Valley First

Business Marketing - Making the most of the media

Business marketing—Making the most of the media

Angela Brown—Vice President, Marketing

So you’ve just started a business with a great new product. The next question you and every business owner inevitably will face is: how do I get the word out? In an age of increasing digital communication, shortened attention spans and “must use” media platforms launching almost weekly, knowing how to engage your customers can be a difficult question to answer. The good news is that a few simple steps can get you a long way towards customers' feet walking through your front door.

Be visible online
A website is a cost-effective way to reach many potential customers as most consumers search for businesses online. You should consider a user-friendly, intuitive and informative website. It doesn't need to cost a fortune, but should provide basic information about your company and deliver a great experience. It's also incredibly important to ensure information is up to date, content is relevant and customers can contact you easily. And remember, quality of content and navigation will always win over quantity (remember the old AOL pages?).

Consider using social media
If you are tech-savvy and have the time to maintain a social media presence, sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are terrific for spreading the word about your business and getting to know what people are saying about you and your products. Be aware though, it takes time to properly manage a social media strategy – it’s not just about posting updates, it’s about interacting with your customers – and you must be willing to take the good with the bad. Sometimes some of the best feedback about your company comes from complaints on social media, it’s a golden opportunity to turn a problem into a great customer experience.

Look for earned media opportunities
Earned media is the name given to stories about your business that appear in the news. Earned media is different from advertising because you don’t pay for it. If you have an interesting business, products or can provide expert advice, let your local media outlets know. Find out who the business editor is at your local newspaper and get in contact. But remember, this is editorial content, not advertising, so you can't count on where or when an article might be placed (if at all). But if you do get coverage, good for you.

Angela Brown is a marketing expert with more than 25 years marketing experience. She has worked with many organizations—large and small—and in the past owned and operated her own marketing and PR agency


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