Your business is small, which means your marketing budget is probably small, too. Meanwhile big brands typically have equally big budgets that enable them to run elaborate marketing campaigns and commercials during the Super Bowl. So how do you compete? You borrow some of these ideas from the big guys’ ideas and make them your own!
1. Educate, engage and make your presence known.
Colgate knows teeth – it’s what they do. They also know that constantly talking about toothbrushes and toothpaste gets old quick. That’s why they’ve taken it upon themselves to create an oral health resource center. Their website is a one-stop shop for anything dental related, from hundreds of articles about common (and not so common) mouth concerns to coupons, apps and educational games for the kids.
Take a cue from Colgate with your small business marketing. Become a leading authority on whatever you sell — be it cupcakes or accounting – and share your knowledge with the masses. Don’t just create a small business website – create a learning destination for consumers!
2. Hit your target at the right time.
If you’re a member of Pizza Hut’s Hut Lover’s Club, you’ve probably seen the emails. They generally arrive an hour or two before dinner (clever, right?), and recently they included a wheel you could spin to get your deal. Prizes included a discount of 10% to 50% off your next order. You may not have even wanted pizza, but a get-it-right-now discount at dinnertime is hard to resist.
The takeaway from Pizza Hut is that it’s important to hit your target audience at the right time. Nobody markets the Elf on the Shelf dolls in summer, or tries to sell swimming pools in New England in January. For maximum ROI on your marketing dollars, hit your audience when they’re craving what you sell.
3. Be social – and be nice.
Social media is one of the most important things you can do for your small business, but having a thousand Likes isn’t doing you any good if you’re not interacting with your audience.
American Eagle understands. The colossal clothing company is always responding to questions, comments and concerns on their Facebook page, identifying their customers by name and addressing their problems promptly. Sure, they’ve got a team of social media gurus to do the hard work for them, but that’s no excuse to not follow their lead.
Interact with your audience – not only on a group level, but as individuals. When you show you care, they’ll keep coming back. (And if you need help staying social with your customers, just ask!)
While your small business may not have as much in its marketing fund as the big brands, that doesn’t mean your message can’t be as powerful. Borrow some of their marketing moves and make them your own. And if you need a hand applying these lessons to your small business marketing strategy, just drop Mischa Communications a line!