To successfully promote your business, it is crucial to establish a solid online presence and target your ideal audience with precision and speed.
While many marketing experts suggest investing heavily in advertising on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or Google, relying solely on this approach may decrease returns over time. Therefore, diversification is essential for long-term success.
This comprehensive guide provides 25 effective strategies for promoting your business, with practical examples and resources to help you get started.
Business promotion involves much more than posting images on social media or purchasing advertisements. It is a strategic process that can bring measurable success to your business. Below are nine affordable or accessible methods to promote your business, boost traffic, and increase sales.
1. Craft Guest Posts for Blogs That Reach Your Target Audience
Generating free traffic for a new website can be challenging, unlike paid traffic, which can be obtained through purchasing ads. Blogging is one way to attract traffic to your website, but it takes time to see the desired results. In the meantime, guest posting provides an opportunity to reach a new audience. By writing a post for someone else's blog, you can redirect traffic back to your website, and the links to your site can improve your search engine ranking.
First, identify and connect with bloggers with an audience that aligns with your target market. Propose writing a guest post that resonates with their audience while remaining relevant to your business niche.
2. Secure Product Review Blog Post Features
Obtaining product reviews can significantly raise awareness and sales of your products. However, waiting for someone to review your product can take time, hence the need to initiate a blogger outreach campaign. Reaching out to bloggers with relevant and engaged audiences increases your chances of securing a product review, which could be featured on popular outlets such as Buzzfeed, just like RT1home, a Shopify merchant.
Connect with bloggers who have an audience that aligns with your target market and offer to send them free products in exchange for an honest review. If your product is exceptional, they will likely love and share it with their followers.
3. Create an Expert Roundup
Although blogging can be an excellent means of attracting traffic to your online store, it can be time-consuming. This is particularly true if you need more expertise on a particular subject or feel uneasy about writing. To overcome this obstacle, consider requesting contributions from other bloggers or professionals.
Identify professionals in a field and invite them to contribute to your blog post by suggesting a recipe, tip, or anecdote. Compile a list of all the feedback you received and post it. This approach will not only provide your audience with outstanding material from qualified professionals but also encourage the contributors to share the post with their followers, expanding your reach.
4. Discover Potential Affiliates to Promote Your Business
individuals to promote your product, launching an affiliate program might be a suitable option. Affiliate marketing is an approach that motivates others to drive traffic to your business by providing a commission for every sale made, comparable to referral programs.
For instance, BarkBox employs this strategy, where popular dog accounts on Instagram display a BarkBox affiliate code in their bio, such as @henrysworldtoday.
It can be challenging to locate your initial affiliates if you lack widespread brand recognition. To get the ball rolling, utilize an outreach campaign to identify and enlist your first few affiliates. Consider seeking mates with a dedicated audience and already generating content related to your industry.
5. Secure Your Spot in Gift Guides
Gift guides comprise a compilation of suggested products or gift concepts, usually focused on a particular occasion (such as Christmas) or a specific person (such as your father). If you have searched for gift suggestions on Google, you have likely encountered numerous gift guides, such as The New York Times' Valentine's Day gift guide.
Featuring your product in the appropriate gift guides can help you enhance sales and drive traffic to your website. Nevertheless, inclusion in these guides is not random and requires effort. In several instances, business owners and marketers advocate for their products to be included. Use outreach techniques to contact gift guide publishers and request the inclusion of your product.
6. Consider Investing in Infographics
Investing in a professionally designed infographic can effectively drive traffic and generate backlinks, which are beneficial for search engine optimization (SEO). The cost of quality infographics varies considerably, depending on your requirements and the expertise of the designer you engage, but the benefits can be well worth the investment.
Are you searching for inspiration for an infographic idea? Visit websites like Visually to get started. Once you have selected a thesis, research the topic and determine the key points you want to include in the infographic. You can then present this outline to a professional designer as guidance for the infographic's content (or use it as a reference for yourself if you plan to create it yourself, for which tools like Canva or Piktochart are available).
For instance, if you sell bicycles and related equipment, you could develop an infographic that discusses the environmental benefits of cycling. Some of the data or statistics you may consider incorporating into the infographic include the number of fuel emissions saved during daily commutes and a comparison of the total number of car and bicycle owners.
This message caters to your target audience and is engaging enough for various blogs and news websites to consider showcasing it and linking back to your website.
