Get an Original Twist with Creative Development
If there is one area where small businesses seem to struggle most, it is marketing. It is hard to believe that you can make a big statement when you have a limited budget. But with a little creativity, you can create an effective plan that will get you the most out of your marketing efforts without a huge financial investment.
First, you need to remember that it is going to take time. No one becomes a sensation overnight. It takes a lot of patience and creativity to come up with a marketing plan that will make a huge impact and then you will grow out from there. You don’t want to be a flash in the pan, where you make one grand advertisement that brings in new business for a week or two and then disappears once your message fades away. You need to be able to maintain a consistent and effective message and that takes a lot more than a single print, radio, or television ad.
Starting small can take you further and lead to a steady stream of business for your company. Ready to get creative? Here’s what you need to do:
First, have a clear message
Would your 12-year-old nephew understand your message if you told it to him? If the answer is no, then it is time to revamp it. Marketing messages need to be precise and easy to understand. You want it to hit the mark the minute a potential customer hears it, not leave them puzzling over what you meant.
Engage with the community
This can be done within your physical community or online. If you don’t already have an active social media presence, find out where your customers spend the most time and start interacting there. Do you have a blog on your company website? If not, start one. It doesn’t have to be full of fancy content. Just share what matters to your target audience. Invite other people to write guest posts for your company blog. Share your posts on your social networks.
Already active online? Start getting out into your neighborhood and get involved in community events. This is not an effort to start selling, but to engage. Get your name out there, be an active member of your community and word will spread better than with a roadside billboard.
Invite customer reviews and testimonials
Word of mouth is one of the best ways to encourage people to give your products and services a try. Ask your customers to go onto your social media, Yelp and other sites to leave reviews. Create a testimonial page and ask customers to submit product reviews and personal testimonials about your company. This goes a long way in building your credibility.
Start a referral network
Referrals are another important part of word of mouth marketing. Invite other local businesses to send you referrals and reciprocate by sending business their way. Create an incentive program that offers discounts on your products for new customers that are sent to you by other businesses as well as current customers.
There are so many ways to get out of the old marketing box and start looking for effective ways to reach your audience. Once you know your marketing message, explore new avenues for getting the word out about your business and you will be amazed at how effective you can be with even the smallest marketing budget.