Need ideas for small business marketing? Most of us rely pretty heavily on digital media these days. And if you run your own small business, then chances are you’re livelihood depends on social media posting and online ordering. Perhaps you’re already pretty adept at SEO your website content and placing ads with Google. But are you missing out on some of the more traditional offline marketing ideas that might be just as accessible for you?
Business cards – Having a business card is so important when you attend expos or networking events. People need that quick and easy way to figure out who you are and what you do. Have some printed up in color and keep some in your purse or pocket.
Leaflets – Paper leaflets can be used for so many different things. You might treat them like a flyer and hand them out when you’re at expos or marketing in the town square. Perhaps you’ll post a couple of thousand through letterboxes around your home town to promote a good deal? Professionally produced glossy A5 works best. This is a great idea for small business marketing.
Newspaper or magazine insert – Those same leaflets might be distributed as a newspaper or magazine insert. However, when delivered as part of a package of materials, they can easily be overlooked and transferred directly to the recycling. Make yours stand out with great design – they’ve got a much better reach than you do on foot in the neighborhood.
Direct mail – If you have a good number of contact addresses, it might be worth sending out a letter. These contacts are most likely to be your best customers, so why not check in with them? Send them a card, or a special offer promotion exclusive to existing customers? This should be a big part of your CRM strategy.
Newsletters – If you sent more ideas for small business marketing, try this one. These are often less welcome through the door than direct mail. But they offer you a chance to relay news, promos, and changes quickly and easily to existing customers. Consider electronic newsletters too.
Postcard promos – These can be direct or they can be passed out by hand. You might leave a pile of them in your local store, or pin one to wall. They’re enormously handy, and look more attractive than a leaflet. Treat it as a giant business card or promote a great deal. Ensure there is an expiry date on it though or you might be committed to those prices for years!
Event – Holding an event to promote your services can attract a lot of new customers. You’ll need an outdoor display idea to attract attention, a table, and a couple of engaging activities for passers-by. Of course, you might want to post the details of the event on your FaceBook page too, and the after-photos are a must!
Expo Stall – As above, you’ll need plenty to keep people at your stall that is both entertaining, engaging and informative. Make sure your main promo details are clearly visible.
Pens, notepads, and other merchandise – Merchandise is so much fun. Visitors to your stall or stand will feel like they’ve collected quite the haul! Brand it all up, and slip in your latest promo and business card.
Phone calls – If you have a customer’s phone number, then make use of it. After sales care is really important if you want them to come back again. It also gives you a chance to get valuable feedback and a second chance to cross-sell (if appropriate). Ideas for small business marketing don’t need to be crazy, you can go old school.
Focus groups – Part of your marketing strategy must include research. Focus groups are a perfect way to find out what customers think of your product and your service. And many people will offer you their opinions for free!
Meet-and-greets – Have you ever held a meet-and-greet with your customers? If you’re an author or have a huge following on social media, these are quite important. You can lay out some nibbles and drinks, promote your latest project, and answer any questions. Give your credibility a boost!
Interview for 3rd party publication – Another way to become better known is to offer interviews for journalists and writers looking for help with upcoming stories. Always be available, topical, and not too promo-heavy.
Catalog – If you sell lots of different products, it might be worth printing up a catalog. This can be the perfect publication to sit on a home or business coffee table, especially if you’re rather good at photography and design. However, these don’t come cheap, and they can fall out of date really easily.
Car decals – Have you ever thought of printing your business logo, name, and website address on a vehicle? This is an absolute must if you deliver your products. But there is nothing stopping you adding these details to your own car. It also helps you to classify your car as a business car. You’ll probably need to change your insurance details, but it might be tax deductible.
Paperback book, e-books or activity publication – Even if your line of work doesn’t involve writing, it is sometimes a good idea to produce a little book or booklet. It will feature your brand and maybe even detail some of your products. Perhaps it is an activity book with puzzles and coloring for the kids? Anything that is held for a long time helps to reinforce your brand identity and recognition. Plus, it’s a nice touch for the holidays or an after-sales thank you.
Gifts – Of course, gifts are a great way to promote your products or services. They can also be distributed to other businesses that you work with as a corporate gift. Why not slip something into a customer’s order as a nice surprise? Or perhaps send a bouquet of flowers as a thank you to the customer that just received a big order? It helps to reinforce their delight and happiness with your product and service. Plus, they’ll probably talk about it on their social media accounts!