We all know that small businesses provide a lot of value to our communities. They create job opportunities, keep money circulating in the local economy, help build community identity, and even help innovate and diversify the local marketplace. Each year there is a national “Small Business Saturday” where brands’ impact is highlighted during events found across the nation. Small businesses provide a lot of value, but can struggle to compete with more well-known businesses that have much larger marketing budgets. How can these brands build a loyal following if no one knows about the great products or services we provide? The good news is there are a wide range of ways to promote a small business.
Promoting Via a Website
Today, all small businesses need to have a nice website for customers to find out more about a brand and what they sell. When looking for something, most customers will first do a quick online search. They might include terms such as “local” in these searches if they want to make sure their money is staying in the local community. If a website is not up to standards, most customers won’t even know our business exists. When creating a web site, there are a few things we need to consider. For example, what platform will we use to create the website?
One of the most popular website platforms around is WordPress. It is really versatile, and you can either use ready-made themes or hire a developer to take your website to the next level. If you’re going to build a website with WordPress, you’ll also need fast WordPress hosting. When people get to a website, it’s common knowledge that potential customers don’t want to wait around a long time for the site to load. After all, having a well-made website can impact a brand’s bottom line and allow them to continue to be a neighborhood staple.
Promoting On Local Apps
One great way to get the community to know about products and services is to tap into local apps. For example, in Ohio the YO! App highlights local small businesses. The great thing about apps like YO! is in addition to simply getting a business’s name out in front of customers, there are frequent promotions that get customers excited about buying local. Apps are also convenient since many customers spend a large portion of their day on their phones. Being part of such an app helps customers find brands as well as feel good about themselves and their choices. This tends to lead to them making more purchases from small businesses.
Promoting On Social Media
Social Media is also a great way for us to promote a small business. While having an effective social media strategy can be complex, such a strategy can help brand’s grow their business and make themselves a household name. Social media often starts with a plan including which platforms are right for the target audience. If there’s photo heavy content, brands might choose Instagram whereas if the goal is to build spaces where customers can talk with each other, a brand might choose Facebook groups. If you know where customers are found, you’ll have better luck expanding an existing audience by building meaningful relationships.
While it can be useful to have a basic understanding of the social media trends in a local context, in general it comes down to quality over quantity. Promoting on social media can become a full-time job. As a small local business, brands might choose to use scheduling and automation tools to free up time to focus on engagement. Finally, using social media comes down to tracking progress. No matter how well a social media platform works for others, if it does not work for your business, you should consider other options.
As a small business, brands need to focus on how to get customers to know about the products and services offered. While there are a range of options, some of those that work for many include creating a quality website experience, utilizing local apps, and social media. Being a small business does not mean brands have to think small or that a customer base is limited. There may be customers outside of the community who love to support and give products or services as gifts to people they care about. With a little promotion, small businesses can have customers from around the world who are looking for the very items offered.