02 Jun Nine Easy Marketing Strategies for Small Business Owners
The experts are right.
Marketing is the backbone of your business.
Executing a well-planned marketing strategy is the difference between rocket-launching your business to the moon (a very good thing) and sitting in the middle of water in a lifesaver, waiting for help (a very bad thing).
We know that people do business with brands they like, know and trust. But how do you get your brand in front of your audience?
Sure, almost anyone who is paying attention will tell you to ramp up your digital presence. They will say that you should be writing thousands of blog posts for your own blog site and for others. They will tell you that you should be appearing on local and national podcasts, radio shows, talk shows and more. Those who are news hounds will say you should be securing press for your business. Online business experts will say you should be developing an automated digital sales funnel that gets you leads on autopilot. Of course, you should live your business life on social media.
They are right.
Except for the part about living your life on social media. That’s not practical is it? Maybe it is. I digress.
Those tactics are effective and purpose. I’d like to share a few more tried and true marketing tactics that will increase your exposure, and ultimately, your bottom line.
This one is simple. Put your logo or short call to action on a shirt. Wear it everywhere. Encourage your employees or supporters to wear your shirt/hat/sweatshirt too. I put DENOR t-shirts in the stockings of all of my immediate family members a few Christmases ago. Some of my favorite clients and a few hardworking interns were also gifted a shirt.
In 2015, when I celebrated my five-year biziversary I asked that everyone who had a t-shirt wear it to a local vineyard to a party I hosted to commemorate the milestone. Needless to say, people came up to us to ask who we were and what we did. It was an amazing way to spark a conversation about my business.
Don’t meet a stranger.
One marketing guru told me recently: Make a point to tell at least three people about your business each day. If you work from home, get out of the house and intentionally start a conversation with someone you do not know and tell them about your business.
If you work in an office setting, tell your coworkers. If you’re already a business owner full time, get out and create opportunities to tell people what you do. Remember, the No. 1 form of marketing is word of mouth. It may as well be your mouth.
Practice the pen swap.
When paying by credit card for your next meal, replace your server’s pen with your business – branded pen (make sure it has your web site on it or some call-to-action). You’ll be making impressions in the minds of potential customers in no time.
Ask for a favor.
The next time you dine out, ask your server to give a few of your cards or other promotional items to a few of their next guests. Your items may end up in the right hands.
Become a sponsor.
Create brand impressions for your business by sponsoring an activity. One low-cost way to do this is to ask a restaurant or bar if your business can sponsor a happy hour for your target audience. It is a win-win situation: you get your business in front of your ideal audience and the restaurant gets food/drink sales as a result.
Replace photos with video.
Stagnant photos are (almost) out. Video is in. Try beefing up your digital content with video. Videos ads work amazing well on Facebook. If you upload your video directly to the platform, Facebook will ‘reward’ you by showing your video to more of your fans than it normally would.
Build a playlist.
Nothing connects people like great music. Try creating a playlist that captures the essence of your business and share your list on social media.
This is a no brainer for content heavy marketers like me. Write blogs, articles, tips, etc. Share them everywhere you can (i.e. social media).
Use the post office.
Newsflash: Direct-mail marketing (that is, sending out catch, engaging advertisements via the postal service) is NOT dead. In fact, aside from word-of-mouth, it IS the most effective form of marketing.
This is the reason you keep getting those coupons and other offers in the mail from major big-box companies. They know that many people trash their materials, but many more actually open and use them. Direct mail is a conversion getter. If you’re looking to create more opportunities for people to call, email or visit your web site as part of your marketing plan, try implementing a direct mail campaign.
Trust me – this works.
Yeah, I know. Shocked it’s not something digital (wink)?