- Be smarter about your blog. If you don’t have a blog, you’re missing a real opportunity to get the word out about yourself. You can write about topics directly related to your business or simply write topics that people who need your services would like to read. There are a couple of really smart things to do as a blogger (tips by Derek Halpern):
- a. Write content that precedes the need for your services. Let’s say you own a children’s clothing store. You can certainly write about your clothing, but it’s smart to catch an audience who will need you in the near future. Write about pregnancy, giving birth, naming your child, finding schools, childproofing, and all the things expecting parents want to read. Add a bit at the end about your clothing store so they know where to go when their little one is born.
- b. Make a general topic more specific and submit a piece to a niche publication. Pretend you sell stress-relief products or services. You write a great, general piece on how to manage stress. Take that general piece and transform it into “How to Manage Stress Before your Wedding Day,” and ask wedding sites/publications to run it. You can also run that piece on your own site – people who see it may share it with brides and grooms-to-be.
- Sponsor a charity and give them something post-worthy. Sponsoring a charity should be something we do as a feel-good, altruistic gesture, but you and I both know it’s rare we do so without our own benefits in mind. That’s OK. It makes the people running the causes feel better about asking a bunch of strangers for money. The exposure you get from sponsoring a charity is great, and supporting a worthy cause is even greater. In addition to helping out a charity, you can create content about it. You can create an article or video about the cause and/or why you supported it. You can ask the charity to post it on its website (and link it to your website), or you can post it on your own site and share the link with the charity to share on its channels. If sponsoring a charity isn’t right for you at the moment, you can work a similar angle by having employees do volunteer work for the community.
- Run a contest or giveaway that uses social media. Many traditional contests require participants to ask other people to vote on their submission, and this does create awareness for the business hosting the contest. Another way to use social media is to have people take pictures of themselves using your product or an item with your brand on it. Ask them to post these pictures to Facebook, Instagram, etc, with a specific hash tag. This will generate awareness and recognition of your brand on several social media sites.
- Create an affiliate program. Overall, this is less expensive than pay-per-click, and it is more targeted. By giving your affiliates links and ads that promote your business, you generate more traffic from sources that your leads probably already trust.
- Choose great promotional items. We’ve written a few articles about promotional items. Seeing your brand multiple times a day/week/month really does embed it into the memory. The trick is to use something that isn’t too expensive for you but also that the consumer will use regularly (which is why pens are so popular.) You can make a somewhat useful item even more relevant by adding information. For example, an insurance agent can give out insurance card holders, and in addition to the brand, have emergency information printed on it. Then the card holder becomes a handy reference one would want to keep nearby. You could print a QR code on a business card holder that brings your client straight to customer service (or whatever is relevant for your business.) The more useful your promotional item, the more it will be seen.
We’ve been talking about branding a lot lately. A LOT. That’s because the branding game has changed and it’s so important for you to get on board. Let’s assume you’ve already created your brand story and injected your brand personality into everything you do. Now you need to gain more exposure. Here are five free to inexpensive tips on how to get some recognition.