In this blog post, we’ll cover 11 ways to promote your business:
- Online advertising
- Offline advertising
- Press releases
- Online stores
- In-person communities
- Online and offline events
- Email marketing
- Influencer marketing
11 Ways to Promote Your Business
1. Online Advertising
Online advertising gives businesses the chance to reach people across the Internet, particularly those who use social media platforms.
Getting started is simple: You create a free social media account for your business and then publish organic posts: free content that creates value for viewers and encourages them to follow and support your business.
Or you can choose paid advertising: Messages that can reach targeted audiences through ads appearing in a user’s online experience.
It’s good to interact with other businesses as well as consumers on social media sites and other online platforms, including places that are related to your business.
Authenticity is key: genuine, conversational content and connection. For instance, the combination of a Public Profile on Snapchat and Snapchat Ads lets a business promote to a broad, young audience — and between organic and paid posts, opens the door to reaching business marketing objectives including awareness, lead generation, online sales, and app installs.
Read our “What Is Online Advertising?” blog post for more information.
2. Offline advertising
Offline advertising offers a unique set of promotional avenues compared to online advertising. Newspapers, magazines, brochures, flyers, posters, TV, radio, and other media all provide effective ways to convey marketing messages to a wide variety of people.
Due to its more passive nature, offline advertising is often most reliable locally (unless a business has a regional or national presence), and is typically pricey compared to online alternatives.
Short website links and QR codes can help offline ads connect viewers with online sources of information (typically web pages). Businesses can get the best of both worlds, maximizing ROI, immediacy, convenience, and flexibility, while benefiting from the insights that online advertising’s analytics and metrics bring into the equation.
Serving as an online headquarters and/or store, a website offers 24-hour access to information and shopping — a single, central location to share your address and phone number, a contact form, a product catalog or list of services, pricing and shipping details, etc.
Whether you already have a website, you hire someone to build it for you, or you do it yourself, be sure your website is:
- Professional looking and heavy on useful content to convey trustworthiness.
- SEO (search engine optimization)-friendly. Write naturally and create relevant, helpful content that’s updated regularly. Encourage other sites to link to yours, and research and include keywords to maximize your SEO score.
- Designed to be mobile-responsive, so it displays properly no matter what device someone is using.
- Add a blog to ensure a constant flow of fresh, useful, and engaging content into your site. This is good for SEO, too.
- Includes customer reviews. Use feedback forms, surveys, and direct contact to build a repository that showcases customer advocacy (also called social proof).
4. Press Releases
Press releases are a well-established method of getting announcements, news, and other essential information to offline and online media outlets. They typically follow a specific format, so it’s a good idea to adhere to best practices when creating a press release.
You can personally distribute your press release or, better yet, hire a service to distribute your press release to newswires, news outlets, podcasts, blogs, influencers, radio, TV, and anyone else who might be willing to run your story.
Press releases are also ideal elements to add to your website and social profiles in order to bolster content and enhance your business’s SEO-driven rankings online.
5. Online Stores
Launch an online store to give people anytime, year-round access to your products or services. Compared to physical (or ‘brick and mortar’) storefronts, online stores benefit from low upfront and ongoing costs, quick purchase funnels and order fulfillment, negligible physical logistics, possibilities for customer acquisition, and full control of your online marketing and sales environment.
You can create your store via any number of eCommerce platforms, such as Shopify, BigCommerce, Etsy, eBay, and Squarespace, or do it yourself and host it on your own site via platforms such as WooCommerce or widgets most platforms provide. When choosing your online store’s host, consider the platform’s reputation, functionality, flexibility, pricing structure, and support.
6. In-person Communities
The physical human-to-human experience is useful for establishing real, enduring connections with customers and partners, so getting involved with local community organizations and events can be worth the effort.
Community involvement provides an unparalleled opportunity to network and market, and indicates your business is interested in participating in local commerce as well as community support.
Form partnerships with other businesses. Local alliances can increase your reach as partnerships evolve and combine, producing new opportunities for marketing collaboration and idea exchange. As you join local groups and organizations, consider offering to sponsor events and initiatives — fundraisers, awareness campaigns, etc. — to further establish your presence.
7. Online and Offline Events
Events represent a useful method of expanding your business network and potential customer base. Benefits are similar to those of in-person community involvement, with the added perk of capitalizing on the enthusiasm typically generated by events.
