Your business is as unique as you are. This year calls for a creative approach to getting your small business out there; both inexpensively and effectively. Here’s what you can do starting today to stand out in a busy marketplace!
Participate on a Podcast
Audio content is growing in popularity. But before you put all the effort into starting a podcast of your own, start with doing some research into podcasts related to your business niche or industry.
Try reaching out to the podcast owner to see if there’s opportunity to advertise or even appear on the podcast. This could come in the form of an interview or just lending your expertise on a given topic – be confident and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.
Collaborate on a Giveaway
Giveaways are nothing new in the marketing landscape, and if you’ve spent any time at all on Facebook or Instagram – you have likely entered a giveaway.
Take your giveaway a step further by reaching out to similar businesses or businesses located near yours in order to expand your giveaway’s reach and gain new audiences. Having a combined prize pack will result in more entries; plus you now have other businesses helping to promote the contest.
A lot of businesses hosting giveaways require a couple of steps before people can officially enter. Normally, the participants need to be following each account giving something away.
For Instagram giveaways, tagging friends is encouraged as it spreads brand awareness. Newcomers are introduced to your business and if they win, they’ll see how great your product or service is.
Send Snail Mail
Sending thank you cards is an underrated act of kindness. Show customers you care and are thankful for their business by putting pen to paper.
It’s a marketing tactic with two causes. One, they’ll feel valued. Taking the time to write a card or a letter takes time. It’s a lot harder and takes more effort than sending a DM.
The other fact is how far simple kindness goes. When customers feel appreciated, they’ll keep coming back. People want to support small businesses that go the extra mile to make their customers feel like more than a number.
Record it all on TikTok
Whether you’re sending thank you notes like we’ve outlined above, or putting extra care into your packaging – you can share it all on TikTok. This newer social media platform caters toward short and snappy videos and there are tons of niches to be involved in.
For small business TikTok, you can create short ASMR-style clips showing off your packaging, or even give tips and tricks to other small business owners.
The TikTok algorithm is quite advanced and you’ll be able to grow a sizeable audience if you get on TikTok soon – so don’t wait to sign up for this video platform.
Most local areas award small businesses. Depending on where you’re located, check to see if there are any you can compete for.
If you win, you can advertise that you’re the best in the area. Those who haven’t bought from you before will be more willing since you’re awarded. You should be given a badge to place on your website or, if you have one, your brick-and-mortar store.
If there are no awards in your area, do some simple press releases. Research what websites feature local businesses. They may be willing to set up an interview or do a feature.
Start a Newsletter
You’ve likely heard the 80/20 when it comes to social media. 80 per cent of your content should be useful to followers. It should entertain, inform, or solve a problem. Most of the time, this comes from other sources other than your own. This is where being a curator comes into play.
And the easiest way to do that is with a newsletter. Email marketing may just be more effective than social media in many cases. There’s nothing to scroll through so you’ll retain your customers’ attention better.
Your newsletter can contain:
• Articles related to your industry
• Business announcements
• Behind the scenes insights
• Personal notes and thoughts
• Coupons and savings
• Funny videos to brighten someone’s day
There’s more freedom with what you can do with this. It also gives customers a better insight to your brand outside of your website.
Break into the Influencer Market
Collaborations can be a powerful marketing tool. Whether it’s with others in your industry or influencers, you both can benefit. While influencers can be rather expensive to work with, there’s been more and more ‘micro-influencers’ popping up that may be more suitable for your niche, and more affordable.
If you decide to work with influencers, make sure to include what and how you want them to feature your products or services. You’ll also want to be clear on which platforms and how many times they post about it.
Again, when choosing influencers to work with, don’t focus too much on followers. You’ll want people who have good engagement rates. That means high comment numbers and likes (or equivalent) in ratio to their follower count.
Take to the Streets
Even if your work is done mostly online, you can still take to your local streets (done safely and within current guidelines, of course).
• Putting up decorative flyers (with permission) with a call-to-action
• Volunteer your time. Organize a neighbourhood cleanup or offer assistance to elderly members of your community.
• Sponsor events or purchase a space at a local event like a farmer’s market, a run/marathon or a fundraiser.
• Organize free, small scale events. For example, a dog treat business might host a community sunrise dog walk with free dog treats and coffee for participants.
No matter your industry, you can use your area to your advantage by getting out in front of the people. Make your face and your business known by participating in events and other activities.
Creative Marketing for Your Business
For this year, it’s all about thinking outside the box. Small businesses need to be creative and crafty when it comes to marketing. Tell us, which tactic will you try?