3 Unexpected Small Business Promotional Outlets
It seems like entrepreneurs are always looking for a new and better way to promote their businesses. Even as many now understand the power of social media, there are still a few other promotional tools that small business owners completely ignore. In fact for some brands the best thing to do is stop thinking in terms of ads and start focusing on content.
Think about it — television networks, websites, and newspapers are all able to charge for ads because they bring in viewers/readers with their content. However in today’s world anyone can create content and distribute it to a wide audience with relative ease. As a result there are several new options open to entrepreneurs willing to get a little creative. Here are three examples of some unexpected mediums and outlets that small businesses can use to grow their following and promote their brands.
Digital video — YouTube, Facebook Live, Periscope
More than 10 years after YouTube first launched, video content is now more important than ever. Whether you’re live streaming or recording and editing, videos give entrepreneurs the ability to show off their creativity, while also raising awareness for their business. The trick is that you’ll want to make sure you’re not just creating commercials but are also providing interesting material that can stand on its own. The latest boom in video stems from live streaming.
What’s makes this exciting for business owners is that it makes creating content as easy as turning on your phone and also gives you the opportunity to interact with customers in real time. One example of how retailers could use live streaming is to broadcast when a shipment of new and exciting items comes in — maybe a mini fashion show could even be in order. Follow these links for more information on setting up live streams on the three most popular platforms, YouTube, Facebook Live, and Periscope.
Another route you could go is to produce informative videos related to your business. One possibility is a series of how-to video to interviews with interesting and relevant guests. Alternatively, if you don’t have the time or creativity to make your own videos, you may want to consider sponsoring someone else’s video channel or live stream. Whether you arrange for a long-term sponsorship or a one-time feature for your product, partnering with the right digital influencer can send a lot of traffic your way.
Podcasting — iTunes, SoundCloud
Similar to video content, podcasts are a great way to share your valuable knowledge, while also talking up your brand. All you need is a microphone(s) and audio software in order to start a show. The good news is they can be obtained for relatively little money from online retailers like Amazon. If you’re looking for professional radio quality you can find some good tips here. If you are looking to make podcasting a major focus of your content strategy Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income has a fantastic tutorial for getting started in podcasting.
Once again your podcast shouldn’t just be an hour long commercial. Before you get started, figure out what a good theme for your show would be that relates to your business. Then come the details: will you have a co-host? Will you do interviews or just speak on topics? Perhaps you could just share advice about being an entrepreneur — all of the above are great options. Once you’ve finished your first podcast upload the recording to iTunes and SoundCloud, it’s easy and best of all free. Both services have large audiences looking for new content so it’s important to add an accurate and descriptive title and description and place it in the category that is the best match.
Blogging — Your own site, Medium
If you don’t have time to create videos or record podcasts, maybe you’ll have time to write an article. In addition to the SEO benefits that come with having a blog on your site, a good article will give customers and others a reason to share your post on social media and thus help spread the word about your business. Additionally there are many sites such as Medium where you can post articles for free and reach a larger audience.
While traditional advertisements are great, the shift towards content marketing has come. By being both content provider and advertiser you can help raise awareness for your brand and even build loyalty with customers who enjoy what you have to offer. So whether you’re into video, audio, writing, or all of the above, now’s the time to look at some different outlets for promoting your business.
Also published on Medium.