Marketing ideas are essentials every business owners seek. This isn’t unexpected because no business, whatever the size big or small survives without continuously selling its products and service to large market.
Selling thus becomes the ultimate entrepreneurial goal.You present the offers to the prospects and convert them to cash. It could therefore be apparent that for your business to survive amidst huge competition, you
- Must be able to come up with creative business ideas that can pull the required market.
- Generate marketing ideas. Design and implement advertising strategies in compliance with the industry standard.
- Position your brand, product and service to the target market in a manner that the services create irresistible selling proposition.
The emphasis is on “small business” in order to be more targeting. It is easier to be a king in a small market than large more competitive markets. The major hindrance and challenges for small business owners “to be” is to acquire new creative marketing ideas for small businesses.
You can find this article entitled: “Small business marketing ideas” a life en-changer for your business marketing. You are in the right place. There is no difference whether
- You run a home based business.
- You’re seeking for online (internet) business opportunity to embark upon.
- You’re running your business offline and you want to tap the opportunities of online markets.
- You’re looking for small business marketing ideas for beginners online.
- You want new business marketing ideas or want to optimise the existing business for better revenue generation.
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Creative small business marketing ideas for beginners
- Develop and maintain a functional business marketing plan.
- Use customers Testimonial and feedback.
- Run a marketing press release.
- Create a business blog as an additional marketing mechanism.
- Optimize your marketing contents.
- Make a stunning business card.
- Online business promotion
- Optimize your website.
- Map out suitable conversion strategies.
- Distribute marketing e-book.
- Improve customers interaction.
- Referral affiliate marketing
- Claim your brand online.
- Email marketing
- Make free/demo offer.
- Use printed advertising materials.
- Strategize with keyword marketing.
- Connect and market with influencers.
- Social media marketing
- Put in place good customer service.
- Use suitable advertising platform
- Leverage offline social gathering
#1 Small business ideas: Marketing plan:
It isn’t a doubt that any business marketing that succeeds begins with creative marketing plan. There is a great need to make proper marketing plan for your business from the very beginning.
- Who are your potentials, the market you target? These are customers, clients, users and consumers for your offer.
- The strategies you would employ to reach the target market. You can list numbers of “how To” reach and contact them.
- How to position your business to those potentials and win them to your side?
- How to sustain and maintain the existing customers. Design the strategies to make them sticky to your brand.
- Decide which resources you might need to execute the plan. These range from human efforts/ideas as well as monetary resources for advertising and materials procurement.
The above ‘Key ideas” are blueprints to prepare your business marketing plan. And this plan has to be revised and improved as your business grows and as the industry & market situation change.
#2 Small business ideas: Testimonial and feedback
Testimonials in form of feedback from your existing customers is a great marketing tool to acquire more leads for your small business. Ask your customers to give their positive feedback in form of testimonial on how they find your products and services.
Provision of their experiences on your product features and benefits goes a long way in improving people general perception about your brand and business as a whole. Use suitable feedback on your business website. You can use simple quote, short text and video.
#3 Small business ideas: Run a marketing press release
As soon as you get your business set up, the next thing to do is to run a press release both online and off net. Submit press release to PR sites. The press release should introduce your business, the products and services and how the business could benefit the public. And of course don’t hesitate to ask your potential audience the action you expect them to take.
You can also run a press conference offline with the participation of news houses and media. Publish the event on your business website/blog and link to the resources from your social profiles to create awareness to your potentials across the internet.
A well presented marketing press release might get picked by various publications and increases your business reach. The message need to include your brand identity and elements of marketing. PRWeb (online press release portal) provides an article on how to run a successful news release that pique prospects attention for your business lunch, new products.
#4 Small business ideas: Create a business marketing blog
One of the effective marketing strategies you shouldn’t ignore for your small business is blogging. You might already have a business website. This is the time to create a news arena for your business activities, new products lunching, users support medium.
Blogging itself though can be a source of generating income, it is a powerful online tools for your existing business whether online or offline. Your blog articles is an avenue to promote your brand, products and the business as whole. This helps the potentials and existing customers easily get latest information about your business and other marketing information.
#5 Small business ideas: Optimize the marketing contents
Marketing content that perform differs greatly from other forms of contents. The contents aimed at your audience must have marketing features. This includes your advertising copies, jingles, articles, promotional email, promotional materials. All these must be optimised.
- Your marketing contents must present your business and brand in the best manner suited for the business goals and objectives.
- They must be curled to set the prospects into buying proposition. That is, your contents should have Unique Selling Proposition (USP) potential. Make the scarce elements of your offer apparent.
