How to Promote your Business: Top 25 Tips from the Pros

To promote your business means knowing how to get the word out, and it’s important that you take this task seriously by setting aside time to do business promotion every day. You can’t rely on other people to do it for you, no matter how great your product or service is. But business promotion can easily become tiresome, which can make you uninspired.

Here is a list of 25 tips on how to promote your business that will also fit any budget.

1. Leverage Social Media

Amanda Abella, Business Coach for Millennials, AmandaAbella.com

In my experience, the best way to promote yourself online in 2021 is social media as the first point of contact. However, there is a caveat. You MUST use social media to build your email list. From there, you can market directly to your email list, which is where the money really comes from anyway. The reason you need to do this is that social media is always changing the rules. Facebook just changed its algorithm, Twitter just axed automation, etc. On the other hand, you OWN that list of emails, so even if a social media platform changes the rules, your business is okay. You can also meet people offline and have them join your email list via an app on your smartphone or iPad.

2. Have an Expert Double-Check Your Social Media Campaigns

Troyauna Williams-Boyd, Fit Small Business

While it’s important for your promotional efforts to have your personal touch, it’s also important to have your efforts be seen by as many people as possible. Try using a service like Mayple to be connected to vetted marketing experts in your industry, to ensure your second set of eyes are from professionals.

Fill out a brief identifying your business’ goals and receive a FREE full audit of your marketing campaigns. You’ll then be matched with a professional who can optimize your Facebook, Instagram, Google, and even Pinterest accounts for you — so you can have as many eyes on your business as possible. Start your brief today.

3. Show What Makes You Different

Mark Aselstine, Founder, Uncorked Ventures

So what’s the best way to promote a small business? Show what makes you different. Use video. Show yourself and your story. One thing that makes small businesses different from larger businesses is that the small business owner literally touches every aspect of the business itself. People are buying a product, but they’re also investing in you instead of the big box store down the street. Using video to tell your tale will dramatically increase conversion rates and lower customer churn.

4. Make Use of Facebook Livestream

Keenya Kelly, Strategic Brand Advisor, Keenya Kelly LLC

This is a very easy way to reach your target audience fast and sell your products or services without paying for advertisements. It allows your audience to also share your live streams with their audience, which causes you to reach your ideal client faster with less effort. The comments even give you more content to live stream about. You take each question or comment and turn it into the next day’s topic. That way, you hit your client with their pain point and how you will fix it—by listening to what they just told you.

5. Sponsor Relevant Events

Sumit Bansal, Founder, Trump Excel

If you can find relevant events or conferences related to your business, it could be a good way to promote your brand and even generate some leads. Often, conferences allow a representative from the company to become a speaker as a part of the sponsorship. You can use this opportunity to create awareness and pitch your products/services. As a part of many conferences, I have seen companies offer deals and discounts to attendees that helped generate leads/sales.

6. Use Paid Social Media Ads to Promote Your Business

Brian Carter, CEO, The Brian Carter Group

MacBook Air on table
Image Source: Will Francis

In social media, social ads are the source of most of the results, and those who try to go with just unpaid social media struggle to see an impact on their business. Social advertising drove 700 percent ROI for weight loss products on DrBerg.com, doubled the new customers for DirectBuy.com, got PrideStaff four times the job applicants that CareerBuilder could create a viable new source of affordable customers for ThePerfectWorkout.com, and drove very affordable leads and email growth for tubotowels.com, bulkbookstore.com, and others. Typically, new social ad campaigns increase social media results by 30 to 40 percent, depending on the ad budget. These days, if you’re on social media and you’re not using ads—but your competitor is—you’re just not going to be competitive.

7. Start a “National Day of… ME”

Dr. Ty Belknap, Professional Life Coach and CEO, MyCoach.Life

One great way to promote your small business is to create a “National Day of… ME.” There are no regulations or restrictions on creating these events, so you can create a “National Day of {my business or service}” any way you like. It is a creative, unique way of promoting you and your company.

8. Invest in Beautiful Printed Materials

Victoria Weber, Founder, Mermaid Stories

People still like paper—especially if it is made with a special texture or in unique formats. A nicely made, extra thick business card or beautiful flyers in shiny paper can do a lot for your brand. It’s definitely worth the investment. Especially when people get it without having met you in another context, a beautiful brochure can be the (only!) first impression they get of you.

9. Ask for Referrals from Your Most Satisfied Customers

Dawn Verbrigghe, Founder and CEO, Jottful

Half of our business comes through referrals from happy customers, in part because we ask for them. Here’s how you can get more referrals, too. First, figure out who your biggest fans are by sending a Net Promoter Score survey to each of your customers. Those who the survey results identify as “Promoters” are the customers you want to contact. Then, find a way to have a personal conversation with that customer and, before concluding, ask for the referral. Tell the customer who would make a good prospect for you and how they should make the connection. Many customers don’t realize your business serves industries other than theirs, so be prepared to give some examples to get them thinking about the possibilities.

