Great Marketing Ideas For Small Businesses – As we close the door on another calendar year, it’s time to start thinking about effective marketing ideas for small business owners in 2018. One of the smartest things a small business owner can do for their business is the take time to develop a small business. a marketing plan that will set them apart from the competition.
Before we get into marketing strategies, it’s important to have the right tools in place before promoting your business. To beat the competition, it’s important that your business has the right tools to provide the best customer service and help you stay on top of business operations. In addition to a secure payroll processor, employee scheduling software can help streamline your operations and track shifts. It can track breaks, holidays and work while forecasting wind. Learn how to make your life easier so you can love your business again by starting your free 30-day trial below.
Great Marketing Ideas For Small Businesses
Your story can be an effective marketing tool. Get the word out in your brochures, website, social media and emails about how and why you started your business. Create an emotional connection with your customers so they know why they should support your small business. While people are looking for a deal, the story it tells (and many) separates your business from the retail giants.
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Include some facts about the impact of small business in your story. Tell your customers that small businesses make up 54% of all sales in the US. Also remind people that small businesses like mine have a positive impact on their local economy, providing 55% of all jobs.
The National Retail Federation (NRF) found that more than half of online holiday shoppers bought something recommended by a retailer. Create a gift guide to give your customers options and help cut through the noise. Designing a gift guide doesn’t have to be time-consuming or difficult. Your gift guide can be as simple as a blog post with a list of gifts, descriptions and links. You can also hire a designer to create a gift guide for your website and print.
Get inspired by “Oprah’s Favorite Things,” where Oprah features items from a variety of businesses. Use this principle to add your products to the gift guides of popular influencers and bloggers. For a small commission, some bloggers are willing to help small businesses promote their giveaways to their audience.
Tap into the curiosity of the unknown by offering a saving grace in your marketing campaign. If you have an email list, send your subscribers an email offering various discounts or gifts. The call to action should send your subscribers to a landing page with one of your offers. You can get a little more technical with your mystery offers by using a tool like Zembula, where your subscribers digitally “scratch” their screen to reveal a mystery prize.
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Get your secret offer offline if you don’t have a website or email list. Let customers choose their mystery deal in store by spinning a wheel or drawing from a hat.
Give your customers a free gift after they spend a certain amount. Drive traffic from your email subscribers by asking them to print the offer or show it on their mobile phones in store to redeem their free gift.
Take this opportunity to promote your business by offering useful branded items such as diaries or pens. Or, offer a reward or loyalty system to customers who create an account on your store. This will encourage customers to collect the points if they receive a prize or voucher when they reach a certain number of points.
Urgency forces people to act quickly. When creating an emergency campaign, start announcing the promotion via email, social media platforms, and even physical banners around your store. Follow the announcement with a final call offer. This tells your customers that the offer is about to expire and they need to act fast if they want to get the best deal. Reminding customers that time is running out increases the level of urgency and compels action. This is a method of moving customers out of the inactivity phase and into a state of action.
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A 2017 BrightLocal study showed that 85 percent of consumers trust online reviews as well as personal recommendations, and 73 percent of consumers say that positive reviews instill more trust in a business. More people are looking for reviews than ever before, and nearly every consumer has searched for a local business online at least once this year. In fact, according to data from the same study, 7 out of 10 consumers will leave a review if asked. Many businesses struggle to differentiate themselves from their competitors, so a positive online reputation is key to helping customers make a choice.
Set up profiles on multiple review sites to make it easy for your customers to leave reviews and always make sure you stay actively engaged by thanking positive reviews and answering any questions.
The NRF survey found that six out of 10 respondents would be happy to receive gift cards. Build on the popularity of cards as the gift of choice by building a marketing campaign around gift cards. Offer plastic and electronic gift cards to give shoppers additional options. Your marketing campaign can include a percentage discount gift card or a free gift card when customers spend more than a certain amount in store or online.
Get customers to interact in the store by setting up a scavenger hunt. You don’t have to have a huge store for this to work. Give customers a short list of what they can find in your store and ask them to show photos of the hidden items at checkout to claim their discount. A scavenger hunt is a good way to get customers to look around your store. Hide some items in the back to encourage customers to browse the entire store. Limit the scavenger hunt to a few items and make it a short game so customers don’t lose their enthusiasm.
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Direct your customers directly to your in-store offers using floor stickers. Be creative with the types of prints you use. If you’re a women’s shop, use high heel footprints, or if you’re a pet shop owner, use trail prints. Search online for companies that specialize in floor graphics to order your custom footprint.
There is strength in numbers when competing with larger companies for sales and customer loyalty. It makes sense to network with other local small businesses to increase your marketing power. Partner with a few businesses to spread the cost of advertising to reach more people.
Consider cross-promoting your products with compatible local businesses. For example, if you own a shop, you can partner with a coffee shop owner to buy coffee, get one free for everyone who produces a receipt from your shop. In return, offer coffee shop customers a discount at your store.
Affiliates are important and should be part of your small business marketing campaign. Since 91% of consumers want products and services they use to support a cause, consider including a give back element in your marketing campaign. Be sure to find a way to include your customers in your charitable efforts.
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If you’re promoting your local food bank, why not encourage your customers to leave non-perishable items in store? Alternatively, you can choose to set aside a percentage of your winnings for a charity of your choice. Announce your fundraising goal and let your customers know the difference their donations will make.
Hosting an event at your store is a great way to promote your brand awareness and connect with your customers. A well-executed event is a great source of publicity and customer acquisition for businesses – and it doesn’t have to break the bank to be effective. Offer freebies, such as cookies, and place your cookies in strategic places – such as discounted items or gift cards – to attract attention. As a small business, you likely stock items that big box stores don’t carry, so make your unusual and unique pieces front and center to grab customers’ attention.
Videos of your product or service on YouTube can help promote your business and brand. Showcase new products, offer classes, and talk about relevant (and interesting) things happening in your industry. Create content that is useful to your audience, such as video tutorials to better understand your product.
HubSpot predicts that video traffic will grow to about 80 percent of all Internet traffic by 2019. In this digital age, moving into video marketing will give smaller companies a competitive advantage.
Small Business Marketing Ideas
Use social media to create sweepstakes. Use tools that help create social media quizzes, contests, sweepstakes and coupons. Most tools have pre-made templates that you can brand with your business colors and logo.
Ask social media users to enter their email address for the opportunity
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