Advertising is one aspect of marketing. While marketing is the overall approach to speaking to customers about your brand, advertising is usually a paid form of messaging designed to lead to sales. Advertising can be short-term for a special promotion or ongoing, but usually requires a financial investment. If you know advertising could help your business but you aren’t sure where to start, explore the marketing tips below to see which options fit your needs and budget.
Social media, when leveraged to promote your business, can help improve your brand personality, engage with customers, and communicate product benefits and offers. Through social media, you can make announcements, interact with customers, and advertise deals without hiring a web-development team. Many social-media platforms now offer marketplaces on their platforms where transactions can occur without the need to leave the app.
Start by creating a profile (account) for your business, choosing words carefully to describe your business. Stay active by posting often and answering consumer’s questions quickly. This will help them begin to trust and believe in your brand. Other tips to keep in mind:
- Decide how often you want to post. If you post too frequently you may risk becoming a nuisance, while not posting enough can make your audience lose interest. To begin, try posting weekly. If people are liking and engaging with your posts, begin to post more often.
- Consider your brand’s voice, specifically the kinds of words you use to connect with your customers. Is your voice authentic, friendly, formal, down-to-earth or business-like? Keep it consistent and make sure it's in keeping with how you describe your company on other platforms. Create a dialogue with customers by sharing your knowledge, asking for opinions, and posting responses to others’ comments and suggestions.
- If you have an in-person store, you can encourage customers to share posts about your store by setting up part of the store for selfies, or offering a discount to those who post pictures of your store. If you try this, include a hashtag on the display so customers know how to tag your business when posting the image.
- Track performance by counting your number of followers, views and visits over time. Facebook and other social media sites have access to this information built in.
- If possible, consider investing in a paid ad campaign on social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. Both offer options to help you reach a specific audience based on their location, gender or interests. Testing a small, inexpensive paid advertising campaign can help you refine ads and create more successful campaigns. Sharing pictures of your products, customers and events on Instagram and other social media sites can also be effective ways to get new followers.