Clever Marketing Ideas for Small Business

Clever Marketing Ideas for Small Business

Discussing clever marketing ideas for small businesses that don’t cost a lot.

There’s a saying in the marketing world: “Not all marketing is paid.” This is true, but it’s also incorrect. In fact, some of the most successful and well-known businesses in the world are run by people who don’t even pay for their advertising.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t get good results by paying for your ads (there are a lot of great ones out there). It does mean that if you want to create an ad that will take off, you need to think first about the needs of the target market and what they want — not just what they’ll pay for it.

So, thinking about your audience and making sure that you have their attention before you start creating ads can be very helpful when you’re trying to figure out how to get their attention in a meaningful way without spending an arm and a leg on your ad budget.

The power of word-of-mouth

How customers can be your best marketing tool.

There are some marketing best practises that all businesses should follow, but it is important to consider the different niches into which they fall.

A small business, like a sole proprietor, or a family-owned business, has limited resources and often cannot afford to spend a lot of money on advertising. In such cases, word-of-mouth can be a powerful marketing tool.

While it may be hard to measure the amount of money that you are able to spend on advertising, it is likely that you can use your customers’ word-of-mouth (WOM) on your products and services in order to reach a larger audience.

Your customers will share their opinions about you with their friends and family members if you are nice enough to them (and offer something for free to get them started). Your competitors may not be as generous with their customers’ feedback.

Words-of-mouth marketing is one of the most powerful ways to promote your products or services. It lets friends, family members and colleagues know about your products/services without having any direct contact with you or being required to do anything more than just recommend them. However, they do need some incentives. For example:

  • You could offer tips on how they can successfully use your product/service
  • You could send them some promotional material (such as flyers) that they can hand out at meetings in their office
  • You could give away prizes for an online poll that includes questions about what their friends think of your product/service

If you are using signs or banners for these types of promotions then make sure that the number of words included in the message is appropriate for what you want people to think about your product/service and how well it works in practice.

The more words people see on the sign in order to make up their minds whether they want to invest time purchasing your products/services or not, the better chance they have at actually doing so!

Having too many words limits people’s ability to remember what they read and also influences their decision making – so only put enough words into a message so that it provides value by addressing what people need help with first before encouraging them towards making up their mind whether or not they want your product/service!

Making the most of social media

Leveraging platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. While the term “social media marketing” is pervasive, there are many definitions describing what it actually is.

Twitter is a fast-growing social networking site that enables Twitter users to create and share short text messages, photos, links and videos. It’s also a place where users can connect with other people through Twitter.

Facebook is a social networking website where people can connect with friends, family and other people they know. Facebook is used by well over one billion people globally (1/5 of the world’s population).

People use Facebook to keep in touch with old friends and make new ones (in the process creating their “Social graph”). They also use Facebook to stay informed about what’s going on around them – from funny cat videos to breaking news around the world – or just message each other about their day’s activities.

Twitter is a microblogging site for Twitter users who want to post short messages without being limited by 140 characters. It has become popular among celebrities, politicians and journalists because it allows them to express themselves quickly without having to worry about spelling or grammar mistakes (and remember not all tweets are meant for public consumption).

Getting creative with content marketing

How to produce engaging content that draws attention? Content marketing is something that a lot of businesses have been doing for a long time, but their approaches haven’t changed much. They want to create engaging content, but they would rather do it in the form of short videos or infographics rather than longer articles.

But we’re not talking about them here. We are talking about you and your business and how you can spend some time crafting meaningful, thought provoking content that people will actually read and enjoy.

This topic is all about getting creative with content marketing to produce engagement. As writers, we all know the importance of engaging with your audience; but when it comes to what you can do with your audience (and this is where most people fall short), there are many ideas out there for getting people to pay attention, but very little that makes sense for a small business.

If you have an idea, get in touch with us! We will be happy to share our experiences on how we got from zero to hero by getting your message out there and making it stick.

Utilising email marketing

Building a list and sending out targeted campaigns.

I used to think that email marketing was too complicated and not worth my time. I’ve changed my tune. Email marketing is a great way to generate leads, increase awareness and build a relationship with your prospects.

When you are starting out in this business, you need more than just your own name and email address – you need to build an active audience of customers who will be ready to buy when it comes time for them to do so. Here are some ways you can get started:

Use A/B testing

You can use these tools to come up with a series of variations on the same email subject line and key words, tweaking the message until it performs better than the original version.

