Opinion

Essential marketing tips from NAPIT

napit

NAPIT offers helpful advice to installers on how to make the most of your business on a budget, focusing on four business necessities; websites, social media, networking and branding.

1) A Website
We are well and truly into the digital age so it really is essential to ensure your business has an online presence.

Website creation – It’s not essential to pay a web designer a small fortune, there are content management systems which allow you to set up your own, perfectly suitable, website. A variety of articles can be found to guide you through the process of making a WordPress site, making it an achievable short project to take on yourself.

  – SEO – Once you have your website, you need to make sure potential customers can find it. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the term used for the process of increasing the visibility of a website in a search engine’s results. There are specialist companies which will do this for you, should your budget allow. If you are on a tight budget there are a few basic things you can do yourself:

  • Think about all the different keywords your potential customers will use to search for your service and ensure you include them all throughout your site content. If your site doesn’t contain them, search engines won’t find it.
  • If your business has an office or headquarters, make a free Google Places account. You will then be found on Google Maps searches.

    2) Social media accounts
    Whichever sites you choose to work with, the following tips and advice will help you to create a positive, effective and free presence for your business:

  • Keep it business – Create a separate business account or page, don’t use your personal profiles, your business is more likely to be taken seriously this way.
  • Engage – Don’t just bombard your followers/friends with business promotion.
  • Research – Know your audience and their online habits. You can use these statistics to decide the best time to post, the best platform to use, and more.
  • Encourage customer interaction – Ask happy customers to leave feedback on your page, you can even offer incentives for them to do so. One way to expand your audience is to get your current followers/ friends to “like”, “share” or “retweet” you posts or page.

3) Contacts and networking
We all know there’s a great deal of truth in the saying “It’s not what you know, but who you know”.

Business owners who are not represented at tradeshows, exhibitions and conferences are missing out on many opportunities to form valuable professional relationships.

Some networking organisations encourage representatives of different industries to form relationships at regular meetings, with the aim of being able to work together through referral and collaboration.

If you don’t see the benefit in meeting with business people in other sectors Trade Associations are probably more suited to you.

Online networking is another option; over thirteen million people are registered on LinkedIn, the business social media site.

4) A clear brand
A brand can be instrumental or detrimental to the success of a business.
Again this needn’t cost the earth, use the following tips for branding on a budget:

  • Turn your van into a travelling advert. Every company that requires the use of a vehicle should have their company name, logo, website and contact details on it.
  • Give all your stationary a consistent theme through the use of your logo, colour and fonts. This theme should also be apparent on your website.
  • Use branded clothing to promote professionalism and a business that takes its image seriously.
  • Advertise your capability by including all applicable accreditation logos and quality marks on your branding.