Any business owner knows that marketing in smart, innovative ways is key to capturing business. You want to grab the attention of new customers while keeping your current ones returning. A smart marketing plan will help you do this. Keep it alive, innovative and always working.
Do it Yourself
You may be very adept at marketing your company yourself. You’ll save money this way, and get things done the way you want. Remember, the key here is to get the consumer’s attention. Whether they are your current customer or you’re looking for new clients, attention is the key. Here are some fun ways of grabbing it:
- Create custom stickers and work them. You can create custom, die-cut stickers with your logo or artwork and send them into the big, wide world. Include them in your shipping and mailings. Stick them on your car and your friends’ cars. Have them in your stores for your customers to grab and stick them on their stuff.
- Go altruistic. Share a gift card on your social media. Small businesses have recently shown their altruistic side by screenshotting a gift card (think Starbucks) and letting their customers have a treat on them. It’s lovely to see the gratitude, and when you’d think some person would scoop it all up, no one does. Everyone is grateful and enjoys sharing the good will.
- Use social media. Let your followers do the work for you, and everyone benefits. Invite your followers to share the photos with your product or brand in it. You can even offer a reward for the one that gets the most likes.
- Create a contest. Let your clients be your marketers. Invite them to design a new logo, come up with a new catch phrase or create the next flavor. You’ll see great results this way.
- Sponsor a team or be a school partner. This is a win win. You’ll see lots more customers coming in and you’ll be supporting the community. You can offer seasonal discounts (like promotions on flowers during prom season if you’re a florist) or weekly specials (like 10% off your meal with spirit wear after a football game if you’re a restaurant).
- Host a 5K. You can donate the money earned to a non-profit of choice (perhaps related to your business). You can hand out promotions, discounts, those stickers, and other information at the race. You’ll form bonds with partners and let your customers see you in a new light.
- Sell t-shirts. Have t-shirts for sale in your storefront or restaurant with your brand. Encourage customers to tag you in social media when they wear them. People love t-shirts of their favorite things.
- Host open houses. If you have a storefront, have an open house. You can have wine and cheese in the evening, or cupcakes and cookies. You can donate a percentage of the purchases made during that time, and just be on hand to chat with and get to know customers. It’s a nice way to say thank you.
It’s important to stay relevant with what your company stands for. Keep the context to where it makes sense. For instance, you’re not going to advertise your Birthday Parties for Kids in a club where young singles go. You don’t want to advertise that club on the back of your kid’s softball jersey, either. Think how things work together and play off one another, and do what makes sense.
Business owners need to wear a lot of hats. Some slip on quite easily, while others may be a tougher fit. If marketing isn’t your thing, hire someone else to handle it. The money spent will probably be worth it, because marketing is an essential part to running a business. Outsourcing marketing can get you started, feed you ideas and get a strong customer base. A consultant can help you with techniques you can work on by yourself. Sometimes it pays to let the experts handle it.
Look around for more great marketing ideas to see what fits for you. From stickers to t-shirts to community clean up days, you can go in whatever direction you desire. The trend in marketing these days is to make it personal, relevant and community oriented. Let your customers see a human side of you and your business. Share it with them, and they in turn will end up sharing it with others.