Marketing Promotion Ideas for Small Businesses

In today’s day and age, a time of stifling competition, it is essential that businesses stand out. This holds even truer for small businesses, who are hard pressed to stay relevant in the face of seamless corporations and large chains. That’s why marketing is essential to the success of any small business. Good marketing will help put your business on the map—bringing you more clients and greater revenue.

Whether you’re looking for techniques for in-store promotions, clever promotional methods, or free marketing ideas, we’ve got the insider tips your small business stand out.

marketing promotion ideas

Photography Promotion Ideas

So if you want to get customers as a photographer, you really have to strut your stuff.

  • Share your portfolio on social media. Share your best photographs on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Get your photos found using appropriate hashtags.
  • Host a giveaway. Get new customers by hosting a Facebook or Instagram contest. Offer a free photo session, free prints or album, or a steep discount.
  • Create a photography guide. Share insider secrets with potential customers with a free guide full of photography tips and tricks on how to improve photos.
  • Collaborate with other small businesses. Use your connections with other small businesses to take photos for a few hours. This is a great promotion for daycare, preschools, or fitness centers during holidays or special events. Pass out business cards—it helps if they’re eye-catching; you’re in the visual business after all—and offer a slight discount to new customers. You’re sure to score valuable contacts.

Financial Advisor Marketing Ideas

Finance, to the uninitiated, is typically thought to be a dry subject. Financial planning can be very interesting, if you present it in the right way.

  • Blog about financial advice. Start a blog on your website and get it popping with these business blog ideas. Write how-to articles and other content that breaks down complicated financial matters for the layman. This will win you great popularity and a reputation as an easy-to-understand, relatable advisor.
  • Share tips and tricks on social media. Facebook and Twitter are great ways to disseminate your website content and share insider’s tips with your audience. Keep tips short, interesting, and include a photo to make your posts visually engaging.
  • Write articles for online publications and websites. As a financial advisor, you must always be perceived as an expert on all things related to finance. Boost your credentials and get exposure by writing for websites and publications, and via guest blogging.

Marketing Ideas for Accountants

The subject of accounting rarely evokes great excitement. Stand out from the crowd by humanizing yourself as more than just a number cruncher and relate to your potential clients.

  • Address common questions with a blog. While you may be an accountant, not a writer, your audience is in the opposite boat: they are readers, not accountants. Start a blog on your website that offers valuable and free content. A great way to do this is to write blog posts around commonly asked questions. Address these in your blog posts! This has the added benefit of providing you fodder for online questions. If someone asks you something you’ve already answered before, just link them to your blog post!
  • Post videos. Put a face behind the numbers that people find so scary. Consider starting a video series that features you speaking about common subjects, or answering common questions.
  • Use email marketing. Email marketing is a popular choice for younger and older audiences alike. Craft an email newsletter with helpful financial reminders, tips, and other news that is relevant to your customers. If done right, they’ll come to see this as a weekly or monthly financial Bible that can’t be missed!

Related: Email Marketing for Small Business Owners

Gym Promotion Ideas and Personal Training Marketing Ideas

Fitness professionals today are in luck, because everybody wants to get in shape. Personal training marketing ideas are essential to help you stand out from the competition. Similarly, gym promotion ideas are key to bringing in new folks to your gym. Here are some easy techniques:

  • Video Tutorials. Record videos or write guides about different exercise topics. Show customers how to use certain machines, perform certain exercises, or get started on accompanying tasks (dieting, meal planning, protein intake, etc.)
  • Contests. Run contests on platforms such as Instagram or Facebook for people to win free training sessions, free classes, or a free gym membership. This will stir up excitement, help your business get exposure and bring in new customers.  Here’s how you can get started with Facebook contests.
  • Social media. Fitness is a huge topic on social media today, particularly on platforms such as Instagram. Everyone is looking for fitness inspiration and tips to keep them motivated and working out. Posts photos of yourself, your gym’s facilities, the food you eat, and so on. Use relevant hashtags to get even more exposure.

Law Firm Marketing Ideas

Get more exposure and more clients by marketing your law firm online with these law firm marketing ideas.

