Not every organisation can gain headline news in the national press. But it is essential to make some noise in the right places if you want your small business to be noticed by potential customers.
You can run the most innovative company in the world but if nobody’s heard of you, it’s not going to mean much in terms of revenue or profitability. Getting noticed by your target market is key to finding success and finding your feet as a small business.
That may sound like an obvious statement to make, of course, but all too often companies don’t but the time or resource into planning out their sales and marketing function thoroughly – a mistake that can contribute to poor returns in the first few months and years of trading.
With so many competitors on the market, how do you make your voice heard and your brand stand out from the crowd? Here are our top tips for getting your small business noticed.
Show yourself off online
Today’s business landscape is so thoroughly digital that, if you want to make yourself known outside your immediate location, an online presence is a necessity. This includes an active, accurate and easy-to-navigate website alongside active social media accounts that reflect the tone, purpose and feel of your business. It also means getting familiar with SEO – learning which keywords work for your business content so you can climb the Google rankings and help potential customers find you.
Different social media platforms will work for different businesses, of course. So, find whichever one works for you. If you’re a visual brand then Instagram may be your platform of choice; whereas corporate B2B organisations may feel more at home on LinkedIn. If your products and services appeal to younger buyers – and you’re confident about making engaging video content – TikTok can help get your name out to the masses.
Put a face to your brand
People are willing to trust faceless brands when they are an established name they know. When people shop with the likes of Google and Amazon, they don’t expect much human-to-human interaction. But this is where small businesses can get the upper hand.
With fewer customers to cater for, you can give each buyer the attention they deserve – providing a face and a name to engage with. Give both your business and your customer service a personal edge in order to form connections and create long lasting bonds.
Get out in the community
We’ve spoken about the benefits of making a name for yourself outside your location, but that’s not to diminish the importance of local support. Local customers are the most loyal customers, and immersing yourself in your village, town or city can help to cement your business as a staple of the community.
This might include visiting local events, pitching up a stall at local business gatherings, or volunteering at local charities to give back to the community.
Be generous with samples
It may seem counterintuitive to give away products for free when you’re trying to convince customers to buy, but free samples are a great way to get attention and create a buzz among potential buyers. It also helps to build social proof if your giveaways encourage people to recommend your products or services to others.
A product sampling study carried out in 2008 found that 35% of customers who try a sample will buy the product after using it, and once they’ve shopped with you the first time, it’s much easier to convince them to return.
In short, never underestimate how much people love freebies.
You can shout about the benefits of your business from the rooftops, but it’s not going to hold as much weight as a genuine endorsement from a satisfied customer.
Potential buyers are much more likely to trust reviews from other customers than the words of the company itself, so make sure you encourage your buyers to leave feedback on their experience, and then use these reviews in your marketing. Incentives like discounts on their next shop, free gifts, or entry into a prize draw can all give customer the nudge they need to share their experience.
Got a business idea you’d like to get off the ground this year? Get in touch with the team at TEDCO Business Support today. We have helped thousands of businesses to grow, supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), so we’re here to support you.
Give us a call on 0191 516 61 02 or drop us an email at email@example.com.