For any business owner, making sales is priority number one. To do that consistently and effectively, you need to think of creative ways to market your business to your target audience. Whether your goal is to introduce your brand to new consumers or promote a particular product or service to your established customer base, finding creative ways to advertise your business is crucial to your success.
The ways to get your business out there—and onto the radars of potential customers—vary from old-school efforts like advertising on billboards to more current methods like leveraging influencers and advertising on digital audio streaming services. In this guide, we’ll focus on digital marketing methods—from basic must-haves to creative possibilities.
1. Create a website
It may seem obvious, but if you haven’t already established your online presence with a website, it’s high time you did. Without a slick and responsive website that gives a full overview of your business, services and products, countless leads will be missed. Most importantly, a website makes it easy for existing and potential customers to contact you and—if you have a storefront or consumer-facing offices—find where you are located.
2. Set up a free Google Business Profile
Getting your business to rank organically in Google search results can be a long endeavor, but there’s a shortcut that works especially well for small businesses with a local customer base: setting up a verified Google Business Profile. By completing this very quick and easy step, you can manage how your business appears on Google Maps and in Google search engine results pages (SERPs). Having a Google Business Profile not only makes it easy for customers to find you, but a verified profile—with clear calls to action and customer reviews—also gives people the confidence that your business is legitimate.
3. Start a blog to bring customers to your website
Blogging about your industry establishes you as a thought leader and drives organic traffic to your website from search engine results. Try to focus on relevant topics that your target audience will find interesting, and create a meaningful call to action (CTA) at the end of the article that entices readers to take your desired action. That could be subscribing to your blog, or clicking through to a core product page.
4. Advertise on digital audio
One of the best ways to target your advertising—and get the biggest bang for your buck—is through digital audio advertising. It’s a great way to deliver your message to exactly who you want thanks to advanced targeting capabilities, at moments where listeners are immersed in music or podcasts that are relevant to your business or product. Your ad could reach people as they cook at home, while driving in their car, or when they’re out walking the dog. In these screenless moments, people are more likely to pay attention to ads. However, you can really boost your marketing efforts by pairing audio ads with display ads on Spotify for increased engagement.
5. Ask your customers to review your business
Like great products or services, great ideas for promoting a business start with the customer, since it’s their opinion that counts the most. In fact, 95% of consumers report that they look at reviews before purchasing a product. Ask your most loyal and satisfied customers to leave favorable reviews on sites like Yelp, Google Reviews, OpenTable, and Facebook, to give new customers the confidence they need before making a purchase.
6. Develop a brand personality on social media
Another obvious step, but a crucial one to engage your audience and give your brand or business a personality. Being active on social media shows that you are present and ready to interact—but choose your platforms wisely. Instagram and Pinterest, for example, are great choices if your product is consumer-facing and eye-catching. Twitter works well for larger brands who need a voice to engage with their audience, while setting up a Facebook business page is a good all-rounder for keeping your customers and prospects informed of business updates and entertained with real-time content. Don’t try and do it all; you’ll only spread yourself too thin and struggle to keep your accounts fresh. Instead, stick to the channels that work best for you.
7. Advertise on social media
Having a strong social media presence is one thing, but advertising on your network of choice is another. Social media advertising is easy, affordable, and highly targeted—no matter who or where your audience is, or how much you want to spend. Like with Spotify Advertising, you can easily target your audience by demographics and interests on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
8. Incentivize customers to refer friends and family
Got a happy customer? Give them a digital referral code they can use to refer their friends and family members to your business in return for an incentive like a free gift or discount every time a referral generates a sale. Research shows that leads generated from referrals have a 30% higher conversion rate than leads generated from other marketing channels.
