The 5 Marketing Materials You Need To Start A Business
Starting a small business is an exciting, terrifying, and exhilarating adventure! It can take years of planning and recalculating before a business even opens to the public. A critical part of those “back of house” efforts includes certain marketing materials. These marketing essentials are universal as they ground themselves in the core ways small businesses connect with their target audiences. Today, we’re going to break down the five marketing materials every small business needs in order to prosper in the marketplace.
What’s a business without a logo? A logo goes hand in hand with a business’s identity and is a necessary piece of a small business’s marketing material suite. You may be thinking, “I have no design background nor do I have budget to hire a freelance designer.” Don’t worry! Designing a logo doesn’t have to be time intensive nor expensive. There are affordable custom custom logo design that allow you to work directly with a design expert to craft the perfect logo in no time.
A logo is worth the upfront investment because if it’s done well and professionally, a small business can use it for years to come. A logo goes on every promotional item and digital component of your business. Get your logo set before you dive into any other marketing efforts, so you are prepared to create branded materials.
Small businesses often purchase business cards first because they are useful, relevant, and inexpensive. They offer the perfect place to feature your professionally-designed logo and begin crafting a cohesive offering of branded materials.
Beyond handing cards out to prospective clients and investors, business cards offer different marketing opportunities. You can leave a stack of cards behind at relevant vendors or local shops. As we all know, building community awareness is a critical step for small businesses, and business cards are an easy way to spread the word. Make friends with your neighbors if you have a physical storefront. Stop by, say hello, and give out a handful of cards to the proprietors as well as their customers.
If your business is digitally-based, business cards still provide incredible marketing value. Your business may be online, but you and your employees are in the real world, interacting with other people and businesses daily. Use business cards to generate buzz and curiosity about your business. Even though it may feel very different than a traditional storefront business, online businesses have just as much need for business cards.
Business cards are portable, professional reminders about your business. They include all pertinent details anyone would need to contact you and begin a customer relationship. Always keep a handful in your wallet; you never know who you’ll meet and how that person will impact your small business.
No matter the niche, a small business must have a website. Gone are the days when websites were nice to have; they have become a necessity for any business that wants to thrive in this era. Much like your business card, a website provides a level of professionalism and credibility to your company. More and more, people are looking to online searches to verify a business as trustworthy before they even step foot in a store.
A small business website provides everything a potential client needs to validate your business as legitimate. In order to establish trust with your prospective customers, include the following information on your website:
- Business name
- Brief “About Us” section
- Contact Information, such as phone number, email address, and physical or mailing address
- Hours of operation
- Social media widgets
- Basic product offering information
This may seem like a lot of work, but a building a website is much simpler than it used to be. And again, this initial effort will help your business in the long run. Being listed in local directories and having strong SEO all benefit your marketing efforts. They put your website in the right query results and get your business in front of the people who want your business.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the thought of crafting a professional website, don’t fret! There are resources available to build the perfect website. Utilize these tools and watch your site and marketing efforts come to life.
Small businesses can do wonders with postcards or flyers. Think about it: you probably encounter at least ten business postcards or flyers on any given day. Why is that? Because they are cost effective marketing tools that can be repurposed in a variety of ways.
Postcards and flyers are easy to leave behind at events, tack up on community boards or mail out to prospective clients. Their unique size and stock quality makes them stand out from regular mail or brochures, so people notice them. They also have enough space to include promotions and more details about a business than a business card. Order them in bulk and use them for various events and promotions. You’ll never regret having an ample supply when a last minute opportunity pops up.
You might be scratching your head at this one, but trust us, social media is a vital part of your marketing materials. As mentioned above, consumers are relying on digital searches to find companies. By incorporating a robust, but manageable social media presence, a small business exponentially increases its SEO and likelihood of being found by its target audience.
A small business does not need to be present on every single social medium. Try one or two platforms to get your business started, then actively manage and contribute to them. The key for a strong social presence is to be consistent across all platforms. Try to have the same handles on each medium and maintain your brand tone of voice and aesthetic no matter the platform. You do not need to post the same exact content and messages on every site, but ensure it all gels together as a unified brand.
Post content regularly and engage with your audience. Social is a great place for one-on-one interaction and communication. Social media also allows you to promote upcoming events, discounts, and exclusive offers for followers. All of these marketing endeavors are important for building a small business.
Social media is a free way to establish followers and loyal fans. There are analytics and insights available on every platform that help you digest your user data and hone your content and post types so you’re giving your viewers what they want. Give it a whirl; you will be amazed by the return on investment.
For small businesses, understanding the balance between print and digital marketing materials and how they play into long-term business success is a top priority. Each component plays an important role in creating authority and notoriety in the market. Now that you have this marketing materials guide, get to work and make a splash with your comprehensive small business marketing strategy.
Find out how to use SEO, social media, email and more to help grow your business.
Marketing materials tips
Here are some tips to make the essential marketing materials, like postcards, flyers and brochures, a vital part of your marketing mix.