Every Black business owner is looking for effective ways to increase their customer base and consequently improve sales. Understanding how to get your business across to your target audience is crucial. This article offers a quick glimpse into how you can market your products and services. It also provides answers to some of the most commonly asked questions that we receive.
How Can I Promote My Black-Owned Business?
Understanding how to promote your business to the right audience is crucial. It allows you to improve your customer acquisition rate, as well as increase your sales. Below are four effective strategies that you can use to promote your business:
1. Black Business Directories
Black business directories provide a platform that supports Black-owned businesses by offering them a space to showcase their wares. Promoting your business through Black business directories means you don’t have to go out and hunt consumers because conscious shoppers who want to buy Black already use these directories and apps.
Black Owned Association listing for Black Girl PR
You can get listed on Black business directories such as ByBlack, Black Owned Association, and Buy From A Black Woman in just a few steps and then tap into what promotion opportunities they offer so you take full advantage.
Read 37 Black Business Directories to List Your Business
2. Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing has proven to be an effective strategy to promote small businesses. You can improve your brand visibility through platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter by sharing intentionally and running targeted campaigns.
Most popular social media platforms used by businesses according to Hubspot's 2021 Not Another State of Marketing Report
You can also promote your business on Black influencer accounts that suit your brand. By doing so, you make your business more visible and accessible to your target audience.
3. Digital Marketing
Digital marketing allows you to target only the prospects that are most likely to purchase your product or service. There are several digital marketing tactics that you can use, including Search Engine Optimization (SEO), content marketing, link building, paid ads, and email marketing.
4. Public Relations
PR offers another way for small businesses to get messages about their brand across to the right audience. PR is the practice of managing the release and spread of information about a brand to the public. Leveraging public relations opportunities can be just as important as direct advertising.
With PR, you can positively influence the perception of your business to your audience and build brand credibility. And unlike other methods of business promotion, PR is usually earned and not a paid marketing effort. Getting featured by targeted media outlets such as newspapers, magazines, podcasts, and radio or television shows can be a powerful boost for your business.How To Use PR For Your Business
How Do I List My Business as Black on Google?
Recently, Google released a new badge that allows businesses to identify themselves as Black-owned through the company’s maps and search listings. The new feature rolled out as part of the company’s pledge to support the Black community with business initiatives that offer long-term solutions.
Here are the steps required to show your business as Black-owned on Google.
- Sign in to your verified Google My Business account
- Once you are signed in, go to the menu bar and click on "Info"
- Scroll down to highlights and click on the pencil icon
- Click the Black-owned attribute
- Then click on “Apply”
This is how it’ll look on your profile:
Google My Business listing for Black Girl PR that shows Black-Owned business attribute
How Can I Indicate That I Am a Black-Owned Business?
Indicating that your business is Black-owned on your website helps visitors easily identify that you’re a member of the Black business community. It can also help you rank for this search term so that your business shows up in search results when they go looking.
Here are four ways to indicate that your business is Black-owned:
1. Title and Meta Description
Title tags and meta descriptions are elements of a website that are important for SEO. The title tag is the title that shows up on a search engine results page when your business shows up, and the meta description is the description of your page that accompanies it. You can add “Black-owned business” to either one or both, depending on what you want to rank for.
Title tag and meta description in Google search
2. Keywords Throughout Website
Using keywords that indicate your business is Black-owned throughout your website is another effective strategy. Such keywords include:
- Black-owned business
- Black business
- African American business
- Black entrepreneur
Do some research to find the best keyword combinations for your industry that also indicate that you're a Black-owned company. For example, using keywords like "Black-owned shoe company" and "Black-owned women's shoe brand" might make more sense than just "Black-owned business" depending on what search terms shoppers use to find you.
Use keywords strategically and where it makes sense. You can include them in your About Us section or any areas that speak to who you are as a brand. In some cases you can use them on your product pages or collection landing pages, but be wary of overusing them (i.e. keyword stuffing).
As a Black business owner, you can list any minority business certifications that you’ve obtained on your website. Currently, Black business platform ByBlack is the only organization in the US that offers a Black business certification. Businesses that are members of their local chamber of commerce are encouraged to apply now. Once this group of applicants has been helped, the certification process will open up to other Black-owned businesses.
The application process takes about 30 minutes and the certification opens you up to funding opportunities, partnership opportunities, and much more.
4. Black-Owned Business Attribute in Directories
Similarly to Google My Business, other business directories may give you the option to identify your business as Black-owned. For example, Yelp recently announced that they were offering this attribute. Check to see if it’s an option in the directories where your business is listed and select it if you can.
Where Do Consumers Go to Find Black-Owned Businesses?
- Google: Google is the most popular search engine that allows people to find anything they’re looking for easily. With their new feature that enables businesses to identify themselves as Black-owned through the map and search listings, you can ensure that your business shows up in search when they go looking.
- Black Business Directories: Consumers use these directories to find and support Black-owned businesses. Official Black Wall Street boasts 1.16 million users on both their app and website.
- Social Media: Social media has proven to be a great tool for accessing information. And according to Global Web Index, 54% of social browsers actually use social media to research products that they’re interested in (see chart below).
- Their Networks: Consumers seek recommendations from friends and families when looking for Black-owned businesses to patronize. Activate your existing customer network by using a loyalty program, brand ambassador program, user generated content, or other tactic that incentivizes customer evangelism.
How social browsers engage with brands by Global Web Index
Marketing is crucial for Black-owned businesses to increase their customer base and sales. Leveraging Black business directories, social media and digital marketing have proven to be effective when it comes to promoting Black-owned businesses and if you haven’t tried any of the strategies mentioned above you are encouraged to do so.
ABOUT BLACK GIRL PR™
Black Girl PR™ is a Black-owned PR consulting firm for Black womxn who want to claim their space online. The firm specializes in digital PR and digital marketing strategies that boost your digital presence and draw your target customers to your website.
If you want to learn more about how to do this for your brand, check out our free case study video, "How To Get Publicity For Your Business Without Breaking The Bank."