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How to promote your small business

Promoting your business is so essential that it’s considered a pillar of your marketing mix—along with place, price, and product—but figuring out what will work for your business often takes creativity, patience, and trial-and-error.

With so many options and such a broad definition, your promotional campaign can aim to do any number of things, from raising awareness, persuading people to take action, or influencing how people feel about your product, service, or organization.

It’s also easy to get drawn into new tactics. The art of promotion changes so quickly, it’s easy to feel that you’re always trying to catch up—which makes chasing the latest trends or getting a great deal seem so appealing, especially if the risks seem minimal. This sort of distraction does have its drawbacks, though: The time, energy, or money you spend pursuing a great idea may be better spent doing something else.

Before you launch into any promotional activity, get the market research you need to make an informed decision. Then, outline what you want to accomplish as well as your expectations.

Objective: What would a successful campaign look like? What measurable objectives do you expect it to accomplish?

Opportunity: What’s the context and motivation for the campaign? How will it sync with your other promotional activities?

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