Email list building

Start by building a big mailing list of potential customers based on your product or service – then use tools like MailChimp or AWeber (which allow you to create an automated process that will periodically send out new campaigns) to send targeted emails on behalf of your company or brand.


You can also use this strategy when developing software for small businesses: create a landing page that features your app as well as information about your company and/or products and services, tweak the copy until it performs better than the original version, send out more targeted campaigns based on these variations until they perform better, adding another layer of complexity in terms of creating effective email marketing programmes for startups.

Developing partnerships and relationships: Working with other businesses to cross-promote

There is so much to be said about what should and shouldn’t be done in marketing in your business. It depends on the product, the target audience, and the demographic of your market.

For example, if you are trying to sell a health and fitness product, then you need to make sure that you are targeting your audience correctly (or else they will not buy).

What we mean by “targeting” is different from “marketing” in a way that most people don’t think about: if you want to sell an apple pie on Thanksgiving day, you do not have to advertise (although it might help), but rather just have people who like apples come over and eat them. And if you are selling furniture on Black Friday, don’t advertise; there is no such thing as a Black Friday target audience.

The only thing that matters is when someone comes into your retail store for one of your products — there are no other targets for marketing. For example:

  • If you’re selling cheetos cereal at Walmart, try to get some customers who bought their cereal at Walmart before Christmas shopping with them after Christmas. That will give them the satisfaction of knowing that their food was purchased from the same place as theirs (and not some other store owned by Walmart).
  • If you want to sell baseball caps at WalMart during the season — then try getting people who bought their cap at WalMart before July/August shopping with them after July/August too! That will give them an extra incentive to buy another one!

What we are doing here is simply setting up different kinds of relationships which help us cross-promote each others’ products or services (or ideas) through word-of-mouth or social media networks or whatever channel we use so that people know that we like each other — and this can be done cheaply too.

It isn’t rocket science either! Just try something like this:

  • If you have an idea for a new car wash service company — why not ask all those who use cars and wash them at your car wash where they would like to go instead — and then start building those connections? Use Twitter or Facebook groups if available; email lists with memberships if not; even Google+ circles.

Planning special events and promotions

Generating buzz and excitement around your business.

Social media has become a staple of marketing strategies for businesses and individuals. Whether your business is a small business, or you are a professional in the market, social media can be a way for you to build relationships with customers and spread the word about your product or service.

You should take advantage of this platform to generate positive buzz and excitement around your business. Let’s face it – if you are just starting out, you don’t have an audience of any size.

But that is where social media comes in: You can start building an online following by creating accounts on places like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – each of which has its own built-in functions such as search/tagging tools so that your followers can see what you are talking about or find out about new products and services.

It also helps to make yourself knowable to prospective clients by posting photos of your products on Instagram, sharing your website URL on LinkedIn or providing content on YouTube.

Another great way to get followers is through giveaways: give away something free to those who follow you (like an eBook or a discount code) by using one of the four major platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Tumblr).

Once these followers have discovered you through these social channels they will be much more likely to engage with you in ways that may help grow their community as well as helping them discover what else you have created.

How often do we talk about “social media”? I love it when I hear people say things like “I am not on Facebook!” but I want everyone to understand how much opportunity there is for small businesses (and individuals) online. As always, if someone isn’t interested in social media, that doesn’t mean they don’t want it; it just means they don’t need it at this time.


Summing up the key marketing ideas for small businesses.

There are many marketing ideas that make a lot of sense for small businesses. They are not necessarily cheap, but they do return big business results.

In this post I’m going to share some marketing ideas that have worked well for me and my clients over the years (and often when I am researching new ideas), but you should use your own judgement.

You may want to give this post a read first, before reading on:

  • Is it worth testing?

If it’s not working well for you (or someone you know), then don’t waste your time doing it. In fact, if you have an existing product or service that’s not doing well, don’t even try to think about trying something new; just improve it instead.

  • How much money can I afford to spend?

It is hard to know how much money an advertising campaign will cost you or what the ROI is (if any) will be. But if it is really important to you, then maybe the time and effort will pay off; or maybe spending a little bit more upfront will yield more long-term benefits than spending more later on.