There are definitely tried and true marketing efforts that every small business owner should consider for their small business marketing strategy: social media, email marketing, content marketing are good places to start. It’s always a good idea to mix in some other marketing tactics as well, depending on your target audience, to help diversify your efforts. These might include video marketing, digital billboards, print marketing, etc. A good marketing strategy will help you determine what makes sense to try and solid measurement tools will help you decide what is working and what isn’t. What if you want to go further and get more innovative and creative with your marketing efforts? For that, you need to think outside the box with your small business marketing efforts. We’ll showcase a few unusual yet effective tactics you may want to take for a spin.
Vehicle wraps to advertise your product or service
You see branded vehicles all the time on the road. While you may not think twice about it, have you ever considered doing that for your own business? Consider this: Having a vehicle branded with your company info is a great way to get a LOT of people to see your brand. Wrap advertising or a vehicle wrap is known as the marketing practice of completely or partially covering a vehicle in a vinyl material for advertising. The result is essentially a mobile billboard. It could be outrageous, or it could be subtle; perhaps just a company logo and website. While this marketing tactic may not work for everyone, it most certainly is one way to get attention!
Wear your brand on your sleeve with promotional apparel
Many small businesses use promotional products for giveaways; typically pens, sticky notes or magnets, but what about apparel showcasing your business? Shirts, hats, tank tops, etc. It’s a subtle yet effective form of advertising that can help spark conversations about your brand.
Hosting a podcast to engage with your target audience
From a business point of view, podcasting can be an incredible marketing tool. It might not work for every type of business, but for those that it does work, it can yield great results: a new audience, more trust and loyalty and even more clients and sales. They can attract a new audience for your brand, build loyalty among existing clients, showcase your expertise and attract new customers. Not sure about hosting a podcast? You can dip your toe in the podcasting waters by being a guest on a small business podcast or find a podcast that specializes in your industry. You’d be surprised how few small business owners are taking advantage of this marketing tactic. Most likely, few of your competitors (if any) are doing this.
Hold a contest to win your products or services
Give away your product or service for free to increase revenue? Yes! “Contest marketing” is basically interactive marketing through contests, and it’s a great way to help spread the word about your company to people you’d like to do business with. To be effective, contests need a well-thought-out and executed plan and strong follow-up strategy. Since not everyone can win, it’s important to know how to continue to engage with ALL participants, whether they win or lose. Kickoff Labs wrote a great article on how to run a successful contest to boost revenues if you want to give it a shot.
Create a business mascot
Some of the most successful brands have a “mascot” including:
- Michelin Man by Michelin.
- Mr. Peanut by Planters.
- The Laughing Cow by… The Laughing Cow.
- Mickey Mouse by The Walt Disney Company.
- Jolly Green Giant by B&G Foods.
- Rich Uncle Pennybags by Monopoly.
- Tony the Tiger by Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes.
- Kool-Aid Man by Kool-Aid.
There’s a good reason many professional sports teams have a mascot. Get your creative juices flowing and come up with a mascot of your own. Who knows? It may be the new face of your company that brings in business.
Need more ideas? Here are a few:
- Hire a spokesperson
- Create a branded tattoo
- Develop a loyalty program
- Create an app
- Sponsor a local event
- Adopt a street or highway
- Host a photo contest
- Collaborate with a charity
- Host (or co-host) a webinar
- Host a radio spot
- Do live streaming video
- Guest blog
Some of these ideas are strange, some not so much, but they’re all different from the usual.
As with any marketing tactic, traditional or out of the box, it’s important to measure results to make sure you’re getting good returns on your investment. Make sure you’re working with a marketing professional who knows how to measure results and advise you on what is working and what isn’t.
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