7. Obtain Press Coverage for Your Business
Instead of outsourcing to a PR company, take charge of your publicity. If you have a captivating story or a unique product that journalists will want to cover, make it known! Connect with bloggers and reporters who focus on businesses like yours and tell them what you're up to.
While it's true that writers receive overwhelming pitches, they are still searching for a good story. Ensure you're targeting the appropriate publications (for example, don't approach a tech writer to cover your clothing line) and offer them a compelling story to increase your chances of success.
Press coverage is a valuable tool for promoting a new business. Mercedes Provost, the founder of Copper Bottom Swim, shares how she obtained free coverage for her nine-month-old brand:
“I compiled a press list, crafted a strong email and press kit, and began contacting journalists. It's generally a two-step email customized to the writer's niche, with the first introducing my brand and the second pitching some ideas well-suited to our audiences.”
Mercedes' strategy was successful. She landed a few stories, but being featured in The Globe and Mail, a Canadian national newspaper, was the most significant publication she received coverage in. PR generated 50 sales in three days, a massive triumph for Mercedes as a new business owner.
8. Refocus your marketing strategy on email campaigns
As a small business, email marketing can be a valuable tool for attracting and retaining customers. You can invite potential customers to join your email list through your e-commerce site or social media profiles. Email marketing is also cost-effective, with an average return of $42 for every dollar invested.
Once subscribers were opt-in, you can send them promotions, product launches, or other types of content to build a relationship and boost sales. Many brands, such as Cat Caboodle (attached), use email to welcome new customers.
Creating automated email marketing campaigns can be a game-changer for small business owners who need more time or resources to dedicate to marketing. This way, your marketing messages can be sent automatically, giving you a significant advantage.
9. Achieve High Visibility on Google Search Results
SEO is one of the most effective strategies to consider if you want to increase traffic and sales for your online business. The ultimate goal is to rank on the first page of search engines, with position one being the ideal spot. This ensures that your brand is the first that high-intent shoppers come across when searching for specific keywords. Such shoppers are more likely to purchase products since they have a particular need or problem to solve.
However, small businesses may lack the resources or time to invest in search engine optimization. The good news is that implementing the basics can still give you an edge over your competitors.
Strategies for promoting your business on social media
Social media platforms can be a powerful tool for promoting your business to new customers, building a community among your existing customers, and growing your brand's following. Many companies have successfully created authentic and engaging content on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube platforms. Here are some practical strategies to promote your business on social media platforms.
10. How to establish a presence on TikTok
By now, you are likely familiar with the popular social media app TikTok. Recent statistics reveal that the platform boasts a staggering one billion monthly active users worldwide. For companies targeting younger age groups, such as Zinnias and Gen Z, utilizing TikTok for business promotion is ideal.
TikTok has proven a valuable tool for small businesses, such as Loungefit, which has experienced significant success with the app. Incorporating TikTok into your social media strategy can elevate your business's online presence and foster rapid growth. As an illustration, SendAFriend leveraged its TikTok marketing tactics to reach $5 million in revenue within two years.
Aside from enhancing brand awareness, TikTok also offers the ability to boost sales through its link-in-bio function. This feature allows users to direct viewers to a landing page, driving potential customers to make purchases.
11. Creating a YouTube Channel: Tips for Getting Started
According to a 2019 study, YouTube users spent over one billion hours watching videos on the platform daily. Despite this, 9% of businesses have utilized YouTube to market their brand. As YouTube is the second most popular search engine after Google, it presents a significant opportunity for you to promote your business effectively.
A YouTube channel can help:
- Build credibility with your audience
- Create engagement and loyalty
- Increase your social media presence
- Drive traffic to your website
Creating captivating video content is a powerful way to entice potential customers and captivate your existing ones. Implementing a basic YouTube marketing plan allows you to exhibit your brand's unique identity and foster a dynamic and captivating connection with your desired audience.
12. Solicit Influencers to Publicize Your Business
Sometimes, guest posts or product reviews may not be necessary to promote your brand. A mere social media shoutout from a well-suited influencer can work wonders.
To begin with, identify social media platforms where your potential customers and target audience are most active, and reach out to influencers with a smaller following – namely, nano- or micro-influencers. Not only are they more affordable to collaborate with, but their influence has been proven to yield higher engagement rates. However, ensure that you select influencers whose audience would be interested in your product. Request them to feature your product in one of their posts and establish clear expectations before sending them a complimentary product.