10. Encourage User-Generated Content

Kristine Neil, Owner & Creative Director, Markon Brands

Brands that want to leverage social media and the power of word-of-mouth marketing should aspire to craft an ingenious way to encourage user-generated content. When you can get your audience to post content about your brand, you are turning each of those persons into micro-influencers for your brand. People within their own social networks will be exposed to content about your brand and may even generate their own (or at least visit your website). This is marketing that leverages the power of human networks facilitated by technology, and it’s really the best of both. Each post is another link living on the web about your brand, so encourage users to include a link back to your website and to tag your company, of course! People will never stop craving good stories.

11. Join a Chamber of Commerce and Host a Grand Opening or Event

Steve Turner, Principal, Solomon Turner PR

This should automatically get 100-plus people into your store or business, plus get you a lot of promotion from the chamber in their online newsletter and other materials to promote the event. Once people are there, you can have a contest and give something away so you can capture their email addresses. Those email addresses are golden, and once you get them—you can add them to your email list, send people your newsletter, ask to meet with them individually (if you are a B2B company and they could be a good resource for you), send them electronic coupons, or email them other promotional pieces about your business. You can also take photos of the people in attendance and post them on your social media sites.

12. Build and Respect Every Contact

Matthew Leuschner, Managing Director, Gopher

Business is about relationships. It’s one thing to be nice. It’s a whole other thing to have mutual respect and concern for everyone who crosses paths with your business. With that said, always follow up and push relationships that are beneficial to your business going forward. Be a man/woman of your word.

13. Turn Your Website into a Destination

Eric Johnson, Digital Content Creator, FeedbackWrench

Making your website into a destination is the best way to promote your business online. Social media platforms are fickle, and what works one day won’t the next. Similarly, SEO, email marketing, and almost every other method continue to change day after day. The one thing that doesn’t change is the definition of value. Providing value to those who come to your site is a surefire way to keep them coming back over and over again.

14. Splinter Your Main Package into Smaller Ones

Tarren Munoz, Media Marketing Consultant, Zelus Media Marketing

The best way to promote a small business in 2021 is to splinter your main package into smaller ones that you personally do not make money on, but can get you a new “paying” customer. Now with your newfound customer relationship, it will be significantly easier to upgrade them to the main package. How you show your splinter to the world is a different issue. I would recommend using Facebook and Instagram ads to start with. Getting the Facebook pixel warmed up with enough link clicks and views is essential before you start modifying and scaling.

15. Make Use of Video Marketing Platforms to Create Video Advertisements

Sabrina Kostusiak, Community Manager, BeeRoll

Video is one of the fastest-growing forms of online advertisements and one of the most engaging, as moving images are more eye-catching and entertaining to viewers than still. However, the effective video is, producing traditional video advertisements is time-consuming and expensive to produce and target effectively. BeeRoll, a new video marketing platform, is seeking to open up video marketing to businesses of all sizes by producing video content generated by brand fans who are skilled at making videos. These video advertisements can be used as brand ads, website content, and social media posts. They mimic the same storytelling technique as Instagram Stories, making them seem less like ads and more like genuine recommendations from a friend.

BeeRoll content is faster and more cost-effective to produce than traditional video advertisements, since brand fans are producing the videos themselves, and BeeRoll videos tend to produce higher online engagements due to their familiar and genuine nature. This style of video marketing can help small businesses grow through online promotions in an easy and cost-effective manner.

16. Try Your Hand at Animated Explainer Videos

Jack Anzarouth, President, Digital Ink Marketing

One great way to promote a business that is picking up steam is an animated explainer video. These videos are superb if your business performs a somewhat complex service that would require some explanation for people to fully understand. Because they’re animated, they tend to keep people’s attention longer than a live-action video, and they are more shareable. Plus, no matter how complex your subject is, you can easily explain it with animation because you are not bound by the laws of physics.

17. Get Free Publicity by Supporting a Cause

Bijan Abdi, President, and CEO, Freedom National Insurance Services

When thinking of offline ways to promote your small business, you sometimes have to get creative. Free publicity is a great way to get your name out in the community. Sponsoring a group event or helping a good cause can get you free media attention. Contact your local newspapers, television, or radio station, and let them know what you are doing in your community. Share interesting facts about your services or products and why you started your business.

18. Start a Direct B2B Sales Call Campaign

Rob Braiman, Founder and CEO, Cogent Analytics

While other types of business may have other optimum marketing methods, we (a service-oriented business consulting firm) have found direct B2B calling from our Business Development Coordination team (inside sales) to be the best beginning for a relationship. Our BDCs are highly trained, motivated professionals who are compensated with salary and performance bonuses. They set appointments for our sales team, who are also highly trained professionals and adept at finding the best fit for how Cogent Analytics might help a client improve profitability. The secret to hyper-growth as a company is in training your people—developing leadership from day one. This includes developing confidence, permission, perseverance, authority, and passion.

