The pandemic has caused financial upheaval for businesses across the country. From trying to find new customers to adjusting how to do business while keeping people safe, these issues have forced companies to revamp how they market and promote themselves to other businesses and the public. Yet even during the pandemic, consumer focus has turned toward righting the societal wrongs caused by decades of discrimination toward black communities.
More people are looking for ways to support Black-owned businesses during the pandemic and post-COVID. As a black-owned business, you want to bring attention to your products and services while telling your story in an appealing way that welcomes all customers to your store. Here are several ways to give a boost to your profile.
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How do I position my brand as being inclusive while telling my story as an African American?
Rich media can appeal to customers of all ages. People are better able to connect with visual content than reading big blocks of text. This strategy is especially pertinent for mobile device users who are visiting your site or are directed to a landing page on smaller screens.
Rich media can come in many formats, including videos, infographics, GIFs, Instagram stories, webinars, podcasts, and even narrated content. Use formats that will help you position your brand. You can use photos to show how inclusive your Black-owned business is to all people while using Instagram or videos to tell your story as an African American. Rich media is also easily shareable across platforms, as many social media sites help boost rich media on their sites with a range of tools and resources. Add a social media marketer to your team, someone who is able to create a perfect balance between telling your story and promoting your products using rich media.
How can I appeal to consumers who want to support Black-owned businesses?
Targeted ad campaigns are a way to find consumers who are interested in supporting Black-owned businesses. These ads track how a person interacts with the content by gathering data about their purchase history, interests, and other traits. This type of marketing strategy ensures that you are only advertising to the people who show a guaranteed interest in your products and services.
The caveat of targeted advertising is that the consumer has to be comfortable with giving up information about themselves. They may become thrown off about how you collect and use this personal information. However, understanding what the consumers are looking for when shopping, and their desire to support black-owned businesses, will allow you to create your ad campaigns to focus your advertising in such a way as to make it appealing to them without being overbearing.
How do I get involved with initiatives that help Black-owned businesses sell more goods?
You may need to perform in-depth research about initiatives and resources that are available for Black-owned businesses. Many companies offer programs so that businesses can make the leap into mobile and digital infrastructures as well as initiative to help fund women entrepreneurs. These companies may also offer specific resources for Black-owned businesses, such as Google allowing Black-owned businesses to place an attribute to their business profiles to make it easier for customers to find them.
Some initiatives may have specific requirements that you must meet before being allowed to enroll and participate, such as being a small business owner or a woman-owned business. So, you may have to whittle down your list to only those where you meet the stated requirements. Once you become involved in a specific initiative, you may want to begin outlining the marketing promotion details, such as pushing out a newsletter or getting involved in a partnership with a sponsor company.
What kinds of partnerships, endorsements, or sponsorships can help my business get more attention?
Companies, organizations, and influencers are always eager to team up with businesses to make their products and services appealing to consumers. The Minority Business Development Agency through the U.S. Department of Commerce provides resources, loans, and grants to Black-owned businesses. Also, the National Black MBA Association features alliance partners who are interested in endorsing, sponsoring, and forming partnerships with Black-owned businesses. Their strategic partners include Johnson & Johnson, FedEx, Nationwide, and Marriott Industries, as well as many others.
There are also many companies that have started initiatives to form partnerships with Black-owned businesses to feature their products in their stores or on their websites. Before getting involved with any partnership or endorsement, you may want to form an endorsement agreement to ensure the advertising and marketing of your products and services runs smoothly with both parties.
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This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.