One of the most common problems I hear from business owners is not having enough marketing ideas.
After a lethal combination of too many espresso’s and some banging dance tunes I wrote these marketing ideas in no particular order.
They are a mixture of old school and new age digital marketing ideas that came to my head to help you. Some won’t be relevant to you, some are not relevant to me, but there should be something you can use.
- FLYERS – Don’t create crappy versions yourself on Microsoft publisher or use vistaprint as they look awful! It’s never been easier to create professional looking flyers, try using Canva and use the ready made templates for you. Get them printed and delivered to homes, offices or where ever your target audience is.
- WHILST WE ON THE SUBJECT OF CANVA – Canva doesn’t just let you create flyers. You can create all sorts of marketing tools like business cards, invitations, menus, vouchers, social media or info graphics. The list goes on. Moral of the story. Use it, it’s predominately FREE! (You see the graphic at the top of this blog post? Yep, that was on Canva.) The most your pay is a few dollars for each creation.
- SOMETHING YOU CAN INVITE PEOPLE TOO – Could be a workshop or a seminar. Could be free or a paid event. Either way it’s a great way to build a relationship with people and become the expert by giving relevant useful information away that can use and tell them about your services at the end.
- WEBINAR – Need to put yourself in front of people all over the world? Invite people to a webinar instead. Same principle.
- WRITE AN ARTICLE OR BLOG POST – To become the expert you need to share useful information that people can use. Place it on your blog and share it on social media sites to gain website traffic. If buy like they will share it with their friends (Hint Hint). Don’t forget to publish your articles on Linkedin and article websites like ezine to build back links and traffic back to your website.
- PRINT THE ARTICLE – As soon as I finish writing this article, I will head over to Canva and create a magazine style article using this text so its looks professional to hand out to people. Don’t be lazy and just rely on your blog to be found. Heck, you could even post it to people.
- FACEBOOK – Seems obvious right? With 1.4 BILLION users and the most used website in the world it amazes me when I meet business owners who are still not on Facebook or don’t use it because they think it will not work for them. The average user spends 3 HOURS a day on Facebook!! Chances are your target market is using Facebook for personal and/or business so your mad if your not using it for your business.
- FACEBOOK ADS – If the average user is spending 3 hours a day on Facebook you probably want to be placing your ad or making sure your status is being seen. PAY for the privilege of putting your message to the potential millions of customers. The beauty of Facebook Ads means you can laser target your customers by selecting the sex, age group, if they are married or engaged, their interests, etc. HINT – You won’t get this by pressing the BOOST POST button though. Use this useful tool to check your image doesn’t contain more than 20% text so it’s not dissaproved.
- BUSINESS CARDS – Old school marketing but it still works when you use them to their full potential. Don’t commit the cardinal sin and leave the back of your business card BLANK! Provide a call to action and give people a reason to call you or visit your website.
- WEBSITE – Most people have websites these days. But did you know you have 7 seconds from when your prospect finds your website, makes a decision about what you offer and then leaves never to see them again? You need to have some form of data capture so you can build trust and a relationship with them.
- SQUEEZE OR LANDING PAGES – I have used Leadpages for the last year to create simple effective squeeze pages and I love it! Rather than send people to your website and them getting lost or confused with the message your giving them. Send your traffic from social media or pay per click straight to your squeeze page instead. This works even better if the traffic your sending has visited your website or read your blog posts before as they will already know who you are – but that’s a whole different blog post for the future.
- EMAIL MARKETING – It’s not about having the biggest email list as having a list of 1000 people that regulary open your emails and read them is better than 1 million people that never read your emails. If you want a responsive list you need to send them QUALITY useful content (like the articles your going to start writing!) on a regular basis. Don’t be afraid of unsubscribes, the more the better. It allows you to create a better quality list. A good starting point is Mailchimp as its free, but your limited in what you can do. I used Aweber for years but I have recently started using Active Campaign.
- BUSINESS AWARDS – Winning Young Entrepreneur back in 2011 opened up so many doors for me and added massive credibility to my business. Half the battle is entering them and filling in long tedious forms. More often than not your become a finalist so they can sell you tickets to the awards night. Take them for what they are, swallow your pride and enter them. Worse case scenario it’s a brilliant night out and you get to network with other business owners.
- YOUTUBE – The 3rd most used website in the world behind Facebook and Google is YouTube. People are more commonly looking for solutions to their problems on YouTube rather than Google, especially the younger generation. One of my clients videos has now been viewed 4000+ times for people simply searching for a photo booth in their local area.
- YOUTUBE ADS – Probably the cheapest form of pay per click at the moment and you need to jump on it now! Until recently if you could get your prospect to click on your link before the 30 second mark you could get the click for free. YouTube seem to of caught onto this but you can still get clicks to your website or squeeze page for just a FEW PENCE!
- VIDEO MARKETING – YouTube might be the largest video viewing platform but you can also upload your video to other platforms like Vimeo. If you want your video to be seen on Facebook your better off uploading it directly to Facebook rather than sharing a YouTube link. Facebook even allows you to embed your Facebook video on your website now.
- TESTIMONIALS – If people love you or your product they are more than willing to write you a testimonial for you. The only difficult bit is you… getting over yourself and asking for it. It’s easy to get written testimonials that you can use on your website or social media. You can even ask people to tweet you so you can embed them on your website (See Below). The more powerful ones are video testimonials because people can see a real person.
- SOCIAL MEDIA REVIEWS – Reviews of your product or service are a key ranking factor for your website. The more reviews you have on your Facebook page, Google+ page and website the better. It makes people realise your real and someone has ordered from you before. It also been proven people are more likely to click on your links.
