The success of your business really depends on how you get the word out, in fact, your business may even depend on it. That is why being creative with your marketing ideas regardless of your budget will help you get the word out. Marketing ideas are not easy, and again you must think out of the box sometimes.
Creative marketing ideas are about as easy to create as networking. (Honestly, networking is easier). Marketing ideas for small businesses help single owners, like me, be competitive with others but it doesn’t have to be a cutthroat world. You can make friends.
One of the problems a small business can run into is the overwhelming about of marketing ideas out there these days. All of them vary in cost and reach. Many small businesses will pay to advertise on Facebook or direct-mailing campaigns but those can be pricy. Not to mention the ROI (Return on Investment) may not offset the costs.
There can be hope, my friends, not all marketing ideas have to be costly. With a little planning and creativity, you can almost market your business for free.
10 Easy Marketing Ideas for You to Try
Create a customer referral program
Word of mouth is a powerful way of getting noticed by the customers or clients. Word of mouth according to Jay Baer, “Word of mouth influences between 50-90% of all purchases…but nobody has an actual strategy for it.”
See when a customer invests in a product or service from your company, and they are satisfied with it they will tell others. Usually, the word of mouth begins between family members and then friends. In business it is the same thing, you will find one company that loves your writing, so you ask them to refer you to someone else.
Maybe you could offer something free, or maybe you wrote a free article for them, and in return, you asked for a referral. When someone does this you are golden. Don’t be scared friends, there is nothing wrong with asking for a referral if someone loves your product or work.
Another way to accomplish customer referrals is your customer service, if that is on point then you are on your way to a great referral. (don’t forget to share those on social media stories, just like Kylie Jenner!)
You could also send an email 2 weeks after someone joins or purchases something from you. Create something such as an ambassador promotion, provide discounts, oh and their own personal referral link they can share with others.
This is an awesome way to understand what works and what doesn’t with your customers. You learn a great deal about your customer base through a survey. This could be a form of email marketing, for instance, if you fill this survey out we will give you 10% off your next purchase type of thing.
Customers love and appreciate being asked for their opinions, it is almost as though they are a part of the brand they love and the story! When a customer feels invested that will then turn into stronger loyalty. You may even learn how to improve your business too.
Tell a story, celebrate with clients and customers
The very core of marketing is making a connection. In fact, when you think about most commercials from the Superbowl you remember the emotion you feel, either when your heartstrings were pulled or when you laughed so hard you cried. (Remember the Ozzy Osbourn 4G commercials?)
Share with your clients all your milestones, such as getting your first 1,000 subscribers, or reaching your 1-year anniversary. You could also use that opportunity to provide a special to your “new” customers.
People respond well to information, especially numbers that are easy to understand. So don’t be shy to show customers that you are accomplishing your goals.
Join a professional group
Using professional places such as Linkedin is a great way to not only market yourself but also network. Join a network that aligns with your business, and really devote yourself to that community. Join in on the conversations, add your knowledge or perhaps absorb some. You can also share your content if it is relatable to the group and to your brand.
You could also work some magic on Reddit but be warned you need to follow the Reddit rules. Self-promotion is not always allowed. You could use the message boards or subreddits related to your business to help you find people interested in what you have to offer.
Create a Partnership
Not everything has to be a competition! Especially with women. Share the love. Having a mentor in your area of business is incredibly helpful. You can work together by offering special discounts if you use both services or you could hold a contest together.
Plus when you have a strong partner you also leave yourself open to opportunities. For example, I write B2B tech copy, my partner writes product descriptions. If someone approaches her for a B2B writing job she may just send them over my way, and vice versa.
Word of Mouth…boom!
Business card drawings or work emails
Have you ever gone to your favorite sandwich shop and noticed a bowl on the counter asking you to drop a business card in for a chance to win lunch for the whole office?
Well, this is the same idea. Except sadly probably not with providing lunch….You could collect emails and business cards for future clients, select on and provide your services or products at a discount.
This again will tumble into word of mouth; you do an amazing job (which you will) and they will tell their friends or other departments in the office.
Create a blog
Write useful tips and insights for your company and customer base. For instance, you could provide those who are interested in freelancing advice on how to develop their business. This is also a great way to tell your story. I use my blog not only to provide advice but to also allow the readers a behind-the-scenes into my process of creating my business.
Creating a blog is also another way to draw traffic to your website. Using keywords, and SEO tricks you could bring in a lot of organic traffic.
Sign up for Help a Reporter Out
As a writer, the number one thing we should be doing every day is writing. Whether it’s about the weather, our day in life, or whatever we should be writing. Why? It helps with creativity, improves how we write, and it helps ward off writer’s block.
If you simply don’t know what you should write about every day you could join Help a Reporter Out, doing this and you could gain valuable networking. I personally do this, and I love it. You don’t make anything, but I find it fun.
Invest in SEO
You have heard this term; I know you have. If you have a minimal presence on the web you have heard SEO, and you’ve probably also crossed your eyes. Perfecting your SEO can be a small investment, but it does put you in front of the right readers.
One thing I have learned about SEO is that it is much more than just keywords and having your blog post layout a certain way with headings here and there.
It has more to do with how you are connected to Google, which is easier than you think. Google Analytics is a great way to get your SEO game going.
Social Media-establish yourself
I saved this one for last because I find this one kind of annoying. Social media shouldn’t be ignored, having said that you don’t have to be on every single social media platform. Remember you want to be where your audience is, and if they are not between the ages of 12-25 then stay off of tick-tock!
I personally use Instagram, I’m slowly building my brand there and when I feel ready, I’ll create more on Facebook. The choice is really yours and who you are trying to reach. Remember though, social media is about being “social” so make sure you are consistent and interactive with your audience.
Marketing Ideas For Small Business
There are so many tricks and tips out there for small businesses needing to get the word out about their brand. Many of these ideas are either free or are low costs, but with a bit of creativity, you have the potential to reach your customers and grow your business.
The best part of trying these tips is discovering the golden one that works best for your business. Once you have discovered the one, you can begin investing more time and energy into that marketing strategy.
So what are you waiting for, try one or all of these marketing ideas now!
What more marketing ideas? Check out these.
Story Brand Podcast: Why You Need a Word-of-Mouth Marketing Strategy