Stick Out in the Best Way Possible: 7 Unique Small Business Advertising Strategies
by Arina Smith Small Business 22 February 2019
If there’s one thing a small business needs to do, it’s stand out.
Over half a million small businesses start up each month. As one of them, you’re up against both the big sharks in your industry and the schools of other fish swarming your space. A business needs to fight to carve out its territory, and it does that by standing out.
Small businesses should not abandon traditional marketing. Experts recommend that using offline strategies that drive visibility like putting up the best commercial flagpoles can be an exciting way to spread awareness about the brand. This can attract the right target audiences to your brand. Using offline strategies is a great idea for small businesses that are looking to attract local footfalls in the region they operate in.
That’s why we’ve put together these 7 unique small business advertising strategies.
1. Run a Competition:
We all like a freebie every now and then. Your customers are no different.
As a small company, you might think you can’t afford to give anything away for free. But this small sacrifice could bring new customers to your doors. That’s an investment that pays for itself.
Organize a giveaway through your online presence, local media, or in-store. You’ll reach a catchment of customers who might otherwise have never engaged with your product. The chance to win something free appeals to a primal area of the brain — which is also true of any good marketing technique.
Even if they don’t win, your entrants will remember your brand’s generosity. You’ll have put yourself on their radar, which means they could seek you out the next time they need what you’re selling.
2. Social Media with Attitude:
Blah, blah, social media, blah. That’s what modern marketing advice can sometimes sound like. But you can find fresh new territory in social media if you go into it with a little attitude.
They’re not exactly small fry, but the Wendy’s chain shows us how it’s done. By getting sassy on social media, they stand out from the dull roar of marketing media around them.
Small businesses can use the same trick. Since you’re not held back by the stuffed shirts in a boardroom somewhere, you can bring personality to your business.
Done right, this could even take you viral, boosting your business signal.
Granted, this can be a tightrope to walk. Keep the tone gentle. You don’t want to get into unprofessional fights on social media and end up in a blunder.
3. Get Noticed on the Street:
Pounding the sidewalk might seem last century, but small businesses still have a lot to gain from old-fashioned legwork.
Setting up in a busy area with a lot of foot traffic can help you reel in customers from the street, whether it’s to your brick and mortar store or online space. Handing out a leaflet gives your potential customers something to take away with them.
Of course, you can always combine it with a freebie — no one said these marketing ideas are mutually exclusive.
You might question whether this is a creative idea, but in an age where everyone seems focused on the online game, it might surprise you to see how few of your competitors are fighting in this arena.
4. Support Your Community:
While we’re playing the local game, there are some marketing ideas for small businesses that never die.
Supporting your community is one of those ideas. It’s an excellent way to establish a rapport with your customer base, while also showing you’re an ethical, community-minded company.
Not convinced this is relevant in the age of the internet? Ethical consumption occupies the mind of the modern customer. If you’re supporting your community, you’re showing your stripes as a business that cares.
There are various ways to do this, from sponsoring a local team to holding charity events. The key is to get involved in what your community most needs.
5. Make Unlikely Friends:
A small business is a dorky kid in the playground. So why not do what they do, and make friends with someone who won’t get pushed around by the other kids?
Your business can do that by making some unlikely friends. You won’t be able to hitch your wagon to a giant in your industry — neither of you would benefit from that. Instead, aim for larger businesses that hover at the fringes of what you do.
If you run an office supplies company, for example, then ask your clients to back you up. There’s a good chance some of them will be larger than you. By promoting your products via their approval, you can get a leg up on the marketing game despite your size.
6. Stick Close to Customers:
Big businesses can afford to treat their customers as a little disposable. That doesn’t hold true for a small business.
Don’t be afraid to be a little clingy in your promotional ideas. You don’t want to annoy your customers, of course, but in your early days, your customers are your lifeline. If you can keep them coming back, then you’ve built a stable foundation for future growth.
This kind of regular cash flow means everything to a small business. So catch up with your customers through newsletters and the like to inspire loyalty. As patrons of a small business, they’re likely to be more receptive to keeping you afloat than the customers of a larger company.
7. A Pen (That’s Mightier Than the Sword):
Just getting spotted in a sea of similar businesses is one of the challenges facing the growing company.
That’s where promotional items can help you. Small business promotional items can turn your gifts and gizmos into portable advertising bombs for your business. Anytime someone reaches for a pen or sip of coffee, they’ll see your brand. It’s not as glamorous as a name in lights, but it will get you noticed.
Marketing is a form of indoctrination, after all. Promotional items serve the same purpose as a catchy jingle in an ad or a viral meme. They don’t tell people much about what you do, but they make sure people remember you.
Small Business Advertising:
These tips should get you on the road to reinvigorating your small business advertising with some tricks to make you stand out. Don’t be afraid of the spotlight, embrace it. Showbusiness is a kind of business, after all.
Looking for more marketing strategies? Check out our sales and marketing section.