If you spend any amount of time reading marketing articles, it seems like everyone has the “must try” idea of the year. The only problem is, most of those “ideas” are the same ones you always read about; mostly because they are the tried and true tactics that WILL get you results. While you definitely don’t want to abandon the tactics that work, there are a few out of the ordinary hacks that could garner you even more business. Effective small business marketing is always about measuring and adjusting, right?  Even if your tried and true tactics are working splendidly, if you’re ready to add something more to the mix, we’ve got 5 marketing hacks you should check out. Nothing to lose, and business to gain, right?

Consider niche marketing to up your brand awareness

Facebook groupEven if you have a product or service that can really serve just about anyone, you’ve likely noticed that over the years, you tend to get business from certain industries. Maybe that’s because your company’s offerings fit so seamlessly with those industries, or maybe it’s because word of mouth has helped you get like clients based on current client referrals. Whatever the case is, take time to look at your current client base. Is there an industry that really stands out as one you seem to be doing well in?  Why not dive deeper into that industry with some niche marketing? Find out where that industry’s decisions makers reside and target your marketing to those channels. Use language familiar with that industry in your marketing message. Segment your email marketing lists by industry for very targeted messaging. Here are a few more ideas if you want to go after a specific industry:

  • Attend industry trade shows
  • Join industry groups on LinkedIn or Facebook
  • Advertise in industry publications
  • Write content targeted towards that industry
  • Speak in front of industry groups

That’s not to say you’re walking away from other clients in other industries, but if you can provide marketing support for interior designers as an example, why not go deeper with your expertise and grow your business within that industry?

Consider holding a special event

Why not create your own special event instead of attending someone else’s event? Sure, holding a product launch party, grand opening or educational seminar involves a lot of work, but the increased visibility you get from hyping your brand to the community at large can pay off in a big way. Potential customers are looking for experiences, and there’s nothing like a fantastic event to inspire Instagram photos, tweets and Facebook posts showing them and their friends having a great time interacting with your business. You can start small by creating a series of short seminars or training events. It doesn’t have to be an extravaganza to be successful!

Provide content for your competition

A lot of industries don’t mind a little competition and are even willing to provide an opportunity for other experts (like you!) to share their thoughts and opinions. If you can write for a competitor’s blog, you can get yourself in front of an entirely new audience that you may not otherwise have had access to. No matter how you look at it, that’s a win!

Hire a brand evangelist

brand evangelistIt’s no secret that we are big fans of word of mouth marketing; we write about it a lot in our small business marketing blog because it works. Sometimes that effort needs a little nudge, and nothing nudges better than someone else evangelizing for your brand.  If you have access to an industry rockstar, go for it but if not, there are evangelists for hire. Evangelists don’t have to be major players; they just need to be willing to go out there and talk up your brand. Happy customers and fellow employees make fantastic brand evangelists of course, but sometimes a paid evangelist has an even better reach. Find those social influencers and see if there’s one that is a good fit for your brand and can influence the audience you seek.

Give something away to increase revenue

Small business owners need to make money, of course, but sometimes the best way to generate revenue is to give stuff away. There are a few ways to do this:

  • Free product or service trial
  • Free product or service for referrals
  • Free downloadable content without asking for anything; no contact info, nada
  • BOGO offers

You see these all the time, right?  Why? Because these marketing hacks work! Free anything draws attention from people who like the idea of what your company offers but aren’t quite ready to commit yet. Giving them something for nothing makes them more likely to come back when they’re ready to buy from you.

These marketing hacks are a great way to possibly reach new audiences and new customers you never had before. As with any new marketing effort, try it, measure it, and see if it works. You might be surprised what you get in return for going a bit “off the grid” with these marketing hacks!

Patty Hughes
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