13. Regularly Publish Captivating Social Media Content
Consistency is critical to expanding your social media following.
To establish the most suitable frequency for your brand, it's essential to experiment with different posting schedules, as audience engagement rates vary based on this factor. Comparing your posting frequency and engagement rates to your competitors is also beneficial.
Consider posting diverse content formats throughout the day on social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok. @kyliecosmetics, for instance, share a blend of single-image posts, Reels, and Stories – featuring both product-related and user-generated content – to keep followers captivated and engaged.
As noted by consultant Jay Baer, the focus should be on crafting an effective marketing strategy and developing high-quality, captivating posts regularly rather than posting subpar content frequently.
Hootsuite and Buffer are two valuable marketing tools that allow you to schedule future posts and track engagement metrics for your social media accounts. By integrating these apps with your browser and other platforms, you can streamline the process of scheduling posts and save time on the actual publishing.
14. Automate Word-of-Mouth Advertising with Social Reviews
Leveraging product reviews and testimonials is an effective means of fostering trust and obtaining valuable feedback on your offerings, which can ultimately lead to a surge in online sales.
With Yotpo, a review app compatible with Shopify sites, customers are prompted to leave reviews following a purchase, streamlining the process and eliminating the need for you to solicit feedback manually.
By linking your business's social accounts and directly posting the reviews, you can furnish your pages with fresh content that reinforces confidence in your brand and product quality while driving traffic from social media to your website.
15. Craft Bite-Sized Content for Social Media Feeds
It's essential to consider the specific context in which social media users browse through their feeds. They may be using a mobile device during their commute, taking a quick break at work, or simply killing time during commercial breaks. The commonality in these scenarios is that users often scroll between other tasks. This is why bite-sized content is an effective way to capture their attention. This social media marketing approach works well on platforms designed for quick, seamless experiences, such as TikTok.
For instance, let's suppose you sell products catering to soccer players. On your blog, you publish an article titled “7 Training Exercises to Enhance Your Soccer Skills.” You can repurpose this content into seven micro-content pieces, each dedicated to an individual exercise that can be utilized on social media. This approach is more effective than fitting an entire article into a fast-paced social media experience.
16. Engage Your Audience by Hosting Live Streams
Engagement is crucial for the growth and sustenance of any online community. One effective tactic to engage with your audience is to host live streams on your most engaged social media channel.
You can organize a live session centered around a specific topic or theme, such as demonstrating how you pack orders live or providing tutorials on different watercolor techniques every Friday. Additionally, you can invite co-hosts who align with your brand and appeal to your audience's interests.
17. Simplify Product Sharing with These Strategies
Making it easy for users to share your products on social media is crucial for driving traffic and increasing sales. Including social share buttons on your website can help improve the virality of your content. It's essential to have buttons for popular social networks like Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, and Pinterest to ensure they are easily accessible for users to find.
You may want to customize the share buttons' appearance to match your store's visual aesthetic, similar to how Culture Kings has done on their product pages.
Consider using a tool such as AAA Social Share Buttons Marketing to simplify adding social share buttons to your online store. This app allows you to customize the positioning and layout of your buttons and provides analytics to help you optimize your strategy.
18. Engage with Relevant Trending Topics for Your Brand
The hashtag played a significant role in organizing conversations on the social web, making it easy to join discussions and events. However, as the hashtag has become less of a guiding force and more of a supplementary tool, businesses need to determine which trending topics are appropriate for their brand.
A social media monitoring tool like Hootsuite can help you identify and engage with trends that align with your brand. If you're a TikTok user, the Discover page can help you discover what's popular.
As you experiment with marketing efforts that work for your brand, consider which trending topics make sense for you to participate in or create yourself. For instance, the watercolor shop Case for Making encouraged customers to paint with a different color each day of October, completing the challenge #Colortober.
Most importantly, avoid posting just for the sake of posting. Ensure that your contributions to the conversation are meaningful and natural.
19. Produce interactive content including quizzes
Quizzes are making a strong comeback, thanks to Buzzfeed. Interactive content works very well on social media, especially when they publicly provoke quiz-takers to show off their results. Therefore, you need to create a quiz that tells people something about themselves or their knowledge to encourage them to share it.
