Use These 12 Steps to Get Immediate Exposure for Your New Business
The first few months for a small business owner can be scary. You need to gain new customers fast and keep them coming back to keep your company afloat. Some companies seem to ace their marketing strategy, while others don’t know where to start.
There are dozens of options to promote your brand -- how do you know which to choose?
If you’re looking for exposure for your new business, start here. Follow these 12 tips to get ideas on growing your local footprint and driving customers to your brand.
1. Run Contests to Engage New Customers
Contests are a great way for brands to gain exposure for new business in their area while building customer loyalty. Invite customers to visit your business and enter a contest to win a prize. The prize could be something related to your brand (like free services or products) or something that connects you to the community (like tickets to a local sporting event). The goal is to bring new customers in to enter the contest and keep them coming back.
2. Sponsor Local Events in Your Community
One of the best ways to gain exposure in your community is by sponsoring or hosting branded events. You might provide uniforms for a local soccer team or cater a small business luncheon to become an asset to the people in your area. Even if you run a small business that can’t afford sponsorships, look for ways to give your time and resources to community nonprofits to show you care and boost your name.
3. Offer Discounts for Social Media Check-Ins or Photos
When customers check-in to your business or share a photo of where they are on social media, they’re endorsing your brand and sharing it with their group of friends. You can reach hundreds of potential local customers each time someone mentions your brand online. Offer a discount on a product or service, or even a gift, to anyone who checks-in or uploads a photo on Facebook or Instagram when they’re at your business. Your customers will appreciate the savings while you enjoy the word of mouth marketing.
4. Ask Customers to Leave Reviews
Another way to tap into word of mouth marketing is by asking customers to leave reviews. Let people know as they check out that if they like the business, it helps to leave a review on Facebook, Google, or Yelp. Studies have found that businesses that increase their rating by one star online can see a 5-9% increase in sales, so each of those reviews count!
5. Boost Social Media Accounts for Extra Exposure
If your social media channels aren’t growing as fast as you would like, boost your engagement with paid exposure and a Facebook ad strategy. You can target specific audiences on Facebook and limit your reach to people within your area and who might be interested in your product. It’s a great way to get your name in front of people who have never heard of you.
6. Share Engaging Content Online
Social media isn’t just about collecting followers and growing your online footprint; you have to give people a reason to follow you. Follow a few brands that you admire online and try to mimic their social media strategies. Share engaging content, video, and photos that engage your customers. This keeps your brand fresh in their minds and makes customers more likely to return.
7. Start Building Your Text and Email Lists
Even before your business opens, you can start generating buzz with email and text marketing. When customers buy from you, ask for their email or phone number to start sending them promotions or alerts. You can also advertise your text blasts on social media to get people to sign up before they visit your business. The sooner you start building these lists, the better.
8. Make Sure Your Website Attracts Customers
Regardless of your industry, you need to have a business website, and it needs to be mobile-friendly. Once you have the technical aspects of your page in order, make sure the content attracts new customers. For example, having clear contact information makes it easy for people to call you. Incorporating a Google Maps API drives people to your location. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and create something they can use.
9. Generate Buzz With Local PR
Many local news channels, print outlets, and local blogs want to profile local businesses in the area. Look for any potential hooks and launch a public relations campaign to generate buzz. You might invite media out to your grand opening, or talk about the history of your business or your founder’s background. All of these tactics make your brand more interesting to media outlets to keep covering your brand.
10. Invite Local Influencers to Visit Your Business
Another way to boost your PR is with influencer marketing. For example, when the mayor visits your business for a ribbon cutting ceremony or simply to enjoy your services, he or she can post about your brand and encourage people to visit it. This gives you exposure for new business as people who follow the mayor and other local figures can learn about you.
11. Make Sure Your Business Is Easy to Find
If your customers can’t easily find your business, then they’re unlikely to seek it out. Make sure your business is clearly labeled with outside signage welcoming people in. Online, make sure customers can easily find directions to your location and that you have multiple business directory profiles. If your location is hidden or out of the way, you may need to include special instructions on your website and online profiles to help customers out.
12. Create Profiles on Local Directory Sites
There are dozens of local business directory websites that people use to discover new vendors. From national websites like the YellowPages to local chamber of commerce listings to MyArea Network's directory of area sites, these sites help residents learn which businesses in the area are trustworthy.
If you want immediate exposure for your new business, make sure your brand is represented on these pages. The larger your reach, the more people can see your brand, increasing the number of potential customers learning about you.
MyArea Network specializes in online directory listings and promoting small businesses. If you want to get your company off the ground, contact us for a free consultation. We can listen to your unique needs and put together a plan for growth.