If you’re a small business owner or startup founder, you probably don’t have the resources to hire an expensive PR firm, buy large advertisements in magazines, or develop elaborate social media infographics like your bigger competitors. To compete at their level and grab their market share, you have to be strategic and focused in your marketing efforts. Here are some inexpensive yet creative marketing ideas you can begin to implement today.
1. Get seen. Get the word out about your business. Don’t just focus on social media and blogging. Instead, create buzz by implementing a publicity campaign, exploring partnerships with unique but non-competing companies, having your employees wear company t-shirts, hosting events, and giving out branded souvenirs.
1. Run social media contests and giveaways. Offer contests and giveaways via social media with local bloggers and other influencers. For instance, if you own a hair salon, partner with a local beauty or fashion blogger and have them run a contest on their Instagram page where entrants can win a free treatment. It’s not only a great way to connect with industry bloggers and local influencers; it’s also a great way to grow your social media followings.
2. Be mobile-friendly. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly. With an increase in consumers using tablets and smartphones to shop and connect online, it’s critical to make sure your website and blog can be viewed properly across all mobile devices.
If you have a larger marketing budget, consider developing an app. Some larger brands, such as Domino’s, have capitalized on this trend to expand its market share. The company now offers its customers easy ordering with its new mobile app. You can order pizza, customize your order, and pay for it with your smartphone.
3. Connect with influencers. Although it can be time-consuming, consider connecting directly with industry influencers. Research relevant industry bloggers by conducting a simple Google search or by using LinkedIn. With a little time and effort, you will soon have a very desirable database of marketing contacts; these are the industry’s thought leaders.
1. Outside marketing. Today, the internet and social media are over-saturated with companies competing to get consumers’ attention. Why not be different and go outside, literally? Distribute flyers and posters to other local businesses where potential customers can be found. There might be an opportunity to cross-promote with a business that you hadn’t considered previously.
2. Comment on a controversy. Controversial issues often attract attention. Responding to a controversial issue provides a platform to showcase your expertise. Be careful, though; try to keep your comments neutral and unbiased. Otherwise, you risk being dragged into the controversy itself.
3. Get involved in your local community. One way to go about this is sponsoring a local sports team or charity, and distributing press releases for local media coverage. This helps increase the visibility of your brand in the local market, positions you as a notable community member, and helps others in need.
4. Enter competitions. Research and enter relevant business award competitions to increase your company and brand awareness. If it’s cost prohibitive to enter a competition, consider creating your own award. You’ll create publicity as other businesses within your industry try to win the prize.