- Your marketing contents must address the target audience. The market that could benefit from, buy your products and pay for your offers. If your market is carefully targeted and pinpointed in your sales copies, you wont waste effort and time on illusive/fruitless pursuit.
- The contents should spell out the special offer you have for the prospects. This is both true in terms of “Value and Price”. Both concepts must be positioned in line with your business branding strategy. Offer high value that is hardly found elsewhere through value added service. When it comes to pricing your items, low pricing doesn’t always favour your business in the long run. There is a need to engage on testing and marketing analysis to come up with the optimum price.
#6 Small business ideas: Make a stunning business card
Make a simple, elegant and informative printed card for your business. Get it professionally designed. You business card creates the first impression for your business and long-lasting prospect perception of your service.
It has to be professionally designed in other to keep the text of time and worth being kept. This keeps prospects in constant remembrance of your brand.
Tom Egelhoff in his article “how to advertise your business when a business card is all you have” perceived business card as the most advertising valuable tool you could have for your small business. I can’t deny this fact because if a client or potential customer holds your card, s/he holds your business.
The use of business card becomes pressing and more important if you’re running a new business or home based business. Otherwise, your business wont be considered a real enterprise. In that case you shouldn’t be surprised if you are consulted for free service.
#7 Small business ideas: Online business promotion
Promote your online business empire. Get yourself involved on your website promotion, content/blog promotions. Lots of strategies are available to make effective promotion for your online business empire.
- Promote your website on social media.
- Do some reasonable search engine optimization (SEO).
- Blog commenting on related business blog
- Networking on blogging community
- Forum marketing
- Email marketing
#8 Small business ideas: Optimize your website
Your business website should be well optimized to improve your business visibility and users engagement. Your site should appeal search engine SEO and be human friendly.
Search Engine Optimization: SEO is a strategy to improve the visibility of a webpage (and hence the business the webpage presents) on search engine for better position in the search results i.e Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). The process helps site owners to get free organic traffic to their website.
SEO techniques need to be mastered to understand how things go on the internet search world. Though you don’t have to be an SEO expert before your online business/marketing could benefit from organic traffic, basic knowledge is essential. You might consider checking Wikihow resource on effective website optimization. If you’re running a WordPress site or blog, I wrote a guide on essential WordPress SEO tips to get a better rank on search engine.
User-Friendly Design: Your business website should be user-friendly. The functionality of your website as a business identity as well as its profitability depends largely on:
- Users engagement
- Ease of use, accessibility and effective navigation
- Loading speed
- Simple and correct usage of words.
#9 Small business ideas: Map out suitable conversion strategies
Conversion Rate Optimization, CRO. Your website design with content presentation should be coined in a way to increase conversion rate from your website traffic. Conversion rate optimization as far as internet marketing is concerned is a way of improving a website performance to ensure that the website delivers the reasons for which it was established.
By conversion strategies, I mean all techniques and tactics you plan to use to turn your prospective customers/clients to buying/paying customers. What are the tactics you designed to optimise your website traffic and get more leads?
#10 Small business ideas: Distribute marketing ebook
Make use of marketing materials such as e-brochure or printed, catalogues. These materials, depending on your budget may be printed or provided in downloadable PDF format to save expenses. Avail the opportunity of these materials to sell yourself and your brand. Provide the prospects convincing reasons they should do business with you. Set up a simple system that makes them taking actions.
#11 Small business ideas: Improved Customers’s interaction
Customer retention is essential to the survival of every business. Without improved interaction, customers are hardly satisfied. Develop a sense of humour with your customers. Communicate with your audience. All personalities involved in your business should be well-trained to deal with your customers and clients in the best manner. Engage and chat with them on social media.
Develop listening culture: Listen to your customers queries, complaint and problems regarding the use of your products and service. People feel great when they are listened to and believe someone is there with them.
Take a survey: Ask series of questions from your customers in form of open survey. Ask them the improvement to be made on your products and services. Let them freely speak out the features that inspired them and those to be added in future updates.
#12 Small business ideas: Referral Affiliate marketing
Setting up appropriate referral affiliate marketing strategies could greatly enhance the growth rate of your emerging small business. The success of this technique (referral affiliate marketing) though largely depends on how effective your approach is. You need to determine:
- When your business actually needs referral programme to increase its products and services net sales?
- Is the referral programme open to all customers, general affiliate or selected customers and potential referrers?
- What criteria will you use to make such selection above?
