7 Promotion Ideas For Small Businesses

Starting a small business is the easy part. The challenge begins with keeping it up, running, and successful.

When it comes to making sure your small business remains relevant in the business world, adopting a great promotional strategy is your best bet. A great promotional strategy will ‘promote’ your business, ensuring it grabs attention, maintains publicity, and attracts customers to your establishment.

Are you struggling to create a successful promotion strategy for your small business? Here are seven promotion ideas to get you started!

Why Should You Promote Your Small Business?

As a small business, finding your footing in the business sector among lots of competition can be intimidating.

Even after finding your footing, sustaining and improving your business’s success can be challenging. To solve these problems, many small business owners and startup entrepreneurs look to business promotion strategies as a solution.

Business promotion refers to any method a business adopts to enhance the visibility of its brand, products, and services. It is any strategy to attract customers and advertise your business publicly.

Essentially, business promotion involves any marketing strategy used to attract new customers, spread messages about the brand to target audiences, and boost the sale of goods and services.

Business promotion is integral to any business and can play a major role in increasing the establishment’s revenue and growing a loyal customer base.

But what if I choose not to promote my small business?

Well, the truth is not promoting your business is not an option, especially if you plan on scaling that business and making it more successful.

Regardless of what phase a small business is in, maybe just kicking up, budding, or already successful to an extent- it will always require one type of promotion or the other. Business promotion is an active process that never stops. It is a key element to ensure long-term business success by continuously attracting customers and making sales.

Some reasons you should promote your small business include the following:

1. Increases Brand Awareness

As a small business, especially one that is just starting out, not many people know about your establishment. With a restricted customer base, you are making less revenue than you would if a lot more people knew about your business.

But how exactly will you get people to notice your establishment?

Business promotion offers an easy solution to building brand awareness. By using several media such as televisions, flies, out-of-home adverts such as billboards, modern media such as social media platforms, or even the local newspaper, you can tell people about your small business.

Business promotions help people learn about your brand, its story, and its offerings. It will elicit public interest and put you on the map, increasing your chances of being patronized.

2. Target The Right Audience

Business promotion acts as a means to reach your target market. Your target audience includes the demographic your services and products are tailored for.

By reaching your target audience, you can generate successful business leads and sales, instead of promoting your goods and services to people outside your target audience demographic.

A successful business promotion strategy attracts and interests your target audience. It influences their shopping decisions, encouraging them to shop from your establishment instead of your competitor’s.

By reaching your target audience, business promotion creates interest in your goods and services, thereby generating demands that lead to sales and better revenue.

3. Increasing Customer Traffic

Any small business owner will admit that nothing beats the satisfaction of constantly making sales. However, making lots of sales requires adequate customer traffic.

Business promotion helps increase customer traffic by getting more people to notice and be interested in your establishment. By noticing your establishment through your promotional tactics and marketing efforts, people will be more interested in walking into your store or ordering online via your website and social media platforms.

This customer traffic will lead to sales which will inadvertently lead to more revenue for your small business.

4. Make Your Mark In The Business World

Becoming a recognized name in the business world- or at least a small portion of the business industry- requires adequate promotional efforts. After all, there is no way to be a recognized establishment if people do not know your brand.

Having a strong promotional strategy and equally effective marketing efforts prevents your small business from fading into the background. It gives you an advantage over other competitors, making your brand easily noticeable among the crowd of other small businesses that offer the same products or services you do.

7 Promotion Ideas For Small Businesses

Curating an effective promotional marketing strategy, especially one that is inexpensive, is a feat that many small businesses find challenging.

Many business owners skirt their way around this problem by avoiding implementing marketing ideas totally, while others find themselves running into a loss by adopting overly expensive promotional strategies.

However, contrary to popular opinion, you do not need to break the bank before adopting a high-quality and highly effective small business marketing strategy that appeals to your target audience. Many promotional strategies require little and readily-available resources that are already at your disposal.

Have you used traditional promotional tactics like word-of-mouth and business cards as your preferred marketing efforts? Below, we have compiled seven more effective small business promotion ideas to help you build an effective marketing plan.

1. Utilize Social Media

Social media is one of the most underrated small business promotion platforms there is today. It is not only free to use- unless you want to unlock special business advertising tools- but also offers a platform to reach millions of people at once.

A survey in 2021 showed that over 4.6 billion people use social media worldwide. This figure was projected to increase to 6 billion in 2027, only 4 years away. With these numbers., it only makes sense to integrate social media marketing and digital marketing in your promotion strategy.

With access to platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok that connect you to billions of people, you can easily grab attention, build interest in your brand, and encourage sales. Optimize your social media pages to build visibility and awareness. Some interesting ways you can do this include:

  • Fill Out Your Profile Properly: Regardless of the social media platform you choose, your profile is the first thing a potential client sees before interacting with your page or brand. As a result, it is essential to optimize every detail of your profile page. Input necessary brand details, including but not limited to your brand name, logo/picture, email address, and phone number. Use the ‘About tab’ to tell succinctly tell your client about your brand and add links to your website’s landing page where possible.

  • Use Branded Hashtags: Hashtags are a social media feature that increases the chances of your page and content being discovered. Creatively include branded hashtags that set you apart from your competitors on your social media channels. These hashtags will become a part of your online brand identity, building brand awareness. Place these hashtags on all your social media posts.

  • Cross-promote Your Socials: Gain traction and recognition on all your social media pages by constantly reminding followers that you have other social media accounts they can follow. This will help you build your social media accounts and gain active followers on all platforms.

  • Run Ads: Platforms like Facebook and Instagram offer ad slots for business owners to run targeted ads. These affordable ads can be tailored to suit your preferred audience demographic. Run Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook ads to help you get more publicity and more sales without needing an expensive marketing budget.

