The success of a small business depends a great deal on how you market it. Marketing raises your business visibility and attracts potential customers that turn into customers. They turn into returning customers if you provide quality products and services. They further act as advocates for your products bringing in more customers and thus the cycle continues. This translates into increased revenue and high-profit margins. Marketing in all is the relationship that a business develops with its consumers.
The first step to formulating marketing ideas for startups is to develop a marketing plan. A marketing plan will help you outline how to reach your intended customer base by implementing your marketing strategy. The next part is the market positioning where you define how your business stands ahead of the competition. It further means the way you create a product and brand identity and influence your potential customers in a favorable way towards your business.
Marketing Ideas for Small Business
In our previous blogs, we have discussed different marketing and advertising strategies like using SEO, how to run Facebook ads, and others. In this blog, we will focus more on fresh marketing ideas and those ideas which we have not touched before but are effective and in some ways practically cost nothing. Let us have a look at them below.
Use the power of Tags and Hashtags
Use social media to tag your loyal customers, vendors, and non-competing businesses you know of to raise your brand visibility and broaden your reach. It can grow your following and increase your customer base. You can request your followers to tag your social media handles or even your business location when they post something. You can also tag your satisfied customers in your business-related posts if they permit it. It allows you to reach their network and gain visibility. Hashtags are more effective on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter than other social media handles. Trending hashtags build your brand identity. You can use specific hashtags containing keywords that will be indexed by the search engines. For a local business use location-based hashtags. Using tags and hashtags is a free marketing idea for small businesses that you can readily utilize.
Create Data-rich & Entertaining Infographics
Infographics are amazingly effective marketing tools. They are easily consumed, look good to the eye and people love to share them. It helps raise your website traffic. You can either create your own infographics with the help of free tools that are easily available online. These include Adobe’s free vector kits, Canva and Visme. You can also hire a designer who can create good infographics for you. Ensure that the source data for these are related to your business domain and tallies with your audience’s interests.
Create a Business Mascot for Your Brand
Business mascots have built and raised market visibility for numerous businesses and helped them grow exponentially. No doubt, their products, and services were great yet a mascot extended their market visibility and helped customers identify with the product. Amul girl for Amul milk products, Ronald McDonald for McDonald fast-food chain, and Parle-G girl are some prime examples. It is an excellent marketing idea for startups or even small or big businesses to implement.
Apply for Business Awards & Recognition
Almost all of the industries have business awards for excellence, quality, and other metrics. Apply for these and if you win then include that honor in your website, business cards, and email signatures. These awards and the resultant badges raise your business credibility and contribute a great deal as a passive and 24-hour marketing effort. Other than that, many print and online publications host awards related to various fields. An example would be Times of India hosting “Times Food and Nightlife Awards” where they honor and recognize hospitality entrepreneurs from high-end nightclubs to street food vendors. Likewise, you can apply for an award related to your field from a variety of publications whether they be online or print. They can even be tabloids, daily newspapers, weekly magazines, or national or international publications.
Claim Free Ad Promo Credits
The marketing budget for a small business may be limited. Here is a good free marketing idea for small businesses. Google and Facebook frequently offer discounts and coupons. A new initiate into their ad programs gets free ad credits based on some conditions being met. Many web hosting services also offer advertising discount coupons and codes included in their memberships. Check all these offers. Grab them and save valuable funds in the process.
Publish Free Distributed Content
Facebook and Google will charge you for PPC ads. You are already posting content and blogs on your website. What else do you need to do to raise your marketing activities? Why not access and engage alternative content distribution networks? You can use Reddit, Quora, Medium, Omegle, and 4chan among others. For example, to market on Reddit, you need to find subreddits or message boards related to your domain. You can also answer questions related to your business field on Quora. Use these alternate content distribution networks to your full advantage.
Community outreach works in two ways. It is a smart marketing idea for small businesses and also helps you do something for society. You can host charity events at your business place. Potential customers associate your business brand with worthy causes and buy from you more. You can start a fundraiser drive for local charities and donate to them. You can also take a stand on challenging issues and problems our society and world face at large. For e.g., climate change, pollution, or other issues. Take a stand on it and contribute towards fighting it. Other than helping the society and world and feeling good about it, you also get to be associated with worthy causes. Your target customers associate your business with these feel-good causes and begin to view it favorably.
You can also make use of the work you may have done before. If some specific content of yours was popular with the audience, you can repurpose and recycle it for other channels. A highly successful webinar can be posted as a YouTube video. Blogs, articles, and other helpful content from your website can be turned into e-books. Use these e-books in your email marketing campaigns or promote through site popups. Try to recycle and promote your content into other channels. You never know what channel your potential customers view or subscribe to. For them, your content will be new and fresh and gain new converts to your cause.
Focus on Customers
Even after using all the fresh marketing ideas, businesses sometimes lose focus on their core audience, i.e., their existing customers. A returning customer should be the most valuable proposition for you. Engage with your existing customers. Have client appreciation programs. Built a relationship with them. Have personalized interactions with them. Send handwritten notes and birthday wishes. Online popular book shop “Bookchor” always includes a handwritten note with their packages. They build a long-term relationship with their customers using this simple tactic only.
Mail Regular Customer Satisfaction Surveys
A customer satisfaction survey is a highly effective way of learning about your customer base and also getting their continued visibility. This can be done both online and also through offline channels. Customers appreciate being asked of their opinions and feel valued if their suggestions are acted upon. You get double benefit out of this. You get to know valuable suggestions and tips about your products and how to improve them. The other benefit is that you start collecting loyal customers who appreciate your concern for them.
Vehicle, Transportation and Other Smaller Forms of Marketing
If your business uses a fleet of company cars then you can use this marketing idea for startups and other businesses alike. You can put your brand or logo on your vehicles. You can also put magnetic signs, bumper stickers, and window decals for this purpose. Going ahead, you can distribute these and also order fridge magnets, coffee cups, tees, notebooks, and diaries having your brand logo and business details. Distribute and gift it to your employees, vendors, and customers. This is a comparatively low-cost marketing strategy that raises your brand awareness.
So, these are some unique marketing tips for small business 2020 and beyond that can get your business and products good and favorable visibility free or at a low cost. You can check our other blogs that discuss in detail social media marketing strategies and other business topics. We promise you will find them equally interesting.