Finding the right marketing initiatives for your business can be a challenge in itself and for a small business with a tight budget they can be make or break. While you may want to try and use all the many different marketing mediums, it’s best to start small and do one or two focused campaigns thoroughly. Pick an idea that you think fits best with your business model and then plan, deploy and measure! Tracking the success of your campaign is imperative in finding out what works best for your unique market and will help you to decide where to invest money for a bigger marketing project.
Create and share great content.
It’s no secret that today’s digital market thrives on great content. If you’re struggling for ideas the easiest way to get inspiration on what works is to look at your competitors. Check out their social media pages and look at what they’re sharing and find out what gets the most likes and retweets. Keep asking the question, what does my ideal customer search for? And how can I offer interesting content to fit? For example, if you are a small homewares boutique why not write about interior design ideas such as easy ways for people to brighten up their home.
Share photos of your products.
Not all social media is made equal and research from various bodies has shown that posts with photos or images get significantly more engagement than simply text. It’s no wonder then that photo-driven sites such as Instagram and Pinterest are gaining momentum so quickly! Sharing photos is an easy way to get your products and your brand seen, whether it’s a final product, a sneak preview or a behind-the-scenes style image start snapping and watch your followers grow!
Start an e-newsletter.
A lot of businesses these days have an e-newsletter and most of them will go unread or straight to the bin or junk folder. But if you are regularly making the right kind of content, with strong copy and high quality images, having an opt-in newsletter is a great way to keep in touch with the people that care about your brand. Although, remember to respect your sign-ups! It’s best to only send out an e-newsletter once a fortnight or once a month, depending on your industry and audience.
Like photos, videos have taken off in a huge way. The Guardian reported that a typical person in the UK will watch 90 minutes of video a month from devices other than their TV set. The key to creating popular videos is to keep them short, simple and engaging. By engaging we mean funny, interesting or helpful. For example, a company that sells handmade crafts could create 5 minute how to videos demonstrating their skills, or a whole food store might share a new recipe in each video.
Partner with another business.
Find a business that shares your target audience but isn’t a direct competitor. For example, an event organiser might partner with a photographer, or an accountancy company with a law firm. Joint ventures are low cost because as both parties benefit, both can split the costs. Plus, each company gets exposure to a whole new audience related to their niche!
Get involved in LinkedIn conversations.
LinkedIn is business networking for the online world and it’s a great way to make new business connections and strengthen relationships. It also acts as a platform to share your great content, get feedback and collaborate on ideas. There are hundreds of forums buzzing with conversation so if you need some quick advice or inspiration, find a group and start a conversation.
Launch a customer referral scheme.
Your customers are your best ambassadors, so reward them for passing on a good word. Most people are more than happy to recommend a great product or service, especially when there is an incentive to do so. Be clear in your details as to what you are offering, for what kind of recommendation and share to your customer base!
Run competitions and prize draws.
Popular competitions that are readily seen on social media are of the ‘Like and Share’ style. Basically this means that people can enter a prize draw or competition by liking your company page and sharing the competition post. As long as the prize is something appealing enough, the post could spread like wild fire! Make sure to be clear as to what is being won, what the conditions are and when the cut-off date is.