To understand what’s happening in your specific market, attend both offline and online events as frequently as possible, including trade shows, conferences, meetups, workshops, webinars, symposiums, and summits. While online events are often more affordable than attending physical events, both are important for establishing a network with other business owners.
For brand and product launches, consider hosting your business’s own event. As the host, you control the event presentation, you’re able to invite key guests, participants, influencers, and press as you see fit, and you can follow up with leads and contacts you collect without needing special permission. Hosted events are also an ideal way to become a thought or market leader and subsequently pursue online presenter opportunities at webinars, forums, workshops, etc.
The enduring prevalence and success of offers in the market is a testimony to their effectiveness in attracting, engaging and retaining customers. Marketing a discounted or free product or service either on its own or in conjunction with a broader campaign usually results in a surge in sales, lead generation, and overall ROI.
Offers take many forms. Along with pricing discounts, some perennially strong performers include:
- Loyalty programs – Offer rewards, discounts, and other special incentives to attract and retain customers. These encourage repeat business, offering benefits in exchange for continued patronage.
- Social-support campaigns – Encourage customers to spread the word about your business or a specific offering by honoring their efforts with a discount or free reward.
9. Email Marketing
Email marketing is an excellent avenue for educating customers and presenting offers while minimizing interference in consumers’ day-to-day activities. In the world of online marketing, email provides the most direct and acceptable method of promotions — messages are delivered directly into inboxes of people who have typically opted in (ie, they’ve chosen to receive communications) and thus are already interested in what’s being marketed.
Email marketing can also seamlessly integrate with other marketing channels like ad platforms and online storefronts. You can use it to increase traffic to your website, helping to guide the customer experience and close sales.
Well-crafted marketing emails compel readers to take action, using relevant text and imagery along with call-to-action (CTA) elements such as buttons and text links. Additionally, email accommodates personalization, enabling you to create content relevant to your customers’ interests, shopping activities, customer journey, and other factors.
You can use email marketing funnels and automation to send relevant content to your customers based on where they are in the purchase cycle. By reviewing metrics such as products viewed, blog posts read, items purchased, and wishlists, you can use analytics to better understand individual interests.
When creating marketing email, use these best practices for optimal performance:
- Treat your reader with respect.
- Create an outline before beginning composition.
- Write a catchy, concise, to-the-point subject line.
- Include preview text that reiterates your ultimate call to action.
- Be conversational (think authenticity) but not wordy. Keep your main point in mind throughout, and edit out unnecessary fluff.
- Add calls to action where appropriate to guide engagement.
10. Influencer marketing
Influencer marketing involves collaboration between a business and relevant influencers — people who command sizable audiences on social platforms — to increase brand awareness and sales through a mutualistic relationship. A business finds people who already promote its products or similar products online, strikes up a relationship with them, and offers them free product or exposure in exchange for them advocating on behalf of the business.
Because influencer content and advocacy is perceived to be more authentic that comparable business-driven efforts, the brand-influencer relationship often results in higher engagement and conversion rates. Influencers create organic content or ads that appeal more to consumers, which routinely enhances overall advertising performance and improves conversion. Businesses can then determine the top-performing content and create paid, tightly targeted ad campaigns for best results.
Referrals from colleagues, partners, influencers, friends, and especially customers result in an arrangement that essentially amounts to free co-marketing. As a promotional vehicle, referrals are low- or no-cost alternatives to traditional advertising. They lead to more trust and loyalty while creating a perpetual cycle of customer influx, influence, and engagement.
While both organic and paid online advertising prove effective in many scenarios, the performance of word-of-mouth influence is dominant. Snapchat users age 16 and older report that close friends are 4x more influential than celebrities or influencers on their purchasing decisions.4
The power of social proof — people looking at how others have used or recommended a product before making a purchase decision — is another prime example of the potency of referrals. And that makes an even stronger argument for pursuing community involvement and networking opportunities through human interactivity and events that nurture connection.
Promoting your Business with Snapchat
Snapchat Ads offer a uniquely powerful means of promoting your business by leveraging, or coordinating with, all of the on- and offline promotional vehicles mentioned above.
For the best outcome, create marketing strategies and campaigns that combine and align your online marketing with your offline business promotions. For instance, if you’re opening a new gaming cafe in your city or town, it would make sense to run a large-format ad in the local paper and procure mentions on the local pop-music radio station in conjunction with running a Snapchat Ads campaign using a localized, youth-focused demographic audience and a membership offer.
Create a Snapchat Public Profile for your business today to start advertising your offerings to the 9 out of 10 young people who use Snapchat.5