Promotion marketing 101: What you need to know plus 5 campaign ideas
Top 30 small business marketing ideas
From social media to email marketing, these top 30 small business marketing ideas (in no particular order) are the perfect way for a small business owner to get their brand out there, collect some new customers, and build a successful business.
1. Put more effort into your business cards.
Although the wonderful world wide web has mostly taken over when it comes to marketing efforts, the old-school business card still has a place when it comes to promoting your business. But don’t stick with the same boring white and blue design that hundreds of other businesses are using… Take some time to create eye-catching and exciting cards that match your brand and will stand out in a pile. Match the color scheme to your website and other branding, and you could even utilize color psychology to influence a desired reaction.
2. Host a free event or class
Who doesn’t love a freebie? Hosting free classes, events, or seminars is a great way to educate potential customers about your industry and business. Not only will the audience walk away feeling like they’ve got something valuable from the experience, but these events will also secure your reputation as an industry expert and will make your brand instantly memorable.
If these aren’t good enough reasons for you to consider sharing your expertise, it’s also worth noting that local establishments (like libraries, coffee shops, etc.) will generally be much happier with you posting a flyer for a free event than a blatant advertisement. Be sure to include your business name, logo, and any other branding clearly on the flyer for some free and easy advertising.
3. Attend conferences and networking events
If you don’t have the resources to host your own events (or even if you do), attending conferences and other industry events can be a fantastic way to build your brand presence with people who are already interested.
If you can, contact the event organizers to find out whether you could set up a booth or even speak at the event. If not, just hearing what advice other experts and industry leaders have to offer can be incredibly valuable.
In terms of cost, although some conferences are free to attend, most aren’t and can be costly when you factor in travel expenses. This means it might not be a viable option for all small business owners. However, if you keep an eye open, you might be surprised how many affordable events are going on in your local area and how many networking opportunities you can attend.
4. Start (or promote) a customer referral program
Research consistently shows that 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family above all other types of marketing. So, if you have happy customers, why not incentivize them to share the love with a customer referral program?
Whether you offer money off future purchases when you refer a friend, operate a points system, or provide free samples… Encouraging customers to tell their friends and family about your business is an excellent way to build brand awareness and make customers feel special.
In addition to referral benefits, a loyalty program is another excellent way to keep customers coming back for more (and hopefully recommending your brand). Be sure to promote the benefits of any loyalty or referral marketing programs at every opportunity, so customers know these options are out there.
5. Participate in online forums
Online forums are a bit like virtual conventions in that they’re both full of industry-specific conversations you can get involved in. Forums like Reddit, Quora, Medium, etc., are fantastic platforms for establishing your brand as an industry expert, making new connections, or even finding new business contacts!
If your marketing efforts focus on online forums, it is vital to be wary of self-promotion. Users (and even the forums themselves) can be very dismissive of blatant marketing, and you can even end up flagged as spam. To ensure this doesn’t happen, answer questions as genuinely and helpfully as possible to build your name and reputation. You’ll get much better responses if you don’t look like you’re cruising for customers.
6. Support a cause that matches your brand’s values
Sponsoring a charity, event, or cause that aligns with your company values is a great way to show your customers that you care about the things they care about and that your business is about more than making money. In fact, many of the top Shopify stores support at least one good cause and are clear about being a force for good.
Advertise to the right people
Now you’ve read some of our top tips on how to do marketing for small businesses without breaking the bank, you should have plenty of inspiration to create innovative and engaging marketing campaigns your audience will love.
There’s no point in creating amazing videos for Facebook if your target audience is young people who prefer TikTok. Similarly, if you’re targeting an older audience, you’re probably going to have more success with an offline campaign or even a newspaper ad than you would using social media.
By figuring out your target market and audience, you’ll be able to create valuable marketing campaigns that attract the right people instead of wasting your time and money advertising to people who will never be interested. It also ensures you can find the perfect platform and channel for your campaigns.
Which marketing is best for small businesses?
The best marketing method for your small business will depend on your budget and target audience. There’s little point in wasting time marketing on channels your customers aren’t using.
How do I market my small business?
Before you create any marketing material, you need to get your business set up. This includes having a high-quality and fast-loading website, being present and active on your chosen social media channels, and claiming your business on Google and Yelp.
The 4 Ps of marketing – where does promotion marketing fit in?
Marketing activities are often broken down into a framework known as the ‘4 Ps’ or the marketing mix. This concept allows you to classify all marketing-related activities into four distinct categories – Product, Price, Place, and Promotion.
It plays a role in everything, from how you merchandise your products, to positioning against competitors and even where you sell. Different promotion marketing mechanisms are used to target different segments of the 4 Ps.
