Starbucks, Nike, Apple—everyone recognizes these names. But can the same be said of your small business? Competing with big businesses seems daunting, especially for local companies. Fortunately, technology, creative strategies, and learning from the “big dogs” can help you make a name for your business that customers won’t forget. Take EPPG’s advice and implement these five big ideas for marketing your small business.
1. Make Your Brand Memorable
Visualize leaving your favorite store with a package in tote—what does it look like? Likely, the graphics, colors, and fonts pop instantly into your mind. Branding helps establish an emotional connection between consumers and a product. People want to identify with certain brands because of the image they create—luxury, sportiness, trendiness, etc. Keep this mind when designing your packaging. Which logo will your customers remember? Which logo will they feel proud to carry around?
2. Get on Social Media
If your business isn’t on social media, it should be. Consumers are accustomed to constant contact from the media and big businesses—so make your small business part of the social media game. First, assess which platforms your business should use. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn are must-haves these days. If your business has great images or videos to promote, consider using Pinterest, Instagram, Youtube, and Flicker. Regularly run contests on your social media pages to attract attention to your business.
3. Run Promotions and Offer Discounts
Have a great new product that isn’t selling well? More than likely, customers simply haven’t discovered it yet. Run a promotion via email, social media, and direct mail to increase awareness. Discounts are another tactic big businesses use to bring in customers. Limited time offers incentivize customers to browse your store, even those who weren’t contemplating a visit before. Customers feel appreciative for the savings, which establishes a positive association with your business.
4. Use PPC or Facebook Ads
Want to reach online shoppers? PPC (pay-per-click) and Facebook Ads are an affordable way to target your audience. Use long-tail keywords specific to your industry to boost your click-through rate and increase conversions. Setting geographic and demographic parameters narrows your scope so you reach better prospects. Simply spending $10–$20 per day can increase traffic and provide a significant ROI for your business.
5. Advertise Locally
Small businesses don’t benefit from advertising on television and in national publications as much big businesses. Placing an ad in a local newspaper or sponsoring a school or charity event is one way to increase exposure. Scout your area and make a list of high-traffic areas, such as reception area, libraries, salons, etc. These are great spots to place a charging station branded with your company’s logo. Prospective customers will appreciate the free service, and your business will benefit from marketing in locations big businesses often overlook.