It can be difficult to establish a new business in the marketplace, especially when it’s already teeming with startups. Even if your new business has a lot to offer to potential customers, it can take some time to make people realise that. The end goal is to build a customer base who can’t live without your products, and would be happy to recommend them to others. But how do you get your business to a point where it can survive?
Below are 10 ways to make your new business stand out in the marketplace.
1. Use Facebook ads
Whether your shop is physical or online, you can most certainly benefit from Facebook advertising. The best thing about Facebook advertising is being able to control the budget. Whether you’re looking to spend $50, or $500, you are in complete control at every stage. Facebook advertising is effectively a form of website promotion service. You can either encourage users within your ad to visit your website with a call-to-action button, or you can direct them to your Facebook page.
Building a customer base on Facebook is one of the best decisions you can make, as it can:
- Help you gauge what interests people.
- Help you benefit from organic growth from their friends lists.
- Give you the ability to ‘reward’ your growing customer base with freebies, with the intention of broadening your market share.
- Help you identify the kinds of people who ‘like’ your page/product so you can target further marketing towards them.
For a start-up business, money is everything. If you can save money by using a less expensive form of marketing and advertising, then you can put that money into something else.
2. Write and send press releases
Websites, newspapers, newsletters and magazines all use press releases within their publications. Whether they publish it as-is, or rewrite it as an article, getting published in any form will be beneficial for your business. If you are not sure how to write a press release, you can hire a copywriter. Otherwise, there are plenty of templates online which can help you do it. The main point is to help people form an emotional attachment to your product. You want them to need your product and you should use correct language to help them reach that realisation.
Your press release should include:
- Your contact information
- A high-resolution picture or poster
- A date for release
- Information about the product
- Information about your business
- A price (optional)
- A call to action (website, Facebook, etc)
Not only can you send your press release to other businesses and media outlets, but you can also publish it on your own website, blog or Facebook page. If you’re unsure about how to do this, there are plenty of website support services out there to help.
3. Start a business blog
In recent years, business blogs have become commonplace on any kind of website. It’s generally a subtle click link in the corner of the website, directing visitors to a page of content and links for more information. The ultimate aim of a business blog is to increase search engine optimisation (SEO), but it’s also a great platform to post any industry-related information about your product or service. It can even include your own product reviews or any relevant text as well.
If you haven’t got a business blog, or even a website, now is the time to get one. It can help you increase your search engine rating, all the while giving your customers additional information about you and your product. There are plenty of website creation services ready and able to help you get started.
4. Cold calling
Many years ago, cold calling was one of the biggest forms of advertising and marketing. Businesses would go through the phone book and target potential businesses or people who could benefit from their products and services. With the introduction of email, Facebook and websites, this form of marketing slowly loses its momentum. However, that doesn’t make it any less effective. If you are targeting correctly, it can help you achieve meetings with potential customers, or at least put your business name in their mind. Brand recognition is just as important as getting a sale.
Cold calling needs a special kind of telemarketer, so you need to make sure you know how to compose yourself. Don’t be forceful, always maintain a friendly disposition, and remember to thank the caller for their time. If you’re not familiar with making important business phone calls, it would be helpful to have a script to work for each call.
5. Have stalls at local events
One of the best ways to get your business name out there, at least in the beginning, is by attending events. If you are able to get stalls at local festivals, galas or shows, try your best to do so. Make sure your stall stands out, represents your brand well, and is full of information for people to take away. It also wouldn’t hurt to purchase custom merchandise with your logo and contact information on. Freebies such as pens and pads tend to linger around homes a lot longer than newspaper advertising. This means your brand is in the faces of potential customers for a longer period of time.
6. Give freebies
As much as it may hurt your bottom line initially, there’s every chance giving away freebies will all pay off. Have you ever noticed in supermarkets where there’s always someone wanting to give you a sample on a toothpick? They aren’t doing this because they notice you’re hungry – they want you to buy their product. One taste is sometimes all it takes to get you hooked on a product. Of course, if you’re not selling food, the process can be a little tougher. But there is sure to be a way to get your product – or a portion of it – into the hands of your consumer to leave them wanting more.
You can use Facebook to advertise your offer, or even set up an online store where customers can claim a product for free. This may require a little backend coding for websites, so enlist the help of an ecommerce website services professional to get it underway.
7. Use video
Video is one of the best forms of marketing – especially on social media platforms such as Facebook. You can use video for:
- Customer testimonials
- Tutorials on how to use your product
- Introductory offers
- Benefits of your product
- And more…
You can then ‘boost’ these videos on Facebook to reach a wider audience. Facebook’s algorithms currently favour video over ‘text’ posts. This means you have a far better chance to reach your target audience with video rather than text or links.
8. Have your vehicle sign-written
Have you ever noticed how much better you remember a business when you see sign-written or wrapped vehicles around town? The next time you need a product or service they are offering, you are more than likely to remember their name first. That is the goal. You want your business to be the name people remember, so you can help reaffirm this by using your vehicle as a mobile advertising tool. Come up with a design, or have a professional do so, and ensure it stands out in the crowd.
9. Flyer drop
It’s an old-school method, but one that just might work with your particular product or service you are offering. Many people face failure with flyers, but only because they aren’t using them correctly.
You need to:
- Include an offer on your flyer
- Make the flyer stand out (use colour)
- Target areas which are more likely to house people who will use your product
The biggest mistake people make is spending hundreds of dollars with a mass flyer drop, not knowing who they need to be targeting. If you’re selling tree felling services, you would target more rural areas. If you’re selling pool cleaning chemicals, you would target more affluent areas that tend to have swimming pools. There is no point doing a flyer drop for a farm bike in the middle of the city, nor is there much reasoning in selling milk to a dairy farmer. It’s all about selective targeting.
10. Familiarise yourself with your competition
It always pays to be aware of what your competition is doing. You need to know what works for them, what doesn’t, what they aren’t doing which could be done, and what you can do better. If you are able to use your competition as a learning tool, you can more than likely fill the gap in the market that they have left open. You can be kept in the loop by signing up to their newsletters, follow their Facebook page and even just visit their physical location (if they have one) from time-to-time.
Make sure you check out all avenues they are active on, in order to find out what is working for them.
Any business can make it to the top, but it’s all about using forms of marketing which work.
Have you had success with certain kinds of marketing and want to share it with us? Get in touch!