For any size of business, from a local trader to an international corporation, effective marketing will help attract new interest and retain existing customers.
From being active on social media and using Google My Business, to clearly defining your brand, there are lots of ways to develop your marketing for free.
Read on to find out our five top tips to improve your marketing and promotion, and all without extra cost.
Ready to boost your business by becoming a Which? Trusted Trader? Find out how to sign up.
1. Define your brand
Let's start with the basics – the first thing you need to do when thinking about marketing your business is to define your brand, the services you offer and your unique selling point (USP). What sets you apart from others in the same industry as you?
Once you have this figured out, make sure the tone, typography, logo and images used across your business reflect your desired brand. Market your business based on your identity and specific strengths.
For more advice on branding and marketing, check out our 6 tips for Which? Trusted Traders on how to acquire new customers.
2. Make use of Google My Business
Google My Business is a free business profile that helps Google and potential customers to find and approach your business and the services you offer.
You can add your business information, photos, videos and a link to your company website.
Google will use this information to match your business profile with local customers who are looking for your services.
Information from Google My Business is often displayed high up in search engine results pages and it helps to promote your company.
Creating a Google My Business listing is easy – just go to Google My Business and follow the free sign up process.
You’ll need to complete a template with the details of your company. You can add as much or as little as you like. Google will then send you a postcard with a verification PIN number before the listing is approved.
3 Utilise your Which? Trusted Traders Profile Page
If you are a Which? Trusted Trader, you get your own profile page to showcase your business to potential customers. Work with your Which? account manager to ensure your page is at 100% completed.
You can add up to 20 photos of your work. Before and after photos are particularly effective, as it demonstrates to potential customers how your skills can transform their surroundings.
Use a profile picture that really captures the brand. It could be your company logo, or a sign written vehicle.
Make sure your company information is correct. Include opening times, contact telephone numbers and email address.
If you’re not already an endorsed trader, find out five benefits of becoming a Which? Trusted Trader.
4. Be active on social Media
Having a strong social media presence is an essential part of running a business today. If you put some time and effort into creating social media business accounts and encourage people to follow you, it's one of the best free marketing tools available.
Use a personal touch on your accounts, while remaining professional. Allowing customers to see the human side of the business can encourage brand trust.
You don’t have to post every day, but try to post at least once or twice a week to make it clear to any followers that you’re still active.
You can do this by sharing photos of the team, using terms such as ‘I’ and ‘We’ or posting about events not directly related to the business, such as a team members birthday
Put the Which? Trusted Traders logo on your social media pages to stand out from competitors. You can also get involved in the Trusted Traders social media community by using the hashtag #WhichTOTM, commenting on our posts and sending photos for us to share.
Read our article ‘Six ways to make your business stand out on social media’ for more tips on getting your business noticed
5. Build a portfolio of reviews
Since the explosion of the internet and social media, reviews have become an essential tool in a trader’s toolkit to help attract new business and maintain loyal customers.
Reviews help with everything from improving brand reputation, generating and converting leads, through to building customer loyalty and showcasing your business as a great choice in your local area. And most importantly – they are free!
As a Which? Trusted Trader, you have the added benefit of knowing 100% of all reviews are verified, providing that additional trust customers are seeking when looking for a trader.
Leaving a review on a Trusted Traders page couldn’t be easier. Customers can do so by visiting your profile page and following the simple instructions or by calling our friendly team on 029 2267 0040.
Don’t yet have a profile? Become a Which? Trusted Trader and you get a profile on our website where you can showcase your business and customer reviews.