Are you looking for creative marketing ideas for your small business?
You want to invest in marketing, but you have limited resources and want to use them properly, right?
You want ROI for your marketing.
The bottom line keeps your business afloat, so you have to keep that in mind.
We get that.
Fortunately, a combination out of the box thinking, (some) investment, and a little savvy marketing can go along way.
Here are some quick creative marketing ideas you can use for your small business.
The Best Marketing Idea Nobody Uses
Be honest with yourself.
Is your product or service as good as it can possibly be? It is even close?
Marketing works when the product and service not only works but works well.
If you have excellent customer service, pay attention to your customers’ needs, and work on research and development, half the battle is won and it helps your SEO.
How? Having a better product improves your online presence in the following ways:
- More brand mentions – When word of mouth spreads, more people will search for your brand on Google. More brand mentions = more brand credibility = more authority = higher rankings
- Reviews – When you have a great product or service, you’ll naturally gain more online reviews, which is a ranking factor, especially for local SEO.
- Content marketing – When you have a great product, you’ll have more confidence to use content marketing to promote it. Part of the reason why some small businesses fail at marketing is simply a lack of confidence in the business itself.
Find Unique Ways to Build Your E-Mail List
An e-mail list gives you a direct channel to potential customers.
What do most businesses do?
They stick a teeny tiny little box on the sidebar of their website that says “sign-up for free updates.” What a sexy and creative marketing idea that is. If you want to build your e-mail list, you have to be both creative and aggressive about how you build it.
Use a Pop Up Software
“Ugh, not pop-ups,” you say!
You don’t want to interrupt your audience and scare them away, right?
Pop-ups don’t scare people away. Poor and lazy marketing does.
A smart pop up entices the visitor to sign-up instead of trying to coerce them.
Sumo provides pop-up software that’s easy to use. They also do a great job of using it themselves.
Look at this example:
Note what they do well here:
- Exclusivity – They use phrases like “peek inside” and “vault” to persuade you to get their secret content. Creating exclusive content you don’t share anywhere else speaks to our desire to be part of the “in crowd”
- Benefits list – Notice that all three bullet points talk about aspects of the content that would benefit someone with a Shopify store
- Word choice for the button – Using a phrase like “sign-up” makes people feel like they’re being begged to join yet-another-boring-ass-newsletter. “Get Access Now” speaks to exclusivity
Content upgrades are offers for exclusive pieces of content you add into the body of your content itself.
You give someone access to an exclusive piece of content based on the content they’re already reading.
Some great guides for making content upgrades are:
The use of content upgrades isn’t the most revolutionary creating marketing idea in the world. So why add it to the list?
Most small businesses in niches outside of marketing don’t use them.
In fact, most small businesses don’t use any of the content marketing techniques that the common agency does. If they did, they could see their traffic skyrocket.
That’s why it’s important to either become an expert at content creation or hire the (right) agency to do it for you. It doesn’t take a genius to create marketing ideas that beat out most of the competition in many niches.
Collect E-Mail Sign-Ups in Non-Obvious Ways
When you think of list-building, you think of tips like creating content, running ads, doing giveaways, etc, but there are a lot of “outside the box” ways you can build your list, too.
Here are a few that come to mind:
- Give a speech at an industry conference and pass around a sign-up form when you’re done with your talk
- Add a link to sign-up to your e-mail list in your e-mail signature.
- If you’re in a service business with repeat customers, ask for an e-mail address in exchange for a future discount
The list goes on and on. In fact, there are resources that go into much more depth than this:
You can wade through those if you’d like. Our point? Be more creative when it comes to list-building. There are endless techniques. Test and experiment with them.
Don’t Try to Build Your E-Mail List (Do This Instead)
We just got done telling you to build your e-mail list. And now we’re telling you not to?
List-building works, but there is another to create a direct channel to your customers.
Talk about your product or service in your content. Don’t just talk about it, weave the use of it directly into your content and make the use of your product or service a core feature of it.
Credit goes to Tim Soulo — Head of Marketing at Ahrefs for promoting this creative marketing idea on his Medium blog:
This works better for service as a software product (SaaS) but consider how to incorporate this strategy for your own company.
In our real estate SEO guide, we detail an SEO strategy we created for a client (name omitted).
Over time, we’ll be including more case studies of our agency’s work and integrating our service into the content itself.
You can do the same.
Create Insane Marketing Campaigns
If you have the stomach and creativity for it, you can come up with unique marketing campaigns that range from outside the box to downright outrageous.
Let’s look at some of your favorite examples, starting with “boring” products…
Like razor blades:
This marketing ad from Billy Gene is Marketing is one we’re even a bit jealous of:
The larger point here…
Fortune favors the bold.
Sure, you run a small business, but that doesn’t mean you have to think small.
Most small businesses don’t fail from a lack of knowledge or money. They fail from a lack of courage and creativity.
If you only thinking about what you stand to lose from going all-in on marketing, you don’t deserve marketing success.
Stay on the sidelines if you want. If, however, you’re ready to take a serious leap into marketing, feel free to reach out to us:
Run Facebook Ads (But not for the Same Reason As Most Small Business Owners)
Facebook ads can help you grow your business.
They’re also very easy to mess up.
Don’t think of running Facebook ads the same way as those tired radio ads you’ve heard in the car for the past few decades. A jingle and a 1-800 number aren’t going to work online. You can offer discounts and sell directly to customers with ads, but that’ll only work if people are familiar with your brand.
There’s another way to attract people to your brand with Facebook ads that familiarizes them with your brand: run ads for free content.
What? Run PPC ads for free content? That is small business marketing blaspheme. Maybe, but it’s also a way to get your brand to stand out.
We noticed many SEO tool companies, like Ahrefs doing this:
We couldn’t find a sponsored post in our timeline, but often some companies will run “sponsored posts,” meaning they’re creating ads for the blog content they create.
This could be a waste of money…
But it could also be a genius idea to get your name out there more.
There’s an industry saying that a potential customer has to see your brand 7 times before they buy.
Whether or not that’s true remains to be seen. The underlying sentiment makes sense.
Build brand familiarity in any way possible.
Winning the small business game has more to do with resourcefullnes than it does the resources themselves.
Use some of these marketing ideas to step up your game in 2019.
What are some creative marketing ideas you want to try with your small business?
Let us know in the comments!