some networking events in your local area. Networking events are a great place to meet new people, share information and make connections that could be invaluable for your business.
Growing a brand can be challenging but by taking an hour out of your day to attend one of these events each week, you may find yourself having informative, memorable conversations with like-minded people who potentially could turn to your business if they require your products or services in the future.
Being aware of the various award ceremonies which run locally or nationally and submitting an application into a relevant category is also a great way to get your business recognised on a wider scale.
The application for entering a category within most awards is typically quite lengthy and many award hosts will seek an in depth insight into your business to gain an accurate representation of the business’ achievements and whether it is worthy to be shortlisted as a finalist.
By being proactive and entering your business into relevant awards it gives you the perfect opportunity to reflect on what you are doing currently and how this can be amplified to take the business to the next level. Additionally, if your business is successful in being shortlisted as a finalist, this is a fantastic free PR opportunity to feature in the awards program and be promoted in the lead-up to the event through the host's marketing material.
When looking to sell your products or services online, having an up-to-date website will allow both current and potential customers to search the site and find what they are looking for which can ultimately help lead to an increase in sales and brand recognition.
Websites should always be user and mobile-friendly to ensure they are easy to navigate which will help make the user experience as seamless as possible. Having a website is also the perfect opportunity to promote your brand, provide more information on your team, share updated news with your audience and provide key information such as contact details, opening times, and more. It is also important to remember that having a strong website presence doesn’t need to cost a fortune. Utilising online, cost-effective platforms such as WordPress, SquareSpace, and Wix can allow you to create eye-catching and fit-for-purpose sites that will have a strong impact on your audience that also doesn’t break the bank.
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