Out of the Box Ideas for Marketing Your Small Business
Are you looking for original out of the box ideas for marketing your small business?
No matter what type of business you have, marketing is essential for success. But whilst the big brands have deep pockets, most small businesses aren’t so lucky.
Finding unique ways to advertise without spending large amounts of cash can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible!
So keep reading to find out how to increase sales quickly with these innovative marketing ideas & examples!
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Before you market your business
Before you begin any business promotion, be sure you understand your target market, your customers’ needs, and your goals.
A clear understanding of your ideal customer and what they’re looking for, is the foundation of any successful marketing campaign.
Whether you’re aiming to boost your Christmas shopping sales, capitalise on Valentine’s Day or simply increase your monthly sales, even the most original out of the box marketing campaigns will only be successful if you give your audience what they want.
Think about what your audience is struggling with or what problem they want to overcome.
Offering clear solutions for your customer’s issues is the secret to marketing your products or services with ease.
Out of the Box Marketing Ideas
If you’ve been brainstorming ideas to increase sales, but you’re still struggling to come up with unique marketing ideas, try these outside the box marketing ideas below:
1. User-Generated Content
One of the best ways small businesses can maximise marketing with minimal cash outlay is to get customers to promote for you. Consumers are far more likely to pay attention to endorsements from ‘ordinary’ folk rather than slick professional marketers.
User-generated content (UGC) gets your brand in front of a wider audience, giving your small business a big boost with very little effort on your part.
To encourage your customers to create content you can ask them to share their purchase on their socials and include a certain hashtag. You can even offer incentives or a prize for the best photo or video.
When it comes to curating UGC, be choosy about the content you share. Always ask for permission to repost someone’s content and only share top quality content. Use hashtags to make your brand easier to find, and be sure to thank customers for their share.
Everyone loves to win, and competitions are a great way to boost the visibility of your small business. Some ideas for your contest could be to post the most unique selfie with your product, create a jingle for your business, design a logo for the brand, or come up with a clever marketing campaign!
Make sure to clearly specify the entry requirements and competition rules on your website to avoid confusion and frustration. To maximise entries and drive traffic to your site, promote the contest across all your social media platforms and make sure to announce the winner on on all your socials too.
3. Create a Viral Giveaway with KingSumo
Want to create an out of the box promotion that goes viral?
Sure you do!
Say hello to KingSumo.
KingSumo is an app that helps you run viral giveaways, reward brand engagement, and grow your audience.
With KingSumo’s intuitive editor, you can set up and launch unlimited viral giveaways in minutes with these simple steps:
- Select the duration of your giveaway
- Write a little bit about your giveaway
- Select the number of winners
- Offer a grand prize and runner-up gift, or several smaller prizes
Swag may be physical or digital, your own product or a partner’s product. You can embed your giveaway on your website, your social media accounts and literally anywhere!
KingSumo allows entrants to share giveaways with contacts for bonus entries, which increases visibility for your brand and with the right prize as incentive, this can easily lead to a viral giveaway!
4. Create Local Buzz
The internet often makes us think we always have to ‘go global,’ but it can be a very smart idea for small businesses to start closer to home.
Success in business is all about relationships, and networking locally can be a great way to boost your brand.
Write up a killer press release and send it out to local papers or magazines. Seek out other local business owners and introduce yourself. Craft a compelling elevator pitch so you can make your brand understood in just a few seconds.
Other creative local marketing ideas are:
- giving a talk at your local library
- joining the chamber of commerce
- renting a booth at a relevant trade show
Building meaningful connections and offering a quality product or service will likely lead to a positive buzz and word of mouth promotion.
Another out of the box idea to increase sales is to cross-promote with another brand. Cross-promotion expands your outreach to a customer group who already has trust in another business, making them more likely to trust you.
To create a successful cross-promotion collaboration, you need to make sure you pick the right business to cross-promote with. It should be a complementary brand, not a competitor.
Also be sure to discuss core values before agreeing to anything because while the right partnership can do great things for both of you, the wrong message can inflict harm on your brand.
A collaboration with the right brand could lead to a very successful low cost promotion!
6. Quality Perks
Freebies are not a new marketing ploy. Branded pens, bags, and mugs take the ‘more is more’ approach to marketing. For a small business, this can be an expensive proposition that may not be worthwhile.
For better returns on investment, focus on the customers you already have. Boost their loyalty by offering perks they really want: free shipping, exclusive discounts, a relevant bonus product for free, and so on.
The offer must be useful, easy to understand, and as frictionless as possible to redeem. And always be sure you’re targeting the right customer for your offer.
7. Mystery Boxes
For this outside the box marketing idea, you’re going to develop exciting content to go inside the box. A mystery box that is. People love a little mystery, it gets them excited.
Ideally, a mystery box promotes a new product or service, but any relevant products to your business will work. Use hashtags on social media for a cheap and easy way to get the word out about this promotion.
While you should use pictures or short video clips to give hints about the box’s contents, don’t give away too much about what it might contain. Spike their curiosity and create some FOMO. Set up a time limit and only offer a limited number of boxes. Creating a sense of urgency is a key component for a successful mystery box promotion.
8. Referrals & affiliate marketing
Referrals are one of the very best ways to grow your small business.
Word-of-mouth leads offer some of the highest conversion rates versus customers acquired through other means. These customers also tend to have longevity, with a much higher percentage remaining loyal for a longer period of time.
New businesses especially benefit from referrals. Incentives can go to both the referrer and the referee. If you’re just starting out, keep things simple and offer a referral fee and a discount to the new customer.
As your business grows, you can ask customers about other types of incentives they might prefer. Post your referral incentive prominently on your site, and of course there are affiliate programs like Awin or Impact Radius to help you implement a referral system.
If you sell digital products or online courses, a great checkout/course platform that also lets you setup your own affiliate centre is ThriveCart.
For more info check out a full review here:
ThriveCart Lifetime Deal + Review
9. Thank You Notes
Here’s another marketing idea that is personal and well received by customers.
Remember Mum’s advice about the importance of sending thank you notes for your birthday gifts? As usual, she was right.
A simple thank you card can really make you stand out from the crowd. A note can also be a great way to respond to a compliment, or to rectify a mistake.
First rule of note-writing: it must be personal. No generic ‘thank you for being a customer’ stuff here.
Second rule: be sincere. Be brief but specific about why you are sending the message.
Third: be prompt. Send the note as soon as possible, and definitely within a few days. If the situation warrants, you can include a small gift or token of appreciation.
Personal communication is one of the very best ways to strengthen your brand and grow relationships with your customers.
10. Target Trends
One more way to get fresh marketing ideas is by following trending topics. This takes some research, but presumably you’re already doing that.
If you can tie in your business to a hot trend, say, to a celebrity or current event, you can garner views for free. For maximum impact, your content should be relevant, interesting, and add to the conversation.
To make to most out of this promotion strategy, make sure you are interactive. Engage with your audience, respond to comments, and above all, be positive. You are the face of your brand!
These are my best out of the box marketing ideas
I hope you liked these creative sales ideas and you now feel inspired to create your own out of the box marketing campaign!
Even the smallest of businesses has options when it comes to marketing, without laying out tons of cash. With willingness to test out different ideas and a little perseverance, any brand can succeed.
Guest Post By Sue Seabury
Sue Seabury writes on a wide range of topics from social media, to branding, to the latest trends in fashion. She is a regular contributor on The Pearl Source blog.
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