Businesses need to grow in order to survive. This fact means that you should always be looking for ways to expand the reach of your business. This means not just finding ways to sell more, but also to increase brand awareness. Some of the most effective means of expanding your business reach won’t be immediately quantifiable in terms of new sales, but they will help your business to grow in the long run, by reaching new groupings, communities and demographics and making them aware of your presence.
Become an authority
The internet is an incredible tool for improving the reach of your business, but it’s not as simple as creating a website and waiting for your customers to come to you. Social media and the blogosphere are all virtual ecosystems that can help your business to grow if you know how to use them.
One way to do this is to establish your business as an authority or thought leader in your field of expertise. This is done by creating high-quality content that is relevant to your area of business. For instance, if you sell medical supplies, then you might want to create articles or videos on the subject of health advice. A makeup company might want to set up a beauty and styling blog.
Stay on message
Whatever the subject matter, your content should be engaging and appropriate. The purpose should not be to sell your product, and the content should not be overly promotional. It should, however, be relevant and consistent in tone, image and message with your brand. This might mean creating content that is educational and informative, or just amusing and entertaining. It’s okay to be opinionated or humorous if that fits your brand image – for instance, if you’re promoting an “edgy” sports drink to a youthful demographic. A bit of controversy can even boost awareness – as long as you don’t go too far.
Show, don’t tell
Sometimes, a picture really can be worth a thousand words, especially online, where strong images can demonstrate exactly what you do well far more quickly and effectively than a lengthy written description. The makers of the hair restoring system Viabrance (see Viabrance on Pinterest) know that showing you the results of their treatment tells their story far more effectively than talking at great length about the scientific process involved. This is where sites such as Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube are so useful, as they let you post images and videos that will often reach far more people than an article or conventional advertisement.
Join other communities
Once you’ve got the hang of creating high-quality, original content that’s relevant to your brand but isn’t just a promotional puff, the next thing to do is share it around. One of the best ways to do this is by becoming a guest blogger on other popular sites that are enjoyed by the audience you want to reach. Most sites and blogs are always hungry for new content, and as long as your content isn’t obviously advertising, they’ll usually be happy to accept it. Just remember to link to your website at the beginning or end of the piece. By piggybacking on the reputation of an established blog or website, you can build your audience and establish your brand authority.
Advertising and sponsorship
Modern technology also enables businesses to use traditional means of promotion more effectively. Targeted ads on social media sites such as Facebook can be fine-tuned based on sophisticated analytics and algorithms to reach the people most likely to buy from you. Banner ads on the right websites can not only help you reach an appropriate community, but can also build up helpful associations with their preferred lifestyle choices.
By the same token, sponsorship of events that are relevant to your brand, or likely to be attended by potential customers, can also help you expand your reach considerably. These events could be conferences, music festivals, arts events, or celebrations of food and drink. Whatever your line of business, there is bound to be an event that is appropriate for you.
Expanding your business reach is a long-term process of building brand awareness. It won’t always result in immediate sales conversions, but it will establish your name in different communities. It’s about planting a seed and watering it to help it grow. By using digital technology, the application of intelligence and sensitivity, and an understanding of what it is that makes people tick, you can keep expanding your business reach and enable your brand’s full potential.