14 Small Business Marketing Ideas That Can Make A Difference
In today’s world, small businesses have to fight tooth and nail for even a chance of success among well established names in the business. No matter what kind of businesses it is, getting noticed among a sea of other businesses is more than half of the struggle.
Small business owners take multiple approaches to marketing – some stick to social media advertising and growing their online following organically.
Others place great importance on content marketing and others go with the theory of numbers – the more people see their ads, the better. For others, what works is finding their niche market and the right customers, then making them the focus of all their marketing efforts.
Whatever way you choose to go about marketing your small business, it’s going to be an uphill battle. You’ll need to plan and replan, and sometimes the marketing tactics you’ll try won’t quite work – but that’s okay. Running a small business is sometimes all about making a mistake, learning from it, and then getting back up to try again.
Keep reading to learn about more marketing ideas you can use and apply to your own business.
1. Invest in Online Content and Videos
Make sure that the videos and content you’re putting out there is of great quality and shareable. It leaves a professional impression on your viewers, as opposed to the one amateur videos and content will leave. The same goes for any ads and videos you put out there to catch more followers and customers.
Many online services out there offer video templates and tools you can use – even for free. And even a simple app like Facetune’s skin smoothing video filter app can be very helpful to your video marketing strategy. Remember, no matter how small of a business you are, you need to present yourself professionally to be taken seriously by both your competition and your customers.
2. Hold Online Contests
Many small businesses today cannot survive without some form of online marketing or another – and it’s even more important to make sure your online presence is noticed and growing. No matter what kind of page you have, running competitions only helps.
If you have five thousand followers on your page, and you announce a giveaway saying that everyone needs to tag at least three other people in the comments of your post who aren’t following your page and make them follow you for a chance to win the giveaway prize, you’ll see massive growth on your page. Even if only one thousand of your followers participate, they’ll bring you three thousand more followers.
3. Introduce a Referral Program
Every single purchase and subscription counts for small businesses, and a referral system is one of the quickest ways to grow yours. Tell your customers they’ll get a 20% discount if another customer uses their referral code while making an online purchase from you, or offer a certain amount off on the next order for every person they bring over.
If done right, it can seriously make your business grow.
4. Customer Surveys
If you want to make your customers feel valued and like their opinion matters, invest in customer surveys and express interest in the results of those surveys. The method for the surveys depends on your business model.
If your business is more or less online, you can send out a survey email or ask them a question in-app (if you have one). If not, you can conduct the survey in your store after customers make a purchase.
This will show your customers that you care about providing them a good experience and help you learn more about what your customers want to see from your services and products and what they don’t.
5. Improve Your Product Packaging
The internet is obsessed with unboxing videos and product packaging. Many small businesses have cashed into massive advertising just by catering to this obsession and making their packaging as “Instagram worthy” as possible.
Latest research shows that the term “unboxing videos” had more than 60 million searches in 2017, and that 1 in 5 consumers have seen an unboxing video on YouTube. This is only the research from back in 2017, and we bet the numbers are even greater right now.
If you make your product packaging thoughtful, pretty, something that stands out or plainly something that people would remember or ask about, you’ll be able to make quite a buzz.
Keep in mind though that your product packaging isn’t just about making a buzz and going viral – it’s also about reflecting your brand identity in your product, and a chance to get your message and your vision for your company out into the world.
6. Focus on Sites You Haven’t Thought of Before
Sure, the usership for Instagram and Facebook is massive, but if you go looking you’ll find communities on the internet who are already interested in what you’re offering. Reddit has Subreddits for almost everything imaginable, and if you find the right one you’ll find thousands of people there who are already interested in your business.
Investing time in content on Reddit can have surprising advantages for you,a dn also for your business.
7. SEO is Your Best Friend
Almost everyone these days uses google and other search engines to find businesses, shops, restaurants, and other services nearby. It would be stupid to ignore the vast exposure and potential you’ll be loosing by not investing in SEO. Search Engine Optimization will be able to put you and your small business on the map in ways no other service will ever be able to.
It would mean, however, that you’ll have to keep regularly updating your website with content that users and prospective customers would find useful. By building trust and showing people that you’re an expert and a credible source of information, you’ll help people feel confident in spending money on your business and taking a chance on you.
8. Partner With Another Business
If you run an online bakery, team up with a coffee brand and promote joint deals – like offering a free cupcake of yours with every cup of coffee that people buy from them and vice versa. Of course, you’ll want to partner with a company that isn’t a direct competitor, but if you partner with them you’ll be able to get your services out to their customer base.
In the same way, the second business will be able to sell their services to your customers. Think about all the extra “cupcakes” you’ll be able to get to how many people!
9. Host Events or Classes
Let’s keep rolling with our small bakery idea. It would make total sense for you to offer cupcake making classes or a little baking workshop, or even a small fundraiser to support any charity that your company believes in. This way you’ll be able to sell your services to anyone who comes to the event, and improve your own brand image in the process.
10. Host Lucky Draws
If you have a shop, put a bowl next to the checkout counter and ask people to drop in their name and email address for a chance at a lucky draw. The prize can be anything from tickets to a concert to a free two pound cake, but this way you’ll be sneakily collecting email addresses to add to your email list.
Every email you add there is another prospective customer. And hey! They already like your business if they come to buy from you.
11. Abandoned Cart Emails
This isn’t exactly a marketing tactic, but you’ll thank yourself for it later. A majority of customers leave their full shopping carts abandoned at the last moment, right before they place their order on an online store. Their reasons for doing soo range from things like the delivery charges being too high or them not trusting the website.
Whatever reason there is, abandoned cart emails are reminders you can send to the owners of those carts to come back to your website and finish the purchase. This way businesses can win back over 10% of the customers who originally would have never returned.
12. Use a Mascot
Many large businesses use brand ambassadors for their advertising and to promote their product to the ambassador’s audience, but you can promote your small business with the help of a cute, cool, or generally likable mascot.
This kind of thing can be extremely popular, especially if you’re promoting a product meant for kids. Even brands like McDonald’s have mascots! What’s stopping you from going to an artist for yours?
13. Invest Time in HARO
HARO, or “help a reporter out” is a program where news reporters and writers ask industry related questions in hopes that someone might answer their questions. If the writer ends up using the information provided by the people or companies, they credit them in their own article. This is a great way for businesses and websites to drum up backlinks and improve their SEO.
It’ll also get your name and expertise to the writer’s readers, who are evidently already interested in what they’re reading.
The chances of people later looking up your name are pretty great.
14. Influencer Marketing
This is something that’s predicted to only grow in the future, which is why influencer marketing is a great step to take for a young business. Social media influencers have built a lot of trust and credibility with their followers, and their followers typically take their words to heart.
By partnering with a social media influencer, you’ll gain access to their thousands of followers and grow your business.
Apart from these few ways, there are countless ways like guerrilla marketing, offering free samples at popular public places, and others. If one method for marketing doesn’t work, all you have to do is rethink your strategy. It’s also important to stay consistent and patient with your plans.