So you’ve got some time free to work on marketing your small business, and suddenly your brain, normally fizzing over with more ideas and concepts than you can write down, much less make use of, decides that it’s going on vacation. So now you’re staring at a blank screen, bereft of inspiration, while the little blinking cursor mocks your creative blockage. Fear not! We’re here to jumpstart your process with a list of 16 creative marketing ideas for your business.
16 Ways to Creatively Market Your Business
1. Make a Movie
You don’t have the time or budget to make the next Avengers epic, but you don’t need to. Try a two-minute homemade smartphone video of you talking with a customer about how your product solved their problem. Or try a filming quick walking tour of the production line. These videos don’t take long, are easily punched up with free desktop software, and make for great social media posts.
2. Design a Holiday Promotion
Don’t wait for Valentine’s Day or the Fourth of July to catch you napping. Pick a holiday several months down the line, and think up some great holiday tie-ins you can start working on now to produce a spectacular impact when the time comes. For fun holidays and inspiration, download our free Marketing Calendar.
3. Comments Sections
You have a lot of contacts in the social media world. Go out to their web pages and Instagram stories and make appropriate and positive contributions to their pages, with backlinks (where appropriate) to your own efforts.
4. Plan an In-Person Event
We get so tied up in the online marketing process that sometimes we forget how effective face-to-face interactions can be. Sign up to teach a class relating to your product or service at your local library, or host a coffee klatch for the local movers and shakers in your industry.
5. Create a Webinar
6. Send Out Some Free Stuff
The world is full of opinion-makers and you have a warehouse full of great widgets. Put those two things together. Identify some tastemakers and get your product into their hands, gratis and out of the blue. If you pick your targets correctly, they’ll be flattered and complimentary.
7. Brainstorm With Your People
Get your employees together and brainstorm about how they can be part of your company’s marketing and sales push. Don’t focus on what you would get out of it – focus on what they would get out of it. Design an incentive program that would pay them for referrals in paid time-off or workplace perks, and get them enthusiastic about evangelizing the company and the brand.
8. Interview a Customer
You’ve undoubtedly got some real characters among your customer base. Find one of the funny and memorable ones, and get them on tape talking about your product or service. You can promote that interview on your social media pages, on your blog, or your company website.
9. Take a Survey
Get on the phone with some of your past customers and find out why they bought what they bought – and equally important, find out what they plan to buy tomorrow. You’ll get some great information and you may even find your next great product idea when they tell you about their unmet needs.
10. Go Through the Archives
If you’ve been around for a while, you’ve probably got a big back catalog of social media posts, stories, videos, etc. – all kinds of stuff. Find something that didn’t get enough attention the first time around – maybe you released it on the day of a huge news story or maybe you put the wrong hashtags on it the first go-round – and give it a spit and polish before you re-release it.
11. Develop a New Social Presence
There are a million social networking sites, and you can’t be on all of them. But you could be on one more – find one that’s a good match for your customer demographic, but where you don’t have a presence, and change that equation. It takes maybe ten minutes to turn a photo album into a vibrant Pinterest page.
12. Go To a Local Trade Show
You might not have the time or resources to attend a trade show as a presenter, but getting in as a regular attendee is usually free or cheap. Spending an afternoon seeing what everyone else is doing is sure to give you some insight into what you should be doing.
13. Find a Free Ad Credit
There are a lot of sites, from Facebook to LinkedIn, that give new ad clients a free credit to get started with their online advertising. They hope you’ll continue on a paying basis, of course— and maybe you will if the free campaign pays off.
14. Do a How-To
Your products are intended to do something, but not everyone automatically knows how to do that something. If you sell bike tools, write up a tutorial on how to change a flat tire. If you are in the cookbook business, do an illustrated how-to of some of your more challenging recipes.
15. Show Some Photographic Flair
Take photos of your happy workers and your satisfied customers, and sprinkle those photos throughout your existing marketing channels. A picture is worth a thousand words, but it only takes a couple of seconds to take a good one.
16. Hold a Charity Event
The world is full of people who could use a hand. Depending on the size of your company, you can do a solo sponsorship of a charity event, or you can partner with other companies in your community or industry to do something to give back. Charity makes you look good while you do good – it’s a win for everybody.