Every small business owner knows that a good marketing strategy is one of the keys to success. But how do you come up with new ideas that make your brand stand out from the crowd? In the age of social media, chatbots, and personalization, are there any fresh ideas that you can bring to the table that breathe new life into your business’s marketing plans?
There are plenty of good reasons to adopt unique and cost-effective strategies for your marketing plan. According to data from DevriX, only 50% of small businesses survive their first five years of operation. A further 47% of small businesses handle all of their marketing on their own.
Considering that solid marketing is crucial to your brand’s success, using the latest proven marketing strategies to get your brand noticed is essential. Especially if you want to ensure that you are among the 50% of businesses that make it past their fifth year.
In this article, we’re going to unpack seven ideas that will revitalize and reinvigorate the way you approach marketing.
Table of Contents
1. Develop A Referral Program
Referral programs are one of the most effective, yet often overlooked, small business marketing strategies. Many entrepreneurs believe that referral programs are only suitable for larger businesses with thousands of customers. However, small businesses can also take advantage of referral programs to improve customer loyalty and brand recognition substantially.
Referral programs are one of the best ways to generate new leads that convert into paying customers. Put yourself into your customers’ shoes and consider the appeal of such a program. You wouldn’t necessarily buy from a brand that you’ve never heard of before, after simply seeing their ads or social media content.
However, if you receive a recommendation from someone you trust and stand to benefit from signing up, you may be far more likely to give their products and services a try. This is exactly why your small business needs to have a referral program in place.
By offering rewards, you can encourage your existing customers to spread the word to their friends, colleagues, and acquaintances. All while rewarding them for their support at the same time.
You can offer rewards to customers who take certain actions, like making purchases exceeding a certain value, or following all of your social media channels. This serves to improve their engagement with your brand and foster lasting customer loyalty.
Statistics from Review42 show that as many as 92% of consumers trust referrals from people they know. A further 83% of US shoppers’ friend’s social media posts influence their purchase decisions. Consumers referred by a friend are also up to four times more likely to purchase from a business or brand, according to Review42’s research.
2. Create A Webinar
Creating branded webinars allows you to reach potential leads and customers in an engaging way. It gives people the chance to sign up for a short online course hosted by you and your brand. Online courses generally last around 30 minutes to an hour. They provide the perfect platform for you to offer your attendees tips and answers related to a topic within your industry or pertinent to your brand.
Offering branded webinars for your target audience allows you to build expertise and credibility within your industry. Plus, it can provide you with more sales opportunities as you share information about your brand and pique the interest of your leads.
According to MarketWatch, the global webinar market is growing rapidly. It’s estimated to reach 800 million by 2023, up from 253 million in 2015. Data posted by Hubspot notes that webinars are highly cost-effective. They effectively contribute to reducing the cost-per-lead which is a huge saving. Additionally, according to 53% of marketers studied, webinars are responsible for generating the greatest number of high-quality leads at a reasonable cost.
3. Harness The Power Of Gamification
According to Gamify.com, gamification can have significant benefits for any small business marketing strategy. Especially in an age where marketing strategies are constantly evolving and becoming more technologically advanced.
The authority notes that gamification has become an essential aspect of the marketing sphere since its introduction in 2010. Now, it provides a slew of robust qualities that can enhance your customer journeys and overall marketing strategy.
First and foremost, gamified media is fun and enjoyable for leads and customers to interact with. Today’s consumers love to be entertained. They’re driven by a desire for novelty, adventure, and success.
Gamification fosters improved engagement while allowing for back-end systems to capture valuable data. This data includes how users are engaging with gamified media, who’s offering up their information, sharing your brand’s media on social channels, and using redeemed rewards.
Gamification is also an affordable marketing option that provides excellent engagement without breaking your marketing budget. Modern software platforms allow you to create cost-effective gamified media while keeping track of vital lead information and consumer traffic. This strategy is even multi-platform in nature. It enables leads to access novel marketing campaigns online, social media platforms, and apps.
Gamified marketing campaigns even enable GDPR-aligned data collection to help your brand acquire more leads and update its database information. All post-game information entry from users is done within the framework of the new GDPR structure. This ensures that your brand collects data ethically and is compliant with the latest privacy laws, while still benefiting from important consumer information.
Games appeal to people of all generations, cultures, and walks of life, which provides a viable way to reach a wider audience with your media. Data suggests that mobile gaming accounted for 42% of global gaming revenue in 2017 alone. And, over 80% of smartphone users play games on their phones today, according to Gamify.com. This suggests that the market is vast and diverse, making it ideal for marketing strategy implementation.
