By Peter Sutton, managing director of PMW Communications.
You know you should be marketing your business, but where do you start? With new options cropping up all the time, it can be something businesses, in particular small enterprises, put on hold because they just don’t have the time to commit to looking into the wide range of opportunities.
Having worked with companies from every industry and of every size since 1993, we’re very much aware you may not have a marketing budget that allows you to focus on every platform. So, here’s how to get started and where to concentrate your budget.
Learn about your company
This may be something you think you already know, but before starting any form of marketing campaign you need to have a good understanding of what your company’s strengths are and where you want to be. For example, what makes your stand out from your competitors and what are your unique selling points?
Work with a marketing expert, or get together some of your team, and compile a list of words or phrases that sum you up – are you friendly, industry experts, family-run, customer-focused? Once you know this, discuss and decide where you want the future of your company to be. This will give you an understanding of what you want to say in your marketing material and what you want it to achieve.
Have an online health check
It’s fair to say the internet dramatically changed the way we all live our lives. Your website – if you don’t have one, then you need to get one – is the modern day shop window. Stats suggest that 90% of people will research companies and products online, even if they then go to make a purchase in person, so your online presence needs to do you justice.
Take a step back and have a look around your website as if you were a potential client or customer. Is it easy to navigate? Can a user find information easily? Is it visually appealing? Do you have clear contact information?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, you won’t necessarily need to pay for a completely new site, as a small update may be fine to ensure content is up to date and any images are applicable.
Spread your news
Your business will have plenty of news that can be of interest to the media so regularly send out press material. A well-placed feature or article can really give your brand a boost, and it will only cost a few hours of your time. From new product launches and business wins, to doing something to support your local community and welcoming new members of your team, shout about what’s happening.
You will be able to find contact details for local and national newspapers, magazines, trade publications, and broadcast journalists on the media outlet’s website.
Do social media well
It’s far better to choose one or two social media platforms and do them well, rather than having a limited presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and any other social media platforms that start to become popular.
With Facebook being the market leader, we would always suggest creating a business page. Then, if you are a lifestyle enterprise, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and TikTok work well, whereas LinkedIn or Twitter are best for business to business contact.
Once a business Facebook page is set up, make use of the advertising options which allow you to narrow down your target audience by location, interest, demographic and much more. A boosted Facebook post can cost as little as £4, which can give you a great return on investment.