To create your quiz, you can use Playbuzz, an easy-to-use tool for building interactive content.
20. Enable Shopping Features Across All Your Social Media Channels
The growth of social commerce is undeniable, with e-commerce sales from social media projected to reach $1.3 billion in 2023. If your social media posts are shoppable, you are taking advantage of a crucial aspect of an omnichannel marketing strategy for your followers.
Virtual “tags” are added to videos, Stories, and posts in the feed to enable shoppable feeds. These tags allow social media users to click and see the price of a product, tap to learn more, and make a purchase without leaving the app. This creates an efficient process for customers to purchase directly from your social media channels.
For example, the accessories shop Cupcakes and Cashmere links its inventory to shoppable Instagram posts, making it easy for customers to purchase products with just a few taps.
21. Consider experimenting with retargeting ads
Retargeting ads can be a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal as they allow you to reach out to potential customers who have previously visited your website. Personalizing these ads based on their previous behavior can increase the likelihood of them making a purchase. The great thing about retargeting is that it enables you to target people who have already shown an interest in your products or services.
For instance, Frank Body uses retargeting to reach out to consumers who have previously visited their website but have yet to purchase.
Tips for promoting your business in your local community
With the return of in-person retail shopping, businesses must find ways to connect with customers in their local communities. Collaborating with local businesses to create new products or host events, participating in community events like street fairs or farmers markets, and creating a business profile on Google are all effective ways to engage with your local audience.
22. How to create a business profile on Google
Creating a Google Business Profile is an effortless way to manage your online presence on Google Search and Maps. Promoting your business for free and attracting potential customers is an excellent strategy.
Amy Falcione, the founder of the marketing agency Big Picture Marketing, says, “Google Business Profile gives local businesses a separate online presence other than their website.” This listing offers a brief but comprehensive description of your business and services.
Potential customers often search for your Google Business Profile to ensure your legitimacy. You can enrich your profile by adding photos and videos of your business and links to your website or booking software. An inside look into your business can help build credibility and trust with potential customers.
Your profile displays all essential business information, such as contact details, website, and address. Therefore, customers can easily reach out to you or visit your business online or in person if they are interested.
23. Engage with Local Customers by Participating in Community Events
Small businesses can promote themselves at local events such as artisan markets, craft shows, trade shows, and festivals to attract an audience from the local market.
“Right now, many local businesses are meeting online. They are using live streams and online meetups to show off products online and reach people at scale,” shares Amy of Big Picture Marketing. “But as areas start to open back up, we don’t want to overlook the power of local in-person events.”
Attending local events lets small business owners connect with customers personally and create individual relationships. People can touch, feel, smell, and interact with the products.
Another way to promote a business locally is through workshops and lectures, according to Amy. For example, if someone runs a candle-making business, they can run local workshops to teach people how to make their candles. It’s an excellent way to establish a reputation in the community and increase brand awareness.
24. Local Delivery Services Available
You can offer customers a quicker and more convenient option than standard shipping or in-store purchases by providing local delivery. This is a considerate approach to reaching out to your local customer base.
Furthermore, according to Shopify data, independent retailers offering local delivery and pick-up options can increase their sales. Customers with access to these services tend to spend 23% more and have a 25% higher cart size.
A real-life example is Chris's Ice Cream in Ottawa, which provides free local delivery for orders that meet a minimum purchase requirement.
25. Acquire Coverage from Local Press
Securing local media coverage is an excellent way to advertise your business in the community. A feature in the local newspaper can attract prospective customers to your website or physical store.
To begin, Amy suggests compiling a press list of publications you desire coverage from. Afterward, craft a press release and pitch it to reporters. By providing your quotes and statistics and presenting your story as newsworthy, you make it easier for journalists to cover your business.
When crafting your press release, Amy suggests implementing the following recommendations:
- Refrain from using a sales tone.
- Emphasize how your product benefits the community.
- Indicate if you intend to employ local workers.
- Highlight any locally sourced products you utilize.
Enhance Your Digital Marketing Strategy
Marketing your business is no longer optional. Employing cost-effective and complimentary marketing tactics is necessary to achieve your business objectives, such as boosting brand recognition, increasing website traffic, or driving sales.
Feel free to utilize only some of the 25 listed tactics simultaneously. Instead, start with one or two strategies most applicable to your business. As your business grows, you can gradually add tactics to your marketing plan.
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