- What reward or compensations are you giving to the referring customers?
#13 Small business ideas: Claim your brand online
How do you want to be known and recognised in the internet business world. Google is a brand. Amazon is one. Apples, Microsoft, Wall-mart and many more are brands to be reckoned with when it comes to business online or offline. The fact you’re running a small business doesn’t mean you have to play with your brand.
And the branding techniques for a business involve the business name, domain name. Choose the best brandable domain name for your business. The name that could aid your online marketing campaign. The one that can quickly get you noticed amidst steep competition. I’ve written an article that guides on how to choose the best domain name for your business blog or website.
#14 Small business ideas: Email marketing
Embed marketing element in your email. Email is an effective marketing tools/tactics to create more awareness for your small business. Create a catchy email signature in your newsletters. Such email signature should include links to your social media, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google plus.
Create personal profile and business page where applicable. You also need to provide the link to your business website and blog. Email signature also provides avenue to increase business and brand awareness. Insert your business name and contact address (phone and physical address). All these should be embedded in few lines and words.
If I haven’t mentioned this, you can exploit your email signature to create viral marketing. Don’t feel shy to include some of your products (probably popular products) in your signature.
#15 Small business ideas: Free/Demo Offer
Create a free demo offer. Let prospects get a free taste of your products and offers. If you’re selling eBook (publishing house) for instance, create excerpts for the resources. For online tools providers, you can have a free version or trial usage of premium tools for a specified period.
#16 Small business ideas: Printed advertising materials
Just as it’s important to advertise online, offline advertisement shouldn’t be undermined in your business marketing. Get professionally designed printed business materials. These include the business logo, business card (mentioned above) for your brand. This keeps people in contact remembrance of the brand and offer.
- Business Logo: Create a stunning logo that appeal consumers and prospects. It has great impact on the performance of your business marketing. This is partly due to the fact that logo remains the first thing sighted by someone who check your printed advertising materials.
- Color Identity: Make consistent colour combination to define visual identity for your business. Define what you want your colour to say about your business. You might be surprised how effective your chosen colour is on your target markets, business type and gender preference. Helpscout has a good resource on psychology of colour in marketing and branding.
#17 Small business ideas: Strategize with keywords marketing
Most of the internet users are no strangers of search engine. It seems to be seconded to social media in its usage by newcomers to the internet world. The primary motive of people is to search for information. In the course of the search, they type in some words to get the information. These words they input into the engine to search their queries are called keywords. The act of using keyword relating to your business or business webpage to claim high position in SERPs and pool large search organic traffic is known as keyword marketing.
Proper keyword usage as a marketing tactic is a part of SEO and search engine marketing. It involves:
Keywords planning: Brainstorm and identify which keywords are likely used by prospects to search for the products or service your business deals in. You then make a lists of the keywords in black and white. This is more or less of guess-work.
Keywords tools: Online keywords tools are tools that are used to get accurate estimates of how often people are using such keywords terms on search engine. From the keyword tools, you get competition analysis and profitability based on what it costs to bid for the keywords on PPC. Some tools are free while some are paid with free version or trial versions. Aside from common Google keyword planner and Bing keyword, here are some useful keyword tools for your search engine marketing.
- WordStream at wordstream.com
- KeywordSpy at keywordspy.com
- KeywordEye at keywordeye.co.uk
- SEMRush at semrush.com
- UberSuggest at ubersuggest.org
- WrdTracker at wordtracker.com
Keyword usage: This is where SEO plays vital role in keyword marketing. Keyword marketing as important as it is to your online business advertisement can affect your performance on search engine if they aren’t well used. Check the link above for more study on SEO marketing.
#18 Small business ideas: Connect with marketing influencers
Connecting with an influencer in your niche market could greatly boost conversion of your business marketing campaign. Reach out to authorities, those who have established their expertise in your industry. These industry leaders could save you time and effort and spice your business marketing effort. Here are ways to connect and build relationship with influencers to aid your business.
Social media influencers networking: Social media are the easy spot to connect with market influencers. You could employ social media like Google plus, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook. The choice and performance of these social media largely depends on the nature of the business and marketing campaign you’re running. Comment on the influencers’ contents, mentioning them in your post and sharing their posts are ways to establish strong connection with them on social media.
Your blog: You blog is an avenue to market yourself and business to industry leaders.There are ways to attract market influencers through your own blog. Publish quality contents on a regular basis. Make sure you write base on the industry interest. Mention them in your posts and link to relevant contents they’ve produced.