19. Start a Weekly Webinar

Shaan Patel, Founder and CEO, Prep Expert

At Prep Expert, our most valuable promotional tool is our weekly webinar. Three times a week, I host a free class sharing ten tips that students can use immediately to start preparing for their SAT/ACT, win scholarships, and improve their dream school admission chances. At the bottom of this content marketing funnel, the webinar itself acts as the perfect bait for traffic to filter through our targeted Facebook ads, retargeting, email blasts, and AdWords efforts. The end result? Consistent sales revenue via the webinar’s exclusive coupon code and week-to-week traffic measurement (including both sign-ups and attendees). We use this data to gauge overall user engagement and revenue patterns throughout the year.

20. Make Sure Your Business Is Visible in Local Searches

Brian Dooley, Founder, Independence Digital

Small businesses should claim or create their Google My Business listing as soon as possible. These listings and reviews show up before websites on search. That means they can be more valuable than having a terrific website with amazing SEO. Plus, with active reputation management, you can increase credibility by showcasing great reviews and star ratings. Be sure to add great photos and videos to make your listing stand out. Even online and service industries can use this service without an address by creating a service area.

21. Add a Direct Mail Campaign to Your Promotional Strategy

Dennis Kelly, CEO, Postalytics

With email inboxes getting more and more difficult to stand out in, we’re seeing a drastic improvement in promotions that combine email with direct postal mail using new automated tools. Most businesses are sending emails to their audiences today—to the point of saturation. Research has shown that the average consumer receives over 80 emails per day, and the average business person receives over 120 per day. Direct mail automation tools enable marketers to send direct mail that works with their existing email campaigns. When direct mail and email are used together, we’ve seen promotions for lead generation, event marketing, customer on-boarding, and win-back campaigns double and even triple their response rates. Combine digital with physical messages for the best possible results.

22. Get Support from Your Local Radio Station

Carla Williams Johnson, Media Marketing Specialist, Carli Communications

Image Source: Fringer Cat

It is crucial to choose a radio station that is aligned with your target audience. However, with so many stations out there, market research will play an important role in identifying which will be a good fit for your business. The best way to use radio, however, would be to invest in a sponsored segment.

Some stations may have segments that are already available to sponsor, such as newscasts or entertainment news, but they are also more than willing to create one with your target in mind. This gives you the creative freedom to offer important information that is associated with your business and that your target wants. This also ensures that your brand is top of mind and linked to something valuable in the mind of the consumer. I would highly recommend, however, that you are consistent with your branded segments, deciding on a particular day and time so that listeners can get used to hearing you.

23. Actively Network to Get More Exposure

Robyn Lanci, Owner, Owl PR

I find that networking is a great way to promote your business. It allows you to gain exposure to a group of people who you ordinarily may not have had the opportunity to meet, but it’s important to not use these valuable opportunities to hard-sell yourself. Let it happen organically. If you’re a service-based business, consider giving a little free advice if the opportunity presents itself to help position yourself as an authority in your industry. Look for local groups on Facebook and join them, attend meetings, events, etc. Investing time in new business development is easily overlooked—especially as a small business owner—but invaluable. My own networking efforts have resulted in two ongoing clients and a referral that led to a one-day consulting project.

Davis Lin, Founder, Client Acquisition Lab

The best way to promote a small business online in 2021 is to get featured in various relevant media outlets and publications. By being featured, you will not only instantly get credibility and visibility, but you will also be positioned as an authority in your market. A simple way to do that is through Help-A-Reporter-Out (HARO), which is a service connecting journalists with expert sources. For example, there was a media outlet on HARO looking for business owners to contribute to the query: “How do you use your website for your business?” This was an area I could certainly contribute and add value in, so I submitted my pitch and got accepted and featured in their article. So, the key to using HARO is to find the most relevant query for your business and submit your best idea, and that will help your business get promoted online.

25. Become a Trusted Resource in Facebook Groups

Gigi Rodgers, Contract Social Media Strategist, Puck’n Khaos

Many people join these FB groups and go STRAIGHT for the sale and “pimping their products.” It’s sloppy. The group doesn’t appreciate it, so they’ll either ignore you or the admins will just kick you out of the group. Instead of doing that, offer resources, case studies, updates to the industry, tools, and strategies in your niche that will BENEFIT the group. You can do this for a fairly short period of time until you become the “go-to” resource to find out how to accomplish the “X” service you provide without selling anybody on anything.

Nedelina Payaneva, Digital Marketing Specialist, Asian Absolute

Reaching out to the popular bloggers in your niche might be an effective way to market your business online, especially if you have something of value to add to one of their posts. If you find a popular blogger who often writes about a particular subject that directly correlates to your line of work, why not reach out and look for ways to collaborate? A great way to make this happen is to offer your services as a guest blogger. If you have a background in writing yourself, it would be worth a shot to try this.

Over to You

Nowadays, there are so many platforms and avenues to promote a business, but the best marketers know how to identify which ones will maximize their effort while working on a budget. Consider these business promotion tips as a starting point for discovering your own.

Would you like to share your own tips on how to promote your business? Let us know in the comments.

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