Each year hundreds of business start-ups are launched in Clackmannanshire and each one is the result of a brilliant idea, an act of entrepreneurship or the desire to break free of corporate shackles and become your own boss.
However, after opening their premises, building their website and finalising their product line or service, many new businesses suddenly find themselves asking the same question, “How do I actually market my business?”
In the digital age, there are a myriad of different marketing platforms and strategies available so, Stuart McCusker, Business Adviser at Business Gateway, Clackmannanshire offers some marketing tips on using both old and new media.
In the modern world, Social Media is an essential part of any business’ marketing activity. However due to the sheer volume of social media platforms available, it is important to decide which ones best suit your business. For example, image based Instagram works well for creative industries, designers, bakers and artists wishing to show off their recent work while LinkedIn is a more sedate professional platform for building B2B relationships and provides space for a more in-depth promotion of your business.
Facebook (over 1 billion users in December 2015) and Twitter (320 million users December 2015) are the real giants of social media and, as both are so immediate, it is important to update daily to keep your page looking fresh. Don’t forget Google, their online dominance means that you really should have a Google My Business account incorporating a business listing and a location map plus their Social Media platform Google+.
Still not sure? Business Gateway Clackmannanshire have a number of Social Media and Digital Marketing training courses coming up; call 01259 726430 or visit the website for more details.
We’ve all heard that newspapers are struggling against competition from 24 hour TV channels and the ever present internet. However, is that the full picture? Newspapers are much more than the printed product, they also have websites, Facebook pages and some even run events, opening huge areas of marketing potential for your business locally or nationally. Barely a month goes by without a newspaper or newspaper group proclaiming a record number of readers by incorporating both online and newspaper users.
If your skills and personality lend themselves more to face-to-face contact, exhibitions and trade shows should be a key part of your marketing strategy. It’s important to choose wisely as paying for a space at a show can be expensive and can leave you feeling as if it was a waste of time if you haven’t gained new customers. So think about what you want to achieve; awareness, sales or new contacts. Think about who you want to reach; businesses, homeowners or distributors for your product. Are you looking to interact with Local, Scottish or UK wide customers?
Once you’ve selected the trade show or exhibition that you wish to attend make sure that you don’t waste a second. Post photos and updates on Social Media and take the time to wander round and talk to the other exhibitors. This will help you build new contacts and raise awareness. You never know, they may be able to send some business your way. Post show, follow up all leads and maintain your newly built relationships.
Business Gateway Marketing Support
Don’t forget to take advantage of the free training courses run by Business Gateway Clackmannanshire. For example, there is a Marketing Workshop for start-up businesses on May 5th at The Alloa Business Centre. Visit bgateway.com to book and keep an eye on the Business Gateway website for further courses to help your business grow.
Case Study: New Business Marketing
Launched just last month, Rosemary McCafferty’s “Rosie’s House Cleaning” has been busy marketing themselves to the public of Clackmannanshire. After researching the market Rosemary realised that there was a gap in the market for a new, reliable and trustworthy residential cleaning business that proved the highest possible service. Rosemary researched the local market and, after visiting Business Gateway for start-up advice, fully developed her business idea and pulled together her business plan.
Each start-up is different and Rosemary’s initial marketing plan was threefold.
Firstly, Rosie’s House Cleaning Facebook page was created and has already grown to have over 200 “Friends”. Rosemary also decided to leaflet throughout Clackmanannshire focussing on one key location at a time. This way, she can monitor response and re-target the successful areas in the future. Lastly, one of the most effective ways to spread the message is word of mouth and Rosemary actively encourages her clients to tell their friends and colleagues about her service. This promotional method demands that businesses provide only the highest service every time, which is second nature to Rosie’s House Cleaning.