The method a business uses to advertise will be different in each case, and there is no single method that works for everyone all the time. Some will see a significant response from aggressive ad campaigns, while others will benefit more from word-of-mouth alone.
Another important thing to consider is exactly what you are saying in your promotional materials. What is the impression that people get when they see the label on your product, or hit the landing page of your website? These are the kind of choices that will either attract potential customers, or deter them. The following are a few pointers for sending the right message as you promote your business
Treat it like a resumé.
Advertising and promoting for your business is just like writing a resumé, in that you want to highlight the best things about your business that are more likely to sway people in your favor, while understating your weak points.
It’s always a good exercise to put yourself in the position of a customer to try and gain the outside perspective. What would be impressive to you, if you found your own business?
Should you emphasize how young your company is?
Including a caption on your logo that says, “Open Since 1956” is great, if your business has been open for decades. If you haven’t been around for more than a few years, however, emphasizing that fact might not be such a good idea.
Of course, there are exceptions where being a young company is actually a selling point, but if you’re a repair shop or a construction company, for example, then your customers want to be sure that you have experience. You can leave out the year your business was established, if it’s only been running for a few years.
How to advertise your location.
Some businesses like to highlight where they are located, as this can be appealing to customers for a variety of reasons. You may be a growing business that is reaching beyond its locality, and when you advertise the tiny town where you’re based, people may not be all that impressed.
You can, however, give your unknown location a little buzz by replacing the town name with, “The Greater Chicago Area,” or explain that you are “serving the Bay Area” if your home base is nearby a more recognizable city or geographic location.
Using customer reviews to your advantage.
Here’s another area where you can give people a good impression using selective advertising. Firstly, if you don’t currently have any reviews (which many businesses don’t), you should encourage customers to leave a comment or review about their experience with your business. On the one hand, no reviews means no bad reviews, but it also means that you have no positive feedback to share.
There will always be those who have something negative to say about your business because you can’t please them all. Just place the good reviews on your website, or wherever you do your promoting, and respond to the negative reviews as they inevitably come. Here’s another post we did on the right and wrong way to handle a bad Yelp review:
How to Handle a Bad Review on Yelp
A final note on promoting your business:
As stated above, you can give your business a more favorable image by including the things about your business that are really impressive, and omitting other aspects. The best way to make a good impression on people, however, is to simply provide an exceptional product or service. More often than not, a great product will promote itself.
1. Jim Taylor, Ph.D., “Technology: Myth of Multitasking,” The Power of Prime, Psychology Today, https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-power-prime/201103/technology-myth-multitasking
2. “Multitasking: Switching Costs,” American Psychological Association, March 20, 2006, http://www.apa.org/research/action/multitask.aspx
Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.
Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.