Creative Marketing Ideas for Your Small Business
Creative smarts - your answer to small budgets
Small businesses cannot afford massive budgets to buy their way into prominence. They need marketing ideas that are smart and creative. They need to make sure that they talk to targets that want their product or service. They also need to find the most cost-efficient way to get in front of that audience. This guide provides marketing ideas for small businesses. These concepts are easy to execute, cost-effective and can assist small businesses to grow and prosper.
It’s always about your customer
The key to all creative marketing ideas is communication. Whether through social media, email marketing, or in-store, think about your customer communication when you have a new idea. You may be very excited about a possible range extension or a new promotion, but your customer wants to know why it makes sense for them. If you cannot translate an idea into a positive for the client, it may not be one of your best marketing ideas.
Top 12 Small Business Marketing Ideas
- Social media networking
- Online directories
- Email marketing
- Handwritten notes
- Barter and exchange
- “Best of” lists
- Customer conversations
- Customer referrals
1. Social media networking
Social media remains a great way to attract users to your business. Be sure to recognise how the different channels work. It’s essential to provide a consistent message across all channels. You will have more impact that way. But make sure you have channel-specific content. Instagram will need strong visuals. Twitter will require concise statements. Try to be a little more informal on Facebook. Monitor how your posts perform through time, so you constantly update your understanding of how customers respond.
2. Embed Google reviews to your website
Nothing looks braver than a business willing to display what customers are saying about its product or service. Of all business marketing ideas, this one requires a steady head and a willingness to address comments as they are made. Customers are increasingly scanning reviews as part of their decision-making process, so reviews should not be ignored.
3. Online directories
Online directories make it easy for people to find you. Free services like Google My Business allow you to claim your business so that when someone searches, a complete set of details - including your website, opening hours, contact details, and a map of your location - appear on the results page. Other online directories you should consider are Sensis (Yellow Pages), Localsearch, True Local, StartLocal and Yelp. Easy to do and free.
4. Email marketing
It sounds a bit old school, but emails still provide a perfect way of presenting unique information to existing customers. They also enable the testing of marketing ideas for small business within distinct groups of customers. For example, you may wish to test four different promotions to see which one you should roll out more widely.
Establish credibility and visibility for your business by demonstrating your sector expertise with blogs. Blog about issues impacting your customers. Blogs are not promotional communications but can be used to improve search engine optimisation (SEO).
6. Handwritten notes
Recently I have received two handwritten notes from small businesses. In our digital world, this is a standout. Apart from being memorable, it also demonstrates their commitment to treating me as an individual and valued customer. Try dropping your most valued customers a written note with their next order.
7. Barter and exchange
It’s time to work your networks. It’s OK to share access to customers when you are not in competition. It’s a great way to get in front of more potential customers. You may want to exchange products to use as promotional gifts for the other business - a great way to get your product in front of others. There are quite a few marketing ideas for small business that you can build around the concept of exchange and barter. It’s time to get those creative advertising ideas some freedom to develop.
8. “Best of” lists
This is one of the most straightforward advertising ideas for your business. You know the lists - the best coffee in town or the best sustainable soap available. To find these lists, search Google for them. Go through the lists to see if you’re featured. If you’re not, reach out and see if you can get them to include you.
9. Customer conversations
When brainstorming small business advertising ideas, an important thing to remember is that providing value to your audience creates loyal customers. And there’s no easier way to do this than creating customer conversations. Provide answers to your customer’s most frequently asked questions. Understand what customers are expecting from you now and in the future to develop promotional ideas for small business that works.
Simply talking about your business, why you do it, and how it helps people is an excellent start for a podcast. And as you do more, they will take less time and effort. Podcasting is one of a few promotional ideas for small business that builds customer connection by humanising your company. It can be powerful.
A carefully planned competition can help drive business to your digital platforms. The best competitions ask the audience to participate by sharing referrals or imagery around your business offer – perfect material for future brand content. They can also help generate public relations coverage for your business. The key to a successful contest is to ensure that it results in a win-win situation, both you and the competition winner.
12. Customer referrals
Word of mouth is often the best advertising around. Referral programs work well because consumers trust the opinions of their family and friends. Look at what you can do to encourage your loyal customers to act as an advocate for your business. If they are loyal you may not need to do much.
Trial, measure and refine your marketing ideas
These are just a few creative marketing ideas that you could consider. Trial one and see how it goes. Measure results and refine the concept before including it in your bag of regular marketing ideas.
We’re ready to help at any time. If you want to increase your focus on digital marketing, we have our own bag of creative advertising ideas to improve your business performance. We’d love to talk.