You run a business, and you know that in order to take your business to the next level you’re going to need to do some marketing. There’s just one problem…aren’t marketers the bad guys? After all, marketing is intrusive and irritating. You hear the word marketing and you think of billboards, pop-ups, spam, the agonising wait for that ‘Cats Funny Moments Compilation’ on YouTube to finish. Behind the scenes, you imagine slick salespeople, itching to turn your insecurities into their shiny new yacht. We may be biased, but we think that marketing gets a bad rep.

At its base marketing is just letting people know that your product exists and can help them with a problem. Go deeper, and it’s about associating your brand with good vibes.

Ever seen a friend share their cousin’s shop on Instagram? That’s marketing. Ever received a free sample of something delicious at the mall? That’s marketing. Those John Lewis ads that make your eyes well up every Christmas? You guessed it, marketing. 

So without further ado, here are some ways that you can market your business without ruining someone’s day.

Presentation is everything

There’s a lot more to marketing than just ads. Much of what we call marketing is the brand equivalent of wearing nice clothes and practising good hygiene before a first date.

Which is why one of the first things you should do is make sure that your website is clear and accessible. Confusion turns people off, and none of us want that on a first date, eh.

Your website should convey your brand image, what your business offers, and why it is valuable at a glance. If you sell a product, visually pleasing packaging adds a lot. If you have customer-facing employees, they should be decked out in company swag, or smart clothing. All of this constitutes your brand image, and it is important.

Take advantage of social media

Ads are not the devil, as we’ll cover in our next section. But if you’re terrified of bothering people with content they didn’t ask for, social media is a godsend. The great thing about social media is that people only see your (unsponsored) posts if they are choosing to follow you. It’s a great way to keep your audience in the loop around new product lines, remind them of your brand mission, highlight customer case studies and interact directly with potential customers.

Create ads that people love

No that’s not an oxymoron. Remember that John Lewis ad we talked about earlier? When ads are fun, engaging or just plain relevant to their audience, they’re not a nuisance. This is one reason why running targeted ads is better for everyone. The other is that you don’t waste money reaching people who are unlikely to become customers. Win-win-win.

Those three special words…Search Engine Optimisation

Gone are the days of flipping through the Yellow Pages looking for what you really really want. These days, when we’re looking for a plumber, a private dentist, a trendy local bar, or even a new book to read, we run to Google. And since 75% of users never scroll past the first page of Google, appearing on page 1 is critical. Hopefully, you are appearing on the first page when people search the name of your business. 

But are you appearing when people search for plumbers/bars/bookshops in their local area? How about when people ask Google about a problem that your business could easily address? If the answer to these questions is no, you are missing out on a lot of customers. 

This is where SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) comes in. With the right technical skills, you can create a website that Google loves and shoot to the top of the search rankings. Booooom. Bonus, SEO is completely unobtrusive. Whether they knew it or not, the customers you reach thanks to SEO were already looking for you.

Find out more here

Offer people value

Have you ever seen anything other than a smiling face grabbing a free sample? People love to receive something. And it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. One way to offer people value is including discount vouchers or promo codes for people who join your mailing list. Another way you can offer people value is by writing informative articles like this one. This has the added bonus of showing off your expertise in your field, making customers more likely to buy from you.

In short, marketing done well is a positive for everyone, including your potential customers. Offering value, making good use of social media and making sure your SEO is on point are just some of the ways you can market your business without being that annoying company.

Want to find out if your marketing is engaging or just plain annoying? Get in touch today and claim your free audit.