One primary goal for most small businesses is to sell the business’s products and services. This is normally best accomplished by positioning the brand in front of the right target audience, and offering something that solves a problem or can’t be found anywhere else.
To this end, one of the most efficient things small business owners can do for their business is take the time to develop a solid small business marketing plan that sets them apart from the competition. An effectively implemented small business marketing plan should clearly detail how you plan to reach your target audience.
There are hundreds of ways you can promote your small business. However, by using the best mix of activities, you can identify and focus on the marketing tactics that are most cost effective for your small business. Here is a list of 101 small business marketing tips to get you thinking about all of the different ways you can promote your brand and business.
Marketing Planning & Strategy
1. Create or update the marketing plan for your business.
2. Conduct market research.
3. Start a focus group.
4. Write a unique selling proposition.
5. Define and refine your target audience and industries you serve.
6. Expand your product and service offerings.
7. Update your business cards to be cohesive with the rest of your branding.
8. Make your business card stand out from the competitions.
9. Create or update your brochure, and streamline with all other branding.
10. Create a digital version of your brochure for your website.
11. Explore a website redesign and add more content to your website.
12. Get creative with promotional products and give them away at the next networking event you attend.
Networking In Person
13. Write an elevator pitch you can recite in under 30 seconds.
14. Register for a conference or a networking event.
15. Introduce yourself to other local business owners and professionals.
16. Plan and host a local business workshop.
17. Join your local and online chamber of commerce.
18. Rent a booth or speak at a conference or trade show.
Direct Mail to Prospects & Customers
19. Launch a multi-piece direct mail campaign to potential customers.
20. Create multiple resources, and test your mailers to measure ROI.
21. Include a clear and enticing call to action on every direct mail piece.
22. Offer an incentive in your mailers for people to take action (gift card, coupon, free coffee, etc.)
23. Send past customers free samples and other incentives to regain their business.
24. Advertise on popular online directories and peer-to-peer review sites.
25. Advertise using Google Ads.
26. Advertise using Bing Ads..
27. Use stickers or magnets to advertise on your car.
28. Use Google display ad campaigns to retarget people that have visited your site or searched for your services.
29. Advertise on a local cable TV station.
30. Use a sidewalk sign to promote your specials.
31. Advertise on Facebook.
32. Advertise on LinkedIn.
33. Buy ad space on a relevant website.
Social Media Marketing
34. Create a social media profile on all relevant platforms.
35. Create a Facebook Business page.
36. Set a vanity URL or username for your Facebook page.
37. Create a Twitter account.
38. Reply or retweet other people on Twitter.
39. Set up a Foursquare account for your business.
40. Create a Google My Business, Bing, and Yahoo account for your business.
41. Start a business blog on your website.
42. Write blog posts on a regular basis.
43. Create an Instagram account.
44. Create a Groupon.
Digital and Online Marketing
45. Start a Google Adwords pay-per-click campaign.
46. Start a pay-per-click campaign on Facebook and LinkedIn
47. Comment on blog posts.
48. Create a high quality video explaining your services.
49. Upload all your videos to your business YouTube channel.
50. Check your online directory listings and get listed in desirable directories.
51. Set up Google Analytics on your website and blog.
52. Review and measure your Google Analytics statistics.
53. Purchase and register a new domain name for a marketing campaign or a new product or service.
54. Learn more about local search marketing and get listed on the first page of local searches.
55. Track your online reputation and get more reviews.
56. Sign up for newswires and the Help a Reporter Out (HARO) email list.
57. Create an email opt-in on your website or blog.
58. Offer a free download or free gift in exchange for people subscribing to your newsletter.
59. Send regular thought leadership and promotional emails to your list.
60. Start a free monthly email newsletter.
61. Use A/B testing to measure the effectiveness of your email campaigns.
62. Perfect your email signature and include your office address and links to follow your business on social media.
63. Add social sharing functionality to your emails.
Contests, Coupons, and Incentives
64. Start a contest.
65. Create a coupon.
66. Create a “frequent buyer” rewards program.
67. Start a customer appreciation program.
68. Create a customer of the month or year program.
69. Give away a free sample.
70. Start an affiliate program.
71. Send out a customer satisfaction survey.
72. Ask for referrals.
73. Make a referral for another business.
74. Help promote or volunteer your time for a charity event.
75. Sponsor a local sports team.
76. Cross-promote your products and services with other local businesses.
77. Join a professional organization.
78. Plan your holiday promotions in advance.
79. Send holiday gifts for your best customers.
80. Send birthday cards to your clients.
81. Approach a colleague about a collaboration.
82. Donate branded prizes for local fundraisers.
83. Become a mentor.
84. Plan a free live webinar and offer it on-demand late in exchange for contact information.
85. Record a podcast.
86. Write a press release.
87. Submit your press release to various distribution channels.
88. Rewrite your sales copy with a storytelling spin.
89. Start writing an e-book.
90. Hire a marketing agency or consultant.
91. Hire a public relations professional.
92. Hire a professional copywriter.
93. Hire a search engine marketing firm.
94. Hire an intern to help with daily marketing tasks.
95. Hire a graphic designer and/or photographer.
Unique Marketing Ideas
96. Get a branded tattoo.
97. Create a business mascot to help promote your brand.
98. Take a controversial stance on a hot industry topic.
99. Pay for wearable advertising.
100. Get a branded paint job done on your company vehicle.
101. Sign up for online business training to stay current on new industry solutions and trends.
Once you have a few brand new marketing ideas to try in your small business, get started on creating and implementing your marketing plan.