  • Join professional associations. Research local legal organizations, law associations, and your Chamber of Commerce. It’s worth coughing up assorted membership fees so that your name and firm name will be featured in numerous online listings. This will make it easier for people to find you online.
  • Share advice online. Start a blog or share legal tips on social media. People inherently dislike lawyers, so show a benevolent, generous side by offering free legal advice (insofar as possible). Answer common questions, write informational guides, and so on.
  • Set up a Google+ Page. Google+ is a great way to show up on the first page of Google and, by getting reviews from existing clients, you can build credibility and get new ones. Encourage current clients to review you on Google+. Check out this webinar to get started with directory listings like Google+.

Marketing Ideas for Realtors

Realtors face stiff competition. Your livelihood depends on how many properties you close on, so it’s important to have a healthy pool of clients. You need continuous and effective marketing to succeed and keep bringing in new clients. After all, it can take months for something to close, and you don’t want to be dependent on just a few contracts. Here are some killer marketing ideas for realtors:

  • Run a Facebook Ad. Facebook’s targeted ad options gives is great for realtors. Use the different types of ads to target potential buyers and sellers based on their location, interest, and income. Here’s a webinar on how to get started with Facebook Ads.
  • Share valuable info online. A blog is a great idea for realtors who can provide tips and advice for first-time homebuyers. Turn your brand into a valuable center of advice.
  • Share the glory. Feature local businesses and interesting local stories on your blog. Link to these businesses and ask if they’ll return the favor by featuring you. This way, you can generate high quality of backlinks and make your website less gimmicky and more community-oriented.

Related: Facebook Marketing in 2016

Day Spa Promotion Ideas

Everyone deserves some pampering. However, it can be tricky to get people to pull themselves away from their busy lives and put their time and money into your spa business. Try these day spa promotion ideas for gaining new clients and keeping old ones coming back.

  • Client retention programs. Reward your customers by giving them reasons to keep coming back. Give special discounts to loyal customers with a customer loyalty and retention program. For example, offer a free service after a client has purchased X number of services, create frequent-visit cards with prizes, and or offer mini-versions of new services to get feedback from loyal customers
  • Create a zen vibe on social media. Make your Facebook or Instagram page a glimpse into serenity and tranquility. Feature calming photos, photos of beautiful people using your services, or similar visuals. Your language should be less sales-y and more calming. Use emotion to create your brand identity.
  • Cross-promote. Spa services are in-step with many other self-care and beauty products and services. Partner with local businesses to cross-promote. Place posters promoting your services in related business establishments (hair salons, nail salons, etc.). Pair up with another business to throw an event or offer a special promotion.

Salon Marketing Ideas

Hair is an evergreen industry. That said, there are countless salons in any given city and it can be a challenge to stand out. Here are some salon marketing ideas:

  • Offer referral rewards. Hair salons get a lot of business from client referrals. Offer a free haircut, color, or gift-card to anyone who refers a new client.
  • Host events at the salon. Pair up with local charities to host fun charity events at your place of business. Consider a small party celebrating your customers. Put on an art show, or conduct a wine tasting. Any sort of event that includes free wine and perhaps appetizers is sure to reel in customers!
  • Offer off-peak specials. Salons surge on weekends and evenings, but may suffer from lack of clientele at other times. Encourage people to come in on slow days with irresistible specials such as discounts, free services, or free products.

Yoga Marketing Ideas

Yoga has surged in popularity in recent years, and yoga studios are popping up seemingly everywhere. To keep standing, you have to stand out. Thankfully, there are many yoga marketing ideas you can implement to help your studio skyrocket to the top:

  • Run a “new member” special. Provide the first class for free. This will encourage those who are sitting on the fence to give you a try. Offer new people who sign up for membership special new member benefits, such as an exclusive discount for the first few months, free yoga gear, or so on.
  • Get creative with classes. Yoga is popular, but commonplace. Spice up your schedule by offering classes that no one else has. Wine and yoga? Why not?!Early morning dance yoga? Go for it! You can even try hosting yoga classes in unusual locations, such as public parks or spaces, nightclubs, museums, warehouses, and other interesting places in your city.
  • Advertise with local businesses. Many people who pursue yoga are also advocates of healthy living. Take advantage of this by pairing with local business to run promotions or exchange flyers with. Check out food co-ops, cafes, fitness stores, gyms, and so on.
  • Offer in-store promotions. From the traditional business-card fishbowl contest to product giveaways, there are many in-store promotions you can run for great effect at little cost.

