BIG Ideas for Small Business Marketing Part 3

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Stand out in a CrowdAre you finding it hard to make your business stand out in the crowd? Maybe it’s time to breathe new life into your small business marketing strategy with wild ideas from ZOO Media Group. As we’ve shown over the past two weeks, it is possible to get a mighty roar in the market with a small business marketing budget. In this third installment in our small budget marketing ideas series, you’ll learn how to add the final touches to your marketing program. With a mixture of online and offline marketing strategies, get ready to heat up the conversation surrounding your business.

Encourage sharing

Sharing is caring. Social media and networking sites have added a whole new meaning to this old adage. Encourage your readers and audience to share your blog posts, pages, contests, and anything else you have online. This is the best way to expose your brand to an even larger audience.

Have fun with film

Okay, so maybe you won’t be using 8mm film (the heading did rhyme though), but creating online videos can go a long way to adding personality and energy to your brand. Show your customers your expertise in the field, while adding interest to your products or services.

Create contests

Everyone loves a good contest. Contests can bring in a wave of new traffic to your site, as well as to your social networking properties. Contests can even help build your contact database for e-newsletters. It’s a great way to get your small business marketing ball rolling. Examples of contest themes include draws, instant win, trivia, art, writing, photo, and video contests.

Spread the brand love around

Little things can travel immense distances in a person’s pocket. Invest in take-away branded promotional items, like pens and magnets. And think outside the box, too. Is your company a gardening business? Why not give out a small packet of seeds with your logo and name branded on them? Or maybe a little hammer key chain for a construction company? Keeping your brand on people’s minds will go a long way to cultivating new business.

Become a sponsor

When you sponsor an event, your brand gets posted all over the facilities, mentioned in speeches, and placed on event materials. If you want to have big time airtime while having a little fun, put your money towards event sponsorship.

Or why not consider sponsoring a local youth sports team? By doing this, you’ll get your brand on their jerseys, and can feel good about supporting children in your community.

Start an affiliate program

Similar to marketing partnerships with other businesses, affiliate programs allow you to set up online allies. Through an affiliate program, another website owner agrees to feature your products and services on their site for a small fee, or you can promote another company’s products while you receive a fee for each sale or referral. These arrangements can boost online traffic, and help your site climb in search engine rankings

Ask customers for testimonials

Unfortunately, not every prospective customer will take your word for how great your business is. They might, however, listen to other customers. Create a section on your website for customer testimonials. Include actual statements from customers, such as emails. Direct your customers to your G+, Yelp, Trip Advisor, or LinkedIn review pages and ask them to add testimonials.

Host a webinar

Webinars are a great way to show off your expertise in the field, and to engage potential customers concerning your services or products. It’s small business marketing that’s easy to do, tons of fun, and it’s a great way to build relationships while educating a large audience.

Become an expert

Answer questions in Yahoo Answers, Wiki Answers, Ask Answers, LinkedIn answer, and Mahalo Answers to build credibility in the online community. As your audience begins to notice your expertise and professionalism, they’ll be more likely to use your business.

“Thank you” coupons

When you send out customer thank you cards – whether it’s for appreciating their loyalty or just for filling out a survey – offer coupons. Giving 10% off a first purchase won’t dramatically affect your budget, but it will help create a loyal and appreciative customer base.

Create an elevator pitch

Find your individual selling proposition and run with it. Start using it in your marketing materials and sales pitches to show potential customers why your product stands out. Think of it as creating the most unique song among a tree of birds. How can you stand out from the flock?

Reach out to your audience

Your audience won’t always come to you unsolicited; you need to reach out to them. Consider cold calling potential clients or consumers in your area. Or, go back to basics with door-to-door sales. These guerrilla marketing strategies demonstrate to people that you’re confident and excited to show off what your products and services can do!

Dress up your transportation

Magnets don’t have to be limited to your fridge door! Give your small business marketing mobility and let your brand travel with you. Your car is a free (and moving!) billboard for your company’s brand. If you can’t afford a full vehicle wrap, car decals and door magnets can be an effective way to alert more people to your business.

Road and lawn signs

Signs help you grab pedestrian and driver attention. Whether on the roadside or on lawns, eye-catching and branded signs show potential customers that your business is popular. When you’ve completed a job, ask the customer if you can put up a sign on their front yard. It’s a way for satisfied customers to promote your business to new potential clients in the area.

Go beyond SEO with SEM

Search engines are not only about building relevant content for organic SEO purposes. Use search engine marketing (SEM). Search engines like Google will display your paid online ads to the web users that are interested in your products or services, and hopefully direct new traffic to your website. Pay per click ads are a great way to get exposure, and you only pay when your ad is clicked. And you can set your max spend in advance, so you don’t blow your budget!

With the conclusion of this article series, you can now market your business confidently and successfully while keeping a tight grip on your budget. But there’s still more to learn! To truly show your colours in the wild world of business, contact the marketing and graphic design experts at ZOO Media Group to help you transform your small budget marketing ideas into increased brand awareness and big time growth for your business.