Influential blogs: These are influencers blogs that are connected to your business niche. You can become an active member and user of their blogs. Comment on their contents. When you do this, you need to show your expertise. Make your identity known. Use your picture in the gravatar and make a link to the quality relevant contents on your website. You can extend this by advertising on their blogs. Write as a guest there.
Newsletter: Reach them and propose advertisement contract with them. Leverage their huge subscriber lists. Advertise on their newsletters
#19 Small business ideas: Social media marketing
Social media marketing refers to the process of gaining website traffic or attention through social media sites. You start by creating attractive profile. Connect with fans and followers and post engaging contents.
Facebook marketing: Facebook is a general purpose social media. It provides unique opportunity for business owners and marketers to sell their business to a large audience. Being the largest social media platform, Facebook offers series of service for its users to reach large pool of prospective customers for their business of various sizes.
Whether you run a small, medium or large enterprise, you can find unique opportunity in using Facebook as a marketing medium. The commonest strategy used by marketers on Facebook is business fan page. Many opportunities abounds in Facebook marketing. If you’re concerned about using Facebook to grow your business, you can check its business marketing overview here.
LinkedIn business marketing: LinkedIn is the largest connecting medium for meeting market influential, business professionals, marketers and associates. If you run a professional service, LinkedIn is the best social marketing platform to reach your target audience. Start by creating appealing, professional profile that attracts like-minded professionals and service seekers.
Twitter Marketing: Twitter is well-known with short post and hashtag. When it comes to using twitter for business marketing, the first challenge marketers face is to optimise the allowable character space (140) to encompass your marketing message (tweet). If you have business blog for your product or service, Twitter is a must-to-have business tool. Social media examiner presents an article on how to use twitter for business and marketing. The best ways to present your brand, communicate with followers and building relationship with prospects are inclusive.
Google plus: Google plus helps marketers to increase their service reach and business growth. One unique role Google plus plays in online marketing is the search engine influence. This is enough reason to include Google plus in your web marketing campaign. It doubles as social marketing medium as well as search engine marketing strategy.
The success of marketing on the social medium depends on how optimized your profile is and the quality of contents produced. Make sure you include your product/service keywords and brand names in your bio with relevant links to your business blog. Connect therein with influencers and post regularly.
You can as well leverage other social media site to market your business. Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube among others worth being given a trial.
#20 Small business ideas: Customer Service
Provide excellent customer service. Put in place an exceptional after sales support and service. The best form of advertisement is the one provided by your clients (existing customers) through words of mouth. If you make them happy, you are on the way to reap in viral campaign in the long term without additional effort, time or cost.
How do you feel? You hear a friend telling you “I have dealt with this brand several time and am much happy with their service, support and products.” What perception do you likely develop about the brand, the products and the business as a whole? Try building your business in a way it gets good recommendation from even one time customers.
#21 Small business ideas: Choose suitable advertising platform
Advertising is a marketing communication to convince and persuade audience to buy your offers. Choose suitable platform to advertise your business online. Below are the advertising platforms you might consider for your business.
Search engine advertising (SEA): This is a technique where advertisement is placed on the search engine result pages base on the search queries. Closely related to this is an advertisement placed on a search engine partners sites. This runs in form of contextual advertisement on publishers’ contents. SEA providers include Google (Google Adwords), Bing, Yahoo and others.
Mobile advertising: Extend your business to larger audience by making advertisement and marketing campaign infront of mobile device users. Research shows that Google and Facebook claim two-third of access to the internet through mobile devices. This is a great opportunity to small business owners and marketers to pull prospects through mobile advertising in these two giant mobile ad network.
App advertising: App advertisement commonly referred to “appvertising” is somehow related to mobile advertisement as developers monetize their apps on mobile devices. AdMob provided by Google claims leading point among global mobile advertising networks. As AdMob helps app developers monetize and promote their mobile and tablet apps, it offers marketers/advertisers an opportunity to bid for ad position on mobile devices.
Social media advertising: This involves the use of various social media site to advertise your business. You can run post/content promotion to reach more prospects as well as PPC (Pay per click) advertising.
#22 Small business ideas: Offline Social gathering
Attend events, social gathering as often as you can. You business basically might be online, offline event can be leveraged to boost your online marketing. Don’t forget people you meet online are parts of the internet users. Social gathering is an opportunity to meet with people who are interested in your service. Lot of leads, as experience proved it, are generated in social club house, seminal etc.
Have you small business ideas and/or marketing techniques that could help small, medium and large business survive both online and offline. Feel free to share your experiences and thoughts.