Interior Design Advertising Promotions

Everyone would like an interior designer, but few can or want to justify the cost of one. Using these clever interior design advertising promotion ideas, you can get the edge on the competition.

  • Offer free consultations. People want to know what you can do for them before coughing up payment. Offer a free 30 minute to one hour consultation. Use this time to explain to the customer what you can do for them and just how much you can improve their home or business.
  • Craft an online portfolio. Showcase your work as often and as far as possible. Feature photos on your Facebook page, post your work on Instagram. Hashtag everything. Create an aesthetic that is immediately apparent when someone visits you online.
  • Motivate via Pinterest. Those interested in re-designing their homes are always on the lookout for tips and tricks online. Post inspirational photos, products, and design tips on Pinterest. Create collection boards centered around a theme or emotion. If done well, you’ll quickly gain a following.

Restaurant Promotion Ideas

Everybody needs to eat. Unfortunately, offering good food at reasonable prices isn’t always enough to reel in customers. Try some of these restaurant promotion ideas, and be sure to promote your business heavily on Facebook and on your other social media channels:

  • Two-for-one. Everyone loves a bargain. Two-for-one specials work great for menu items with low cost ingredients. Bread, pasta, and inexpensive meat-based dishes are good options for a two-for-one.
  • Free dessert. Run a promotion offering a free dessert—cake, ice cream, etc.—with dinner. The dessert itself will cost you little, compared to the amount you’ll reel in with a customer who is paying for a full dinner.
  • Capitalize on holidays. Offer specials or a prix fixe menu (the most stress-free option) for occasions such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving (for those who don’t want to cook), and other holidays.

Related: 2016 Marketing Calendar

Graphic Design Marketing Ideas

As a graphic designer, it is your job to stand out. It’s an inherent part of what you do. That’s why marketing is an essential part of your success. Everything you put out, online or otherwise, is a direct representation of your talent and creativity as a graphic designer. By pairing good visuals with clever marketing tactics, you can start reeling in the big bucks.

  • Offer freebies. Often, those who are looking for a graphic designer need more than one service. They may need a logo created, but they may also have posters for an event that need to be created. Offer free items that complement your main service to encourage people to buy.
  • Apply for design awards. Submit applications to as many design contests and award programs as possible. The more accolades you can feature on your website, the more credibility you’ll have. Customers will view awards as proof of your talent as a designer.
  • Reach out. Look up your local business listings and reach out to new companies or companies that are in sore need of graphic work. Reach out to them and tell them what you can do for them! Be polite in your email or call. Never disparage the current status of their graphics or website; just tell them how much you can improve it on their behalf.

Insurance Marketing Ideas

Insurance is a competitive market. Many people mistakenly think insurance agents are one and the same. It’s key that you knock away this idea and show how much money you can save a potential new customer. Try these insurance marketing ideas to get more business:

  • Establish yourself as an industry expert. Consider writing articles (on industry websites or LinkedIn), guest blogging, or starting a blog of your own. When writing, try to cover common topics in a fresh, easy-to-understand way. Be sure to back-link to your website in your author’s bio!
  • Connect with your audience. Insurance can be difficult to understand for many. Break it down for them online. Clarify terms, give tips, share guidance and interesting articles, and so on so forth on your social media channels.

Related: 130 Ideas for Your Business Blog

Website Promotion Ideas

There are 644 million active websites on the Internet right now. If you’re not one of the “big players” it can be hard to compete and get noticed. Thankfully, there are many, many ways one can promote their websites, and many are cost-effective, or even free!

  • Produce high quality content. By writing high quality content, whether it’s articles or how-to guides, related to your industry, you provide customers with a reason to keep coming back. Plus, you’ll establish your company as a go-to leader in your industry.
  • Get on social media. Use Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms to share your content and connect with industry leaders. It’s a great way to keep your customers up-to-date!
  • Optimize your website content. Optimize your website content by implementing SEO keywords, so that you can get your website to rank higher on Google.

Have you used any good marketing ideas for your particular business? Let us know in the comments below!

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