Seven Key Components All Laundry Owners Should Have in Their Promotional ArsenalsLet’s say you’ve just built or purchased a vended laundry. How do you get the word out, attract new customers, develop customer loyalty, and continuously grow your business?If you had to choose just a handful of must-have marketing tools, here are seven critical components that all store owners should strongly consider when building their promotional arsenals:1. LogoFirst, develop a logo for your business. This is extremely important because your logo – which conveys your brand image – will be incorporated into all communication and advertising moving forward. Most marketers believe a logo should be versatile so that it works well on the web, as well as on signs, banners, and business cards; simple so that it’s quickly recognizable; distinct so that it stands out among your competitors; appropriate so that it communicates the right tone and style; timely so that it stands the test of time; and targeted so that it speaks to your customer base. If you don’t rely on a professional for anything else, at least do so for your logo development.2. SignageToo many times, businesses fail in the signage department. Good signage is critical both inside and outside your self-service laundry. Exterior signs are often the public’s first impression of your laundry business. Ensure they are professional, convey your business’ personality and work to entice customers. Similarly, interior signs have a variety of functions, including:• Advertising laundry services and specials• Directing customers to specific areas of the store• Conveying how to operate equipment3. WebsiteA website is how customers find you, explore your services, and determine if they want to visit your laundry or someone else’s. So, make sure it’s developed correctly by a qualified web developer – and with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind. An effective website will dominate online searches, placing your laundry at the top of the results page.Here are a few tips for a winning website:Speed: Don’t leave site visitors hanging. If your site doesn’t load quickly due to any number of factors – including large file sizes for images and videos – visitors won’t bother waiting around, and the site won’t get picked up in online searches.Content: Content is crucial. Well-written and original content brings value to the site visitor and is essential to getting picked up on search engines. Generally, you need quality content that includes dense use of keywords.Keywords: Search engines want to know if a section of content relates to a specific keyword. That’s why you must integrate keywords into content, titles, and meta descriptions.Multimedia: The presence of video, podcasts and images not only make your content more understandable to the site visitor, but they also are attractive to search engines.Mobile Responsiveness: Websites should work properly on desktop and mobile platforms alike, or else they won’t produce optimum SEO results.Navigation: Ensure that your site is simple to navigate and that the content is easy to find. Follow a “two clicks” rule of thumb.4. Social MediaGoogle My Business, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Yelp fit laundry marketing perfectly. They are free and allow laundry owners to engage “friends” and “followers” with specials, coupons, news, contests, images, video, and more.Google My Business allows businesses to manage an online presence across Google Search and Maps. It’s simple to develop a free profile and helps potential customers find you and learn about your offerings. It lets you post updates and respond to customer reviews.Twitter enables you to “tweet” short messages and multimedia to followers. Tweet news, contests, specials, and factoids.Facebook lets businesses set up free profiles and use them to communicate just about anything. Keep “followers” up to date on news, coupons, specials, and more.YouTube features all types of video stories. Upload videos highlighting customer testimonials, services, or equipment. Use the YouTube links on your website and social media posts.Yelp helps people find local businesses. It’s a solid marketing application for vended laundries and allows you to create a business profile, post updates, and receive reviews.5. Public RelationsAnytime your laundry has real news to share, write and submit a press release and corresponding photo to area media outlets (television, radio, newspapers and magazines). A press release announces pertinent news about your laundry. Did your laundry participate in a fundraiser or offer free services? Did you add new equipment or a water reclamation system to help save water? Once the release is distributed, share it on your website and social media pages. Not sure how to compose a press release? Hire a public relations professional to help out.6. Direct MailDirect mail tends to work well because it can be directed to a specific recipient group through targeted mailing lists. Plus, it can be distributed through mail or email. Choose your recipient list, create your direct mail piece, and get it out to prospective or current customers. For email communications, consider integrating customer contact information into your payment management system. If you need assistance with the design and distribution of your direct mail piece, hire an advertising or marketing expert to handle some or all of the elements for you.When utilizing direct mail, remember to:• Select the right mailing list, based on a demographic group/geographic area.• Include an offer or “call to action.” • Maintain a presence in your market by scheduling mailings consistently.7. Door HangersLike direct mail, door hangers with tear-off coupons are a great way to reach and entice people to visit your laundry. Affordable and effective, door hangers advertise a laundry’s news, services, and specials – and be sure to include a call to action or offer. Again, develop and distribute door hangers yourself or seek help from a marketing professional or agency.Although marketing a laundry business requires thought and purpose, it also can be fun and rewarding. Start with logo and website development and move forward from there. And, whenever possible, try to track the results to determine what works best for your particular store.