Effective Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, Idaho is home to over 176,000 small businesses, which equates to more than 99% of establishments across the Gem State. Owning and operating a small business — whether a beauty salon, a clothing company, a woodshop, a restaurant, or anything in-between — is an empowering endeavor for many. Yet, it certainly has its challenges.

In addition to performing managerial duties, keeping your inventory in check, and maintaining your store or website, actively marketing your brand may be considered another daunting task. However, promoting your products can make or break your business.

Luckily, there are plenty of fun and simple marketing ideas that can help raise awareness, draw in more customers, and boost sales. Here are some ideas to help inspire you.

Create engaging social media content

Recent data shows that people spend an average of 2 hours and 30 minutes on social media every day, and about 28% of people have reported they have shopped directly from their social media apps. Social media gives businesses of all sizes the freedom to demonstrate their brand voice, communicate directly and openly with customers, host giveaways, and more. Social media is also effective when it comes to driving your audience to relevant content on your business’s website.

It is important to keep in mind that social media is not a one-size-fits-all marketing channel, as the major networks can serve different purposes based on your business’s goals. For instance, Facebook functions as a community-based site and is often used as a customer service tool. Instagram, however, relies on visuals like photos and videos. LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network on which people and businesses share key updates. It is also an ideal platform for both jobseekers and recruiters. TikTok and Snapchat are video-based apps that have been skyrocketing in popularity among younger generations. Social media can help you advertise your business in creative ways, but it can be a hefty time investment. Therefore, it is best to only invest in the channels you can manage frequently.

Host or sponsor local events

If you have the space to do so, hosting events is an ideal way to get people in the door of your business. Online events such as how-to workshops, classes, and product launches have gained even more popularity and can be a terrific way to expand your reach beyond local clientele. Another way to get your name out there is to sponsor community events that align with your values.

Set up a rewards or referral program

One of the most worthwhile ways to create customer loyalty is to set up a rewards program. The reason? Loyalty can increase revenue and enable business growth. For example, if someone purchases an item or pays for your services a certain number of times, they can receive a free product or a special discount during their next visit. Rewards programs not only make customers feel appreciated, but they also can help your business thrive.

Referral programs also allow your customer base to grow, as people spread the word about your products or services to friends, family members, neighbors, and colleagues. The more your business is referred to by others, the more familiar you will become.

Send an email newsletter

Running email marketing campaigns regularly, whether weekly, monthly, or quarterly, can be an excellent method to plug your services and products. According to Campaign Monitor, 64% of small businesses use email marketing to reach their customers. Email newsletters are great for promoting new or popular offerings, announcing sales or discounts, and sharing important news and updates.

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