Marketing tips for your business

Chester based Marketing Agency, Bluezoo Ltd has compiled a few handy marketing tips to help businesses get started. If you need any further help, just give us a call!

You’re The boss, you are at the helm of your empire – and about to wear many different ‘hats’. With the marketing ‘hat’ on where do you start?

1. Business Name: One of your most important first business decisions. Depending on your industry you may wish to choose a traditional name, where people will know what do or choose something a little more unique that makes people think. If you take the unique approach, it’s worth looking at including a strapline that clearly tells your new prospects exactly what you do. The length of your business name is also worth noting, long names can mean long email and web addresses for people to remember/input. Think about what letter the business name will start with, useful to remember for appearing in directories or listings, those nearer the start of the alphabet appear sooner.

2. Logo: Now you have decided upon a name, it’s time to look at the logo. Your logo is everything that represents your company and used on products/services/merchandise etc, so it’s worth getting it done right. Think about what you want the logo to say to new/existing clients within your market place and how you want them to react to it. Also take a little time looking at existing company logos you like and how they work for that business. A cheap, poorly designed and constructed logo may seem like a cost effective solution when you start your business, but it’s the heart of your business and with you for a long time. Get it right the first time.

3. Website: New prospects often like to know a little more about the company, their products/services/prices and how to make contact. Look around at sites you like the look of and how easily you can navigate around them. Also check out your competitors sites too. Your website is your shop window 24/7, so its content needs to be current, look good, is easy to navigate and make the user want to contact you. A good website should also be responsive (adapts to any screen size like a computer, phone or tablet) as more and more users choose to view sites on handheld devices. There is a perception that websites cost a lot of money, but this isn’t actually the case, you can get a professionally designed and developed site without the designer price tag.

4. SEO: Often seen as a ‘dark art’, reserved for students at Hogwarts. We commonly encounter people who don’t know what it is and how it works. In a nutshell you have a lovely new website and you want it to rank well in searches engines like Google and Bing. For new websites it often takes a little time before they appear in the rankings of the likes of Google and Bing, so it’s worth investing to get your SEO for your site done properly to get you on page one! Look for agencies that offer simple, no-nonsense approaches to SEO, providing easy to read and action monthly reports.

5. Networking: There are lots networking groups out there, they are a great way to meet other local businesses and see if you can mutually help each other. They are the perfect platform to not only showcase your business, but to increase your own confidence and knowledge. Networking group success works best by attending regularly as people start to get to know you and are more likely to work with you/refer you to others. To quantify it, say that there are 25 members in a group, who each has 100 connections, that’s 2,500 connections/opportunities in one room! Normally there is an annual fee to join (costs vary) and depending on the frequency of your annual meetings, a monthly standing order fee to attend. Look at local groups in your area.

6. Competitors: Always keep your friends close and your enemies even closer! It’s worth regularly analysing what your competitors doing, clients they are working with, new products/services they are launching etc. You never know, you may be able to work with your competitors for mutual success.

7. Social Media: So you are on social media – aren’t we all, but do you know how to set up accounts for your business? Social media is used by billions every day across the world and can be particularly effective for businesses. The key is to ensure you populate it with interesting and relevant content on a regular basis. One tweet every month or so will not secure you new business, you need to invest time to ensure you are connecting with your market through following them, likes, hashtags etc. Be as interactive with your audience as possible, for example if you set up to receive reviews to your Facebook page, always acknowledge the response, whether that is good or bad, quickly. Competitions and special offers work well, so to maximise their effectiveness and encourage your audience to like and share as part of your competition/offers. For paid for social marketing advertising to work effectively you need to ensure you are being very, very targeted to your geographical audience or you could be simply wasting your money.

8. Plan of action: So now you are all ready to go, but do you have a long-term plan of action in place? A well researched and thought out marketing plan is always recommended for businesses. It’s really important to set yourself objectives of what you want to achieve, be clear on who your target audience is, what key messages you are going to communicate and analyse your competitors. Also, what about marketing campaigns to attract new prospects and grow your business? It’s always worthwhile speaking to a marketing specialist to help/ or invest in a good marketing for business book.

We hope we have highlighted a few key areas to help launch/grow your business. There are many support options available to new/small businesses, so you aren’t alone. Good luck!