For example, geofenced promotions let you choose precisely where you want certain products to be promoted. Meanwhile, product bundles act more specifically on your product offering and discounts allow you to directly alter your price positioning.
8 Holiday Marketing Ideas To Yield A Successful Sales Harvest
#1 Run Seasonal Targeted Email Marketing Campaigns
According to a Shopify’s research, email marketing is responsible for 24% of sales during holiday season, meaning that it’s a top-secret to the seasonal sales boom. By segmenting your audience lists and then emailing them with the proper content and offers, you can successfully influence their purchase decision with no added impact to your holiday marketing budget.
Of course, so many brands, if not all, are going to make use of this festive period to send out promotional emails. That’s why you need to employ some tactics to enable you to shine bright in the sea of holiday messaging. Or else, your brand’s email is likely to be floating meaninglessly in recipients’ overflowing inboxes.
As Black Friday 2021 is one-month away, it’s time you started preparing for Black Friday. And if you’re not ready to compete with other players to make your voice heard and leverage sales, we’ve come to rescue with the best Black Friday email templates ever! Let’s put your creative hat on and see where it’s gonna take you in this holiday season!
#2 Share Useful & Interactive Holiday Content
It goes without saying that creating helpful content for your customers is one of the most effective customer engagement strategies for small businesses. With high-quality, consistent content, you can build brand credibility, improve conversions, connect with customers and generate leads.
During the holiday period, you should focus your content on holiday-related topics, which will be of particular interest to your customers. If you’re selling beauty products, for instance, you can write about Halloween makeup layouts and then move toward recommending associated makeup items.
Besides, to further engage your audience, you can also try out multiple interactive content such as quizzes, polls and mini-games (more on this below). Whatever types of content you’re about to publish, it should evoke emotion and encourage your audience to interact with your brand.
#3 Hold A Contest or Give-away
With the bloom of online shopping, consumers are more familiar with holiday marketing campaigns than ever before. They often see the same thing year by year, so their eyes may glaze over at the traditional sales and holiday marketing tactics. This year, online merchants can make a bold move by holding a mini-game or giveaway.
Then, make sure that the contest prize is something related to your business. Don’t give the winner an Iphone 13 Pro Max just to get traffic. This is surely a burden on your holiday marketing budget and will not bring in quality participants who will actually benefit your brand.
Besides, you’ll need to determine how clients participate in your mini-game/give-away. Some possibilities are to ask people to react to your post, share your post with a branded hashtag, tag one or more friends, visit your website and so on. The key is to make it as easy as possible for participants so you’d better limit the entry requirements to three or four steps.
In the above example from SoapandGlory – a British beauty brand, entrants are required to like the post, follow two Instagram accounts – one is their partner, mention a friend or re-post to Instagram story for a bonus entry.
You can also see that SoapandGlory has partnered up with @luskinco in this give-away. Undoubtedly, it’s always a good idea to collaborate with another brand with a similar target market and audience to get more traction.
#4 Offer Holiday Combos
You may have heard of cross-selling – a strategy that sellers perform to persuade prospective shoppers to buy supplementary items. Cross-selling is a great way to take advantage of selling more and eventually bump up average order value.
Hence, if you’re not offering appealing product bundles in your holiday marketing campaign this year, you’re surely missing out on extra sales you could be making on every single order.
#5 Produce A Holiday Video Marketing
It’s no secret that video marketing is an important strategy at any time of the year but can be especially impactful during the festive time. Holiday videos give you a way to stay connected with your customers – which can help you increase brand awareness and revenue at a crucial time.
Holiday Marketing Mistakes To Avoid
The holiday period is such a frantic time for business owners. There are so many things on the plate: managing inventory, planning holiday marketing campaigns, designing holiday-themed products – you name it. There are bound to be errors along the way.
#1 Focus on only one marketing tactic
Using only one marketing tactic not only limits your potential customer reach but also the creativity of your holiday marketing campaign. In fact, there are still lots of marketing strategies you can apply in holiday season 2021 without overspending your budget such as launching email marketing, holding minigames, redesigning holiday packaging and so on.
#2 Campaign not launching on time
If your holiday marketing campaign is pushed back for whatever reasons, that means results and revenue will be, too. But how can you get around this? The answer is by proper planning and setting clear milestones for every process of the campaign. These might include:
#3 Send emails in bulk
As mentioned above, email marketing is a powerful marketing channel that can’t be overlooked whether your business is small-scale, medium-sized or enterprise-level. However, email marketing can only do wonders for your brand if you follow a well-planned strategy – one that doesn’t include bombarding your customers’ inbox with deals after deals. Hence, be mindful of how many emails are in your stream and what’s the purpose of each email sent to different clienteles.