Sometimes, as a small or medium-sized business, it can feel hard to get noticed. Bigger companies have a lot of marketing resources that smaller ones don’t—especially at the beginning. Although it is true that the big guys have the upper hand financially, there are ways to make a splash as a small or medium-sized business and change the way you are perceived right now.
It is all about being clever, creative and captivating with your marketing content and strategy. These three words may seem synonymous, but I have broken them down into distinct categories for you to take a look at and take what you need from. You want to use what you have to make your marketing content (from your website to your social media updates) engaging to your target audience, and utilize outside resources in a way that is cost-effective as well as unique and able to draw attention to what you are saying as a brand.
Be Clever with Marketing
This may sound intuitive, but use your mind to its fullest capacity when brainstorming marketing ideas to cleverly promote your company. Delve deep into your imagination for this strategy; to get you started, Business News Daily has some great tactics you can pull from to get those clever brains ready to rumble!
- Sky writing. I know, this sounds a little crazy, but there is a company called AirSign that can get you noticed fast—all from the air. Although this may seem a little cheesy, it can do the trick in a pinch to get your name out there. It is also something that very few people would likely think of, making you stand out from the crowd as well as being the news of the day! In the same vein of thinking, doing any big thing to make a splash—maybe even just a flurry of posters put up around town or a bigger sign outside your storefront or office—can make a difference. Doing something clever and unexpected like this can help spread your name quickly and effectively.
- Guerilla marketing. The example they use in the Business News Daily article has to do with street art, but this would highly depend on the nature of your company. For example, if you were a florist, you could go around your local downtown and pass out single roses as a “random act of kindness” to promote your company. If you did this, it would not only make people curious as to who was doing it, but they would also be appreciative of the message that was being sent as well. There a million little things you can do to promote your business in a customized, heartfelt way that potential customers will remember.
- Tag-team. Although this one won’t be found in the article mentioned above, one of the most clever ways to get ahead is to lean on others for support in any Reach out to a complementary company and create a sort of trade: you help them out, they’ll help you out. Promote each other on social media, do events together and bounce new ideas off each other to increase the clever marketing approaches you put into play. These tactics can not only drive up your sales, they can give you an ally in what sometimes can be a tough world filled with competition.
Be Creative with Marketing
The Balance shares a lot of helpful ideas about how to be creative in an impactful way. Being creative and being clever can seem like very similar things, but the truth is that these two ways of conveying information can be quite different. While cleverness has to do with more of a wit about the thought-process, creativity has more to do with exciting strategies. There are a few different marketing tactics you can use when trying to implement creativity to further your business:
- Get noticed. There are a million ways to do this—you want to focus on one that isn’t hard on your time or your budget. The basics of this way of thinking are to notice what your competition is doing and do the opposite of that. If you notice everyone is doing one thing, do the opposite of that thing in order to catch the eye of a consumer. A good example of this would be if you were a small bakery and for Mother’s Day all of your competition raised their prices, you could lower yours and draw in more business, hopefully offsetting the money lost as well as bringing in many new customers.
- Challenge your audience. You know how restaurants will have deals like “finish your plate, you get it for free?” Do something similar for whatever your business may be in order to drive up your sales and get people coming back.
- Utilize platforms like YouTube. Hey, this one is free! If you are starting a business, you are an expert in that. Make some “how-to” marketing videos to get your company’s name out there and create the voice you want people to hear when they think of you.
- Be charitable. Not only does this lend itself well to publicity, it also can change the tone of your company—making people want to find out more. If you donate, do a walk, make a statement or work an event, your company could start getting noticed really quickly. Just make sure you share what you do to help out in your company blog, e-newsletter and social media channels.
Be Captivating with Marketing
According to Cision, there are many ways to captivate internet users. The bottom line is, “We’re all in charge of communicating something. Whether we’re writing emails for prospects, drafting a presentation for the C-suite or speaking at a conference, success depends on capturing our audience’s attention and driving them to action.” Is all of your marketing communication captivating for the people you’re trying to reach? Here are a few ways to make sure it is:
- Make your work quality. People see more in a day than they ever did before. Keep that in mind when writing social media updates, blog posts or emails—make sure subscribers and followers remember what they read from you. That means quality over quantity. If what you’re saying doesn’t have meaning, why would it matter if you say it over and over? It is better to have less marketing content with higher quality than more content with an overall lower quality.
- Hook your audience. Tell a story, enlighten them with a powerful statistic or ask them a question to capture their attention. Even though these may seem like strategies you might use in a college English class, they are quite effective—you learned them for a reason. By using these simple approaches, it may just throw someone off enough from their normal and generic email greetings that they encounter daily. Make sure you have something worthwhile to say when they do!
- Let them know what they get. This a really key point because everyone knows that if you are reaching out, you have some kind of marketing agenda to push. Audiences are getting smarter; make sure you are adapting as well and getting to the point as soon as you have them reading. For example, if you are a company promoting one of your products in an e-newsletter, make sure that you have a discount or special deal early on in the newsletter in order to grab their attention and let them know what they get out of reading what you sent them.
- Be convincing. Yes, it is important to be knowledgeable about what you have to say. However, it is just as important, if not more, to be able to express it in a way that your target audience wants to be on board with and believe. Keep that in mind as you send out marketing materials and emails to your audiences.
As you strategize for your business’ marketing, be daring in your approach, be bold in the way you show your audience who you are and don’t forget that sometimes off-the-wall strategies (combined with reasonable tactics that are tried and true) can be a great asset to you.
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When working as a small or medium-sized business, it can be hard to be heard amongst the bigger brands. Create a tone for your company that represents who you want to become, not who you are. Change the way you interact with your audience using the marketing strategies above and give the tactics time before you bail and switch to something new.