Marketing is how you make your small business stand out in a busy crowd. Poor marketing is in the top 10 reasons why businesses fail. 

If you’re new to the world of business or are looking to try new things to attract customers, find out how to give your marketing an edge in this guide by Countingup.

We’ll cover:

  • Why marketing is important
  • How to brand your business
  • How to market online and in-person
  • How Countingup can help

For many new business owners, learning the ins and outs of marketing can be a steep learning curve. At Countingup, we want to empower new entrepreneurs to build their businesses with ease. Read on to discover how we can help.

Why marketing is important

Marketing is important because it’s how businesses tell customers who they are and what they offer. 

Marketing your business means sharing your business’ brand and offerings. If you’re launching a new business, you may not have the luxury of big-budget product launches or flashy logos. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t successfully market your business.

If communicated properly, a clear brand and an effective marketing plan can help you build sales and launch your new business successfully. We’ll touch on how to market your business effectively in a later section, but first, we’ll briefly touch on branding.

Your business’ brand is its identity. Customers can remember and connect with brand identities if they’re noticeable and well developed. ‘Branding’ manifests in recognisable ways, despite it being a somewhat vague term. A brand is made up of things like a business’ colour scheme and logo, design format, and tone of voice. 

These factors seem trivial separately, but they work to create a lasting impression on customers when they’re consistently used together. Unfortunately, branding is most noticeable when done poorly. 

For example, a business that makes children’s toys would appear odd and unappealing to its target market (children) if they spoke formally and only used muted greys in their adverts and toys. Instead, a far more appropriate brand would include simple language, bright colours and a pleasant tone.

Therefore, in marketing your small business, having a sense of your brand can make your marketing more seamless and impactful with your audience.

How to brand your business

Developing a suitable brand for your business involves understanding how your business comes across to your customers. 

If you’re an electrician, your customers are looking for safety and expertise. Therefore, your brand should provide elements that ‘fit’ this impression. This can include an informative tone of voice, simple advertising designs, and muted colours. 

Contrastingly, if you sell energy drinks, your customers expect fun and excitement. Therefore your brand should seem bold, loud, with bright colours and an engaging tone of voice.

Because these impressions can seem difficult to detect, you can brand your business by experimenting with different colours, fonts and styles of language until you have a final polished look. 

How to market online and in-person

Marketing online typically involves two main staples: a website and a social media presence. Some businesses prefer to use email marketing, however, businesses can only email as many people as they have email addresses for. On the other hand, social media allows you to advertise and share your business’ posts with new people. If you’d like more information about email marketing specifically, check out our article How to Write a Newsletter.

Websites

Websites are useful even if your business doesn’t sell anything on them. Websites allow you to post information and news about your business, including product details, opening hours, seasonal deals, sales pitches and service updates.

In marketing your business effectively, it’s important that your business website is kept up-to-date (both in terms of content and design) and you regularly use online advertising.  You can market your website using search engines and advertising platforms like Google, Facebook and Amazon. These companies take your advert and strategically place it for potential customers to see, allowing you to drive people to your website from around the world.

If you’d like to build a website for your business, website hosting services like WordPress, Squarespace or Shopify allow you to create entire websites and e-commerce platforms easily and affordably. 

Social media

Similar to websites, social media accounts are versatile tools for growing your small business: they can be a hub for your marketing, customer feedback and inquiries.

Similar to website advertising, social media platforms provide a cheap and effective way to advertise to customers. Depending on your industry and your customer demographics, your business may be more suited to one social media platform than another. For how to effectively use social media for your business, read our guide How to Use Social Media for Business, where we go more in-depth.

In-person

In-person marketing is a more traditional way of inviting customers to your business. Typical strategies can include posting or sharing flyers, billboard advertising, local radio or television campaigns. These are simple and popular methods to advertise your business and are particularly strong at specifically targeting your local area. However, more modern adaptations can include street marketing, where people hand out coupon offers or engage passers-by in conversation about your business, or viral marketing, where more novel advertising methods like interesting art pieces or talent displays are offered for customers. 

Find out more about local advertising in our guide How to Advertise a Small Local Business.

How Countingup can help

Marketing and branding your business are valuable tools to grow your business – even if they take time to develop. Unfortunately, other draining admin like bookkeeping can get in the way.

The Countingup app automates your financial admin so you can stay focused on building your sales and developing your brand. With your business current account and accounting software in one app, you can save time every day and keep on top of your finances while trading with ease. 

With our automated invoicing tools and handy receipt capture, you can be confident that your books are accurate. And with real-time profit and loss data, you’ll be able to quickly understand where your marketing efforts are beginning to pay off. 

Gain complete confidence in your books and save time with the Countingup app.

Find out more here and sign up for free today.

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