Gamification has significant replay value while increasing purchaser intent over standard video ads by up to 169%. Games are already known to provide excitement for consumers and encourage them to return, especially if they’re offered rewards such as discount codes, prizes, or tokens for continuous play.
4. Capitalize On Co-Marketing
If there are local businesses in your area that provide products or services to a similar target audience, it isn’t always necessary to consider them as competitors. In fact, these would-be rivals can provide you with valuable co-marketing opportunities that benefit both your brand and theirs at the same time.
Consider creating co-branded campaigns with these businesses in which you promote each other’s brands via email marketing, blog posts, and social media content. You’ll offer your partnering brand valuable promotion. But at the same time, you’ll also ensure that their customer base can learn more about your brand and potentially become part of your own consumer pool.
Statistics from Partnerize note that as many as 54% of companies say that co-marketing partnerships drive over 20% of brand revenues. Plus, a further 74% of companies say that partnerships are a high priority for their businesses.
5. Go Local With SEO And Micro-Influencers
Data from SEMupdates suggests that while iconic influencers like Lionel Messi and Kendall Jenner are many brands’ go-tos for influencer partnerships, micro-influencers may be more effective, especially for SEO purposes.
The reason behind this is relatively simple.
In order to influence consumers, someone must have the authority and expertise to mold opinions, influence people’s purchase decisions with this expertise, have a close connection with their own audience, and have a strong social media presence. Micro-influencers can have anywhere between 1,000 and 50,000 followers on social media. Their micro nature makes them significantly more affordable for small businesses to partner with.
As mentioned above, micro-influencers can be a boon for SEO, which is becoming more local than ever. As algorithms advance, search engines like Google are prioritizing content geared towards specific niches based on the type of platform, type of audience, location and more. This is particularly true for businesses that have physical locations and want to drive traffic to both their physical premises and their websites.
Micro-influencers work best for something as local as SEO. They focus on networking with smaller groups of people in the same area as your business. As they are locals themselves, they will have a keen understanding of what consumers in their localities want and will be willing to pay for.
6. Enter Business Awards For Your Industry
Entering business awards relevant to your industry is another effective and inexpensive option to help you stand out from your rivals and attract more customers. According to Entrepreneur.com, this is a great way to foster brand recognition, drive traffic to your website, and enhance your business’s credibility and prestige. Clearvoice.com notes that winning marketing awards can help you enhance your ROI and help your small business to reach its full potential.
It can take time to apply for industry awards. But there are many benefits associated if you receiving any accolades. These include an enhanced ability to attract new customers and influence your leads’ purchase decisions. You can also seek assistance with landing VC funding, retaining existing talent and boosting employee morale, and attracting new skilled employees to your small business. Additionally, you’ll be associated with elite brands and thought leaders.
It is simple enough to find awards to apply for. You can search the web for awards related to your industry. But be sure to use targeted keywords to find appropriate awards to apply for. Focus on your brand’s strengths, stick to local awards within your specific region if you have a physical base, and learn from your competitors.
If your rivals are large enough, check out the industry awards that they have won and base your applications on these awards to give yourself a leading edge. Remember to ensure that you qualify for awards, as this will help to ensure that your chances of winning are as high as possible.
Market your awards via email marketing campaigns, industry press releases, and social media. Use award logos on your website and at your physical premises to let your consumers know that you have won industry accolades for your products, services, and marketing campaigns.
7. Give Guerrilla Marketing A Try
Guerrilla marketing is a set of strategies that use affordable and unconventional campaigns to reach a wide audience and produce excellent results for businesses of all sizes. This tactic focuses on surprising your audience and making waves with unexpected, non-mainstream marketing methods. While major brands like Coca-Cola use guerrilla marketing to their advantage, small businesses can use it to improve brand recognition and attract more customers.
Different marketing strategies under the guerrilla umbrella include ambush marketing, grassroots guerrilla marketing, and stealth marketing. Ambush marketing involves joining events to promote products and services without event organizers’ permission, and taking advantage of other campaigns to attract leads.
Grassroots marketing targets small audiences who then spread these messages to larger audiences, making it an affordable way to get your brand noticed. Stealth marketing relies on subtle methods like product placements to pique audience interest on an ongoing basis.
According to Benchmark One, you can use online media like infographics, flash mob videos, and free giveaways to make the most of guerrilla marketing tactics and help your brand go viral.
Not all small businesses enjoy lasting success. But those who adopt innovative marketing strategies have the best chances of survival and ongoing growth.
If you have a small business and are eager to reach your marketing and customer acquisition goals, try the unique ideas mentioned above to give your marketing strategy a much-needed boost. These marketing techniques have proven to give brands the support and recognition they need to cement themselves as industry leaders and expand their reach considerably.