  • Be creative: The first step to becoming a relevant small business is to grab and retain the attention of potential customers using relevant content marketing. Do this by providing creative content that matches the platform you use. Instagram aims for high-quality picture and video content (perfect for posting short vlogs such as tutorials), Twitter and LinkedIn are used to share written content, while Facebook accommodates both forms.

2. Run A Contest

Contests or giveaways are great ways to get people talking about your brand. It builds awareness and publicity, getting new customers interested in you. More importantly, they can be very fun too!

Encourage your audience to participate in a competition in exchange for free products or services. There is no rule as to what type of contest you can run, which means you can get creative while you promote your business. More importantly, you can hold your contests online, offline, or both!

Some contest ideas include:

  • Utilize user-generated content in your contest by encouraging your audience to submit videos or pictures of certain concepts. This will build activity on your pages and help you get more followers.
  • Run a referral program contest by encouraging your audience to tag friends and tell their friends to follow your page to win a free gift
  • Tell your audience to subscribe to your youtube channel, podcasts, or email newsletter
  • Start an essay-writing competition
  • Run an Instagram hashtag contest

The options are limitless and can be tailored to any difficulty level you prefer! Running a contest serves as a form of online marketing tactic that not only optimizes your social media accounts

3. Use Email Marketing

Email marketing is a very overlooked form of free marketing tactic and chamber of eCommerce. However, quite ironically, it is also one of the most effective marketing tactics today. This probably explains why 82% of marketers worldwide use email marketing. The best part of utilizing email marketing is it is free too!

While email marketing is undoubtedly highly effective, don’t just go around spamming and send email messages as you like. Be more strategic and build an email list to run regular email marketing campaigns. With this campaign, you can regularly promote your products and services.

Building an email list is not time-consuming. You can do it manually by encouraging walk-in clients to drop their email addresses before they leave your establishment.

You can also do it online by attacking a “subscribe to my newsletter’ popup on your eCommerce website or leaving a link on your social media platforms. This can be done using software with templates to create ‘subscribe’ forms.

You can continuously expand your email list over time and frequently send email messages to your subscribers to build a large audience of customers and potential customers.

4. Work With Influencers

Partnerships with influencers are another way to promote your business. Influencers have amassed a larger than usual following of loyal audiences on social media. They have the audience you want and need to promote your brand to.

There are many social media influencers today, some with a few thousand followers and some with millions. However, it is important to remember that the higher their follower count, the more expensive the influencer is.

It is also important to note that there are different types of influences. As such, it is important to choose one that works with your business’s niche as they are more likely to have your target audience as their followers. To work with an influencer as a small business:

  • Identify your target audience
  • Set your promotion goals
  • Find where your audience spends most of their time consuming content relating to your brand niche. This may be blogs, TikTok, Facebook, etc
  • Find influencers with adequate influence on the chosen platform
  • Reach out to the influencer and discuss your preferred campaign and goals
  • Discuss payment (this may be in the form of money products/services, or a combination of both)
  • Set clear deliverables and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)

Influencer marketing is a promotional strategy that new businesses and existing small businesses can utilize to encourage more traffic and sales both online and off the Internet.

5. Optimize Google

Google isn’t just great for looking up questions you don’t know. It is also one of the best marketing tools any small business owner can use.

Many customers often use Google to find products and services. As such, Google is one of the many platforms that can give your business the visibility it needs to attract customers and make more sales.

If you do not already have one, you need to create and verify your Google Business Profile. Your Google Business Profile is a term for your business’s Google listing and is what allows your business to show up in Google Maps results.

It is also what makes sure your business pops up when someone searches for your brand name and location. However, it is important to note that you need a physical store location for your profile.

Other than your Google Business Profile, utilizing SEO (Search Engine Optimization) will improve your business’s search ranking and visibility. In other words, it will ensure your business is among those that pop at the top of Google’s result page when someone searches for your product or service. This will help you boost sales and traffic volume.

Some ways you can optimize your Google My Business profile for SEO include:

  • Fill your Google Business Profile completely
  • Ensure your profile information is and stays accurate
  • Verify your business
  • Pick the most relevant categories when filling out your business profile
  • Include professional or at least semi-professional pictures on your profile
  • As customers leave reviews or testimonials
  • Ensure your name, address, and phone number are consistent on all your social media channels or accounts

6. Partner With Local Businesses

No man- or business- is an island which is exactly why you should always seek out local businesses when promoting your business. Strategic partnerships are a great marketing tactic that brings communities and audiences together. By partnering with local businesses, you expand your reach to potential customers you are not already in contact with.

More importantly, it enables your audience to trust you. Local businesses have already attained a level of trust among locals. As a result, affiliating your business with these businesses helps you gain the trust of potential customers. This is a great way to begin building quality relationships among potential clients.

Some tips to help you partner with local businesses include:

  • Research local businesses ahead of time
  • Choose businesses that complement yours
  • Consider partnering with a local charity
  • Partner with more than one business

7. Publish Customer Reviews

Sometimes the best promotional tactics do not have to involve an obvious marketing strategy. Sometimes, you should let your customers promote you.

One survey shows that 9 out of 10 customers read reviews before purchasing. Reviews are key to making sales in many cases. They are the written equivalent of word-of-mouth testimonials but just as effective.

You should prioritize asking customers to leave reviews after receiving your products or services. Doing this will make your business look appealing to potential customers, offering enough social proof so they trust you.

Promoting Your Small Business

One major challenge every small business owner faces is the inability to promote their business adequately. With limited resources and an inefficient promotional strategy, promotions will fail and businesses will lack the brand awareness they need to attain success.

With our ideas, crafting a unique promotion strategy for your business is an achievable feat. From optimizing SEO to utilizing email marketing, here is everything you need to know about promoting your small business.