9. Create a podcast
A podcast is a great way to spread the word about your business while educating a captive audience on topics surrounding your industry. Successful podcasts require consistency, energy and the ability to elevate enough content to capture and hold your audience. Sound quality and distribution is key. You’ll want to invest in the right podcast software or use a reputable recording service and then upload your podcasts onto popular audio streaming services like Spotify. Be sure to promote your podcast on your website and social channels, and end every episode with some type of CTA—a link to a landing page where listeners can take advantage of a promotion, for example—to bring in new clients and customers.
The most effective podcasts involve conversations with guests who bring a fresh perspective to each episode. This could be thought leaders in your industry, or local business owners talking about their careers, for example.
10. Drive customers to your website with Google Pay-Per-Click Advertising
If you have the budget for it, consider creating a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign through Google Adwords. A well-constructed PPC campaign—especially one managed in tandem with a solid organic SEO strategy—can go a long way to kick-start a new campaign or introduce your brand to a new audience. Since you pay each time a user clicks on your ad, you’ll want to give users every opportunity to convert once they land on your website.
11. Create your own YouTube channel
YouTube is the second-largest search engine after Google, making the video platform one of the best ways to get your business out there in front of new prospects. Your videos could give demonstrations of best practices—think ‘how to’ guides and ‘best techniques’—and include a final CTA to convert viewers who need further assistance or would like to make a purchase. You can add a link to your website landing page in the comments and—if you’re monitoring traffic on Google Analytics—track how many leads are generated from your channel.
12. Promote your expertise through webinars
If you want to establish yourself as an expert in a particular field, offering free webinars may be the way to go. Webinars allow people interested in what you have to say—which is presumably related to what you have to sell—to learn more about you, your brand, and of course, the subject at hand. When someone signs up for your webinar, you can collect their contact information, including their email address, for future opt-in campaigns.
13. Advertise with video
Similar to audio streaming services, placing an ad on a video streaming service can help you reach the audience you're looking for—based on their demographics and interests—when they are immersed in relevant content. For instance, when you advertise with video on YouTube you can access real-time analytics, including data on who is streaming what and for how long. As a result, you know exactly how much you're spending per 1,000 views (CPM). This new paradigm makes it easy for small businesses with the resources to create a video ad without having to meet the rates of traditional TV advertising—and blowing their budget.
In addition to audio ads, advertisers can also create video ads with Spotify to increase their chances of conversion. Our video ads serve listeners when they are actively browsing the app to discover new music and podcasts.
14. Leverage the power of influencers
Influencer marketing offers a valuable shortcut to reaching an engaged audience on social media. Finding the right influencer takes research and a deep understanding of social media audiences, but the ROI can be substantial if you can find the right person to promote your products and endorse your brand across their own, highly active channels. To get started, you might want to consult with an influencer marketing agency to pinpoint a list of suitable candidates.
15. Advertise on online publications
Another way to make sure your advertising reaches the right people is to place banner ads in online publications whose target audience matches your own. For example, if you’re promoting cruise line adventures, you’ll want to advertise on an inspirational cruise blog or on certain pages of a digital travel publication that covers cruising. This type of contextual marketing can be very effective, especially if you coordinate it with a great call to action and a landing page that’s optimized for conversions.
16. Write an eBook
Another business exposure idea that can help you establish yourself as an expert in your field is to write an eBook. Your eBook could offer consumers brand new content, or compile and repackage evergreen blog posts so that they’re all in one place, and available offline. Either way, your eBook needs to offer more value than a standalone blog post—and should be heavily promoted on your website and other marketing channels, as an incentive for users to sign up to your blog or newsletter.
There is rarely a single solution to increasing brand awareness and sales. Each marketing method recommended in this list can lead to good results but a multifaceted approach that makes sense for your business is always more likely to succeed.
Spotify’s self-serve advertising platform can be a game-changer for all businesses, no matter what size or how old they are. Our user-friendly Ad Studio allows you to create, manage and report on your campaigns. You can set your marketing objectives, effectively target your audience, customize your audio ad, and track campaigns in real-time.
If you run a small business and you’re looking for even more unique ways to advertise your latest product or service, check out Spotify’s small business advertising solutions.