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The best ways to advertise your trade business
There are various ways to advertise your small business, from Facebook ads and viral marketing to good old-fashioned print media. However, how can you tell which is best? And are some better than others for people working in the trades?
Here’s a handy guide to help all the small-to-medium-sized businesses out there with their marketing efforts. We've listed some of our top tips and suggestions on growing your company – using both online and offline techniques.
In the modern world, getting your business noticed by your customers through various channels is what needs to be done to attract new business and help your business grow. If you need help figuring out where to start, keep reading this article for advice and ideas on the best ways to advertise your business.
Social Media is a must in the 21st century!
Depending on your demographic and what you wish to achieve, there are a variety of platforms to choose from when it comes to social media. Trade businesses of all shapes and sizes are taking advantage of Instagram, TikTok, YouTube and many others to help grow their businesses.
Social media offers a casual and conversational advertising style that incorporates direct communication with potential customers and other industry professionals.
When a well-thought-out plan is set in action, social media can help your company become more popular in your local area and build trust with potential customers (as they can put a face to the name), resulting in more business.
Pick your platform(s)
Regarding social media, you can use various platforms to get your message out there. You should pick which ones will work best for what you do. If you enjoy sharing images of your work, Instagram is a great choice. If you like making videos of your projects, YouTube or TikTok could be for you. Every channel is different, but use them right, and you can achieve great things for your company.
Ask yourself what you want to achieve.
Start by setting a goal and then plan for how you will achieve this. You may want to increase sales - here, you could measure month on month whether your revenue is growing and if it correlates to your increased social media use. Alternatively, you may simply want to share more from your business so that people know who you are.
Make time to work on it.
Social media works best when you feed it content. That means you must take time out of your busy day to focus on posting, commenting and interacting. It might be tiresome at first, but you might find yourself starting to really enjoy the banter and interactions. Once you are in the swing of things, you will start to see the benefits as more people follow you, find your profile and interact with you.
Analyse your channels
A big part of marketing yourself online is trial and error. With this comes data and seeing what works and what doesn't. Tracking your progress allows you to see what your followers like and how you can tailor your messages and content to reach your goals.
Find what's current
Whatever channel you use, whether it's Instagram, TikTok or Twitter, you can easily see what is currently getting people talking through the tools created from these platforms. Take TikTok, for example; they regularly share what audio, hashtags and styles of videos are trending. Instagram usually shares new updates and encourages you to use them to reach a bigger audience (like with Reels).
Use it to your advantage.
Social media should be used as a natural way to engage with your customers and potential clients. Our recommendations would be not to take it too seriously, while always making sure to present yourself in a professional manner. Sounds contradictory? It doesn’t need to be difficult. Just be authentic and showcase your personality, but remember that one it’s out on the internet, you can’t take it back. This will allow people to understand who you are and help build trust in your business.
Looking for a new quote on your trade insurance? Find out more here.
Have a search-ready business website.
Establishing a website is a definite necessity for promoting your trade business. Websites allow customers and prospective clients to see all about your business and its offerings before they contact you - think of it like your shop front. Choosing a website builder like Wix or Squarespace makes the process of setting up a website so simple and easy.
One of the best strategies for promoting your online company is through SEO, which will eventually increase website traffic and sales. You need to make sure your website is optimised so that it appears when prospective customers type in relevant keywords related to your company. Some of the best hints and tips for SEO include:
The name says it all. Keywords are the words or phrases that customers will use to search with. For example, if you are a plumbing company, people may search for a 'local, time-served plumber' or 'affordable plumber'.
Having the correct keywords can increase website traffic and result in more business for your firm. You can find which keywords should be used on your website by researching related terms on tools like Google Trends and Google Keyword Planner.
Create regular content
This can be tricky for busy tradespeople; however, it's been proven that to help your website perform better, you should feed it more content. This can be done simply by sharing blog posts related to your work and trade. This adds value by boosting the keywords related to your website and trade and helps you rank higher on search engines. Remember, don't copy and paste, as that demotes your website.
You can see on the Rhino blog that we share content daily to help us rank higher in the google search engines.
Here are a handful of useful tips when writing content for your website:
Create concise URLs that contain the term.
Write short, descriptive titles which have your keyword in there. Also create an engaging description that also includes relevant terms.
Make use of headings.
Likewise, with your title, you should create headings explaining the section and utilise the search term within your article.
Link to other pages on your website and external sources
Linking allows readers to stay on your website longer and builds trust that you share useful content. Sharing articles that link to other reputable websites also helps show that you are well-researched in your field.
Add keyword tags to images you upload.
Title any images you use in your articles with the relevant keywords and add an 'alt' tag description. This helps search engines find your content better. Tools like Yoast SEO on WordPress and Google Search Console will allow you to maximise your SEO plan on your website.
Email marketing is still alive and kicking.
If you followed our 'How to stay competitive' blog post, your business might have implemented useful tools and thought of other ways to get online. If that's the case, you could be utilising all of the data you receive from clients, namely their emails.
Interacting with your target audience clearly and easily is essential for generating sales. That's what makes email marketing so good; it generates short-term excitement for a service and can increase your turnover. Regarding tradespeople, this could be to offer servicing deals, package installation deals or general 'check-ins' to let your customer know you are there to help if they need it.
The benefits of email marketing include:
- It's affordable
- It's easy to measure your results
- You get instant satisfaction or failure
- You can send emails to 10 people or hundreds of thousands
- It's highly efficient.
We at Rhino Trade Insurance utilise emails for our insurance products and to stay in touch with tradespeople looking for cover. Using tools like MailChimp makes speaking directly with your customers quick and effortless. To cap email marketing off, allowing you to stay at the forefront of a potential customer's mind is really powerful and shows that you are committed to your work whilst presenting yourself in a professional light.
Make sure to list your business.
The Yellow Pages may still be around, but there is a digital version now for promoting your business: Google. As a quick win for advertising to your local area, you should first register your company there. It makes it simple for potential customers to locate your company's address and business hours and showcases your contact details. After any work is done, clients can then leave reviews (hopefully good ones!) for your company online.
This can go hand-in-hand with your website and its search engine optimisation, as you can easily increase your company's visibility by creating a Google My Business account and filling in your details.
Customer Reviews add a lot of value.
Having reviews as a business helps sway other people's decisions on whether or not to use your company. Setting up a TrustPilot or Reviews.co.uk account or simply using Google or Facebook reviews can increase trust tenfold (especially if your work is tip-top and you are rated five stars).
Reviews allow customers to react and comment on how they think you conducted yourself on-site. This can range from positive, negative and neutral and gives a real transparent feel to your firm.
We recently wrote a full post on how customer reviews can help tradespeople and which platforms to use. Read all about it here.
Old-school advertising methods
To reach more local customers, traditional advertising methods like word-of-mouth, networking, and sharing flyers and posters can still be very effective. Think about a few of the following to get your business motoring:
- Attend local business events
- Join forums related to your industry
- Use Facebook for the 'older' demographic
- Make connections with other local businesses
- Take out an ad in the yellow pages
- Share your business on local listings and flyer boards
Why choose Rhino Trade Insurance?
And that's that. If you are looking to build your business online and reach new audiences, these hints and tips will see you right.
Are you looking to take out new business insurance? Rhino Trade Insurance offers quality cover for a great price. Want to learn more about our policies? We share all the information you need on our website here, or if you have any questions, you can call our wonderful team on 0116 243 7904.
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