Marketing has changed and evolved a lot over the years. Just think of the Mad Men era of advertising compared to Instagram Reels and TikTok of today—pretty different mediums!
But no matter the medium, good marketing is still good marketing. It gets your business’ name out there so you can connect with and convert your ideal customers.
The key to standing out is to be clever and innovative in your marketing strategies.
So, let’s look at a few ways to do it.
Get Back to Basics
Before trying anything new, it’s important to take a step back and evaluate what you’re already doing with marketing for your small business. A marketing strategy is the best way to make sure you aren’t just doing disconnected activities, but have a plan for them to work together.
It can take some time to put together an effective marketing strategy, so if you don’t have one yet, try out these tried and true marketing tactics:
- Emails and newsletters. Always keep them short and relevant—sending the right emails to the right people. Add some fun and personality with memes, videos, or relevant news and pop culture.
- Networking. You should be visible both online and in-person at relevant industry events, gatherings, and groups. Nothing can really replace word-of-mouth marketing through conversation! This is why having a professional community is important, and one of the reasons joining a coworking space is effective for small businesses.
- Contests and giveaways. This is one of the best ways to drive engagement and increase visibility. Choose some fun and creative swag to give out, such as branded bags, high-quality clothing, or tech-forward gifts like headphones.
These can be some of the basic building blocks of your marketing strategy. As you grow and figure out what works, you can formalize these along with some of the other tactics here to create a streamlined strategy.
Switch it Up: Try a New Platform or Medium
Here’s where we start to level up our creativity. If you’re still relying on Facebook, email, and your website only, it’s time to switch things up. Here’s how:
- Embrace video marketing. With the rise of Instagram reels and TikTok, video marketing has completely blown up over the last few years. There are lots of ways to use them, but check out these 9 Instagram reels tips to increase followers, engagements, and awareness.
- Start a podcast. Like video marketing, podcasting has also become very popular. It’s long-form content that allows you to dive deep into your area of knowledge and establish yourself as an industry leader. Check out these business-boosting podcasts for entrepreneurs if you need inspiration! We’ve also got a guide for business podcast essentials: 12 things you need to know before getting started.
- Explore other channels. Besides the most popular social media platforms, there are many others out there (apparently 133 and counting!). Consider your audience and where they hang out online—it might be worth branching out to new social media channels. For example, visually creative businesses might benefit from Pinterest and Discord is popular amongst Gen Z.
Marketing requires a bit of trial and error. Don’t be afraid to try out something new and see if it works. It’s all in the name of testing!
Dive into Data
Whether you love getting into data and numbers or not, it’s essential that you’re using it to develop and adapt your marketing strategies. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Collect metrics. Virtually all social media platforms have reporting options to help you learn about how your content is doing. Collect information like reach, audience, demographics, etc. to determine what’s performing well.
- Use Google Analytics. This is a very powerful, though somewhat complex, tool. But if you have a website that supports your business with important activities (i.e., sales, contact forms, inquiries), you need Analytics to help you measure its impact. There’s a lot to learn about the program, but a good place to start is this Analytics help article.
- SEO is King. Search Engine Optimization is the process to have your website rank high on Google Search results. So, if you’re a local tax firm, you want to show up on Google when someone searches “taxes in Baltimore.” Hubspot has a good SEO overview article to check out if you’re new to it.
Don’t just throw things at the wall to see what sticks. Use data and metrics to show you what sticks for certain, and then make adjustments to your marketing strategy accordingly.
Be Involved in the Community
As a small business, you’re part of your local community. So it’s important that you’re visible and present in it! This helps boost visibility and name recognition while making genuine connections with potential customers. Here are a few ways you can do it:
- Sponsor an event. It’s a practical way to give back while boosting your business’ visibility. Think of events like youth sports tournaments or charitable initiatives.
- Partner with other businesses. Collaborate with another small business in the area and benefit from cross-promotion and professional networking.
- Enter local business awards. Even if you don’t win, it’s a great way to get your name out there! If you’re local, check out the Maryland Small Business Awards as well as the Baltimore Business Journal’s round-up of awards and recognition programs.
- Attend and participate in events, training, conferences, or seminars in your city. Here at Co-Balt, we host a variety of events ranging from professional networking to fun community events like a summer BBQ. We also have event spaces for rent if you’re ready to plan something yourself,
The point here is to be present and visible. Whatever’s happening in your city—you’ve got to get involved.
For small businesses, the key to getting your name out there is to be innovative and clever. Take some time to review your current strategy, and then think about how you can take it to the next level with these ideas.
And if you’re looking to grow your business in a professional and supportive workspace, book a tour of Co-Balt today.