- BLOG REVIEWS – Reviews on blogs are a great way of generating you traffic from someone else’s website and a even better way of creating natural back links to your website. I took this idea from backlinko and tweaked it. Try reaching out to bloggers using the following text:
I was searching for (your niche / relevant search term ) today when I came across (their website).
Love your blog! (or some sort form of flattery)
I just launched (product / service). I usually charge £X, but I’d be more than happy to send it over to you for free. All I’d ask is that you’d consider mentioning it on your blog or writing a review.
Let me know how that sounds.
You want to be VERY careful about the language you use for this strategy. Don’t ask for a link or review…which would violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. I just send them the product and let them decide if it’s worth a mention on their blog.
- TV ADS – There is a reason John Lewis, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s etc spend all year creating their Christmas TV ads. Last year, Monty the penguin was viewed 25 MILLION TIMES on YouTube as it was shared around social media and got everyone talking. What could you create to target your niche? These days you can run TV ads just in your local area or even local cinema. For the record, for me, Mulberry is the Christmas advert 2015 winner…
- NETWORKING – I personally hate networking. Nothing fills me with more dread than walking into a room full of people and introducing myself to them. But I pull my big boy pants up and do it because it works if you go on a regular basis to build the relationships with people.
- TEXT – We have all seen the text competitions during X-Factor or This morning TV shows to win a holiday or car. It doesn’t cost the earth to set up. I use it to get people on my email list using a feature on the pro version of Leadpages.
- GOOGLE ADWORDS – The original pay per click advert found down the right hand side of your search on Google. Has expanded into different formats like the already mentioned YouTube Ads. HINT – It’s amazing how ” “, [ ] and + can make all the difference though.
- CHARITY – Works best with local charities or big charities that have PR or marketing managers who can help you with your event. This is great for brand awareness and also doing something GOOD! This also works well if you support a charity that your local newspaper or radio station is supporting as you can piggy back on their events. Hold a event, raise some money, get a big cheque to present to the charity for a photo, get the story and photo in the local press. Simples.
- REFERRALS – If you don’t ask for them you won’t get them. Simple. What about giving a incentive?
- EXHIBITIONS – As much I hate networking I weirdly really enjoy exhibitions! DON’T sit on a chair behind a desk, nothing screams I can’t be bothered to be here more than that. Stand up, get talking to people and have a goal in mind other than brand awareness.
- LUMPY MAIL – Its rare to get anything but junk mail or bank statements in the post these days and it’s much more exciting that receiving a email or text that can be easily deleted. What could you send in the mail to get your customers or prospects to pick up the phone?
- PRESS RELEASES – Ideally use a copywriter or PR specialist. However, I have had just as much luck ringing up the editor of the local paper and asking them if they would like to go to dinner or coffee? How often do you think editors get treated? Very rarely and it is a easy way to start a relationship with them.
- VEHICLE WRAPS – On average your vehicle is seen 7-12 times a day when it is signed up. Great way of telling people what you do.
- SPONSORSHIP – Chevrolet currently sponsor Manchester United’s home shirt for the sum of £47 MILLION (per season!). Whilst this would undoubtedly do wonders for your brand you don’t need to sponsor a premiership football team to benefit. Try approaching your local school or cub football team. They are crying out for helping with kit. The same kit that is seen by parents every week at matches and even washed at home.
- COMPETITIONS – Everyone loves winning things! One of my clients recently increased their Facebook followers from a few hundred to several thousand in a matter of weeks by offering people the chance to win a iPad mini if people liked their page and shared the photo. The power of Facebook ads allowed them to target people who had a interest in LED light bulbs. The exact product they sell on their website…
- SOCIAL MEDIA –Which one is most relevant for your business? I could take up all 47 ideas just with social media platforms so I have only listed the 3 main ones above until now. But what about the likes of Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, Pinterest, etc?
- RADIO – Listen to your local radio station and act on relevant new stories by offering your opinion.
- PROMOTIONAL GIFTS – It was all the rage in the 90’s getting pens, keyrings, mugs, etc but I think they still have a place. You can get some great deals on eBay.
- PHONE – Here’s a idea. Pick it up and use it!! Your phone is packed with contacts you probably haven’t touched based with in a long time. Sending a Facebook message or a text is just to easy to ignore.
- CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT – Celebrities these days have massive followings on social media. I have seen 1 tweet literally change the path for small businesses. The bigger the following the more money they want, however some just want your service or product for free in return for some exposure. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
- LOCAL / FREE MAGAZINES – You know the ones. They come through you letterbox and the first thing I do is chuck them away. But is your demographic reading them? Or better still keeping them? Can be quite cheap to advertise in.
- JOINT VENTURES – Can you team up with other local businesses where you can help each get clients by cross promoting each other?
- AFFILIATE MARKETING – Where you pay people a fee or percentage to promote your business for you. For every sale they get £X.
- WEBSITE FORUMS – The likes of Netmums have THOUSANDS of people loggin in to share or find advice with fellow parents. What websites could be relevant to you? You could advertise on them or get amongst the conversations.
- DIRECTORIES – Forget about the Yellow pages but websites like Yelp can provide great traffic and are quite often ranked highly in local search terms.
- BILLBOARDS – I am not sure how true this story is, but before Innocent smoothies got into all the big supermarkets they placed a billboard advert on the route for work for the buyer of Sainsburys supermarket so he saw it everyday for 4 weeks. After 4 weeks they approached them to sell in their supermarket and they knew who they were straight away. The rest is as they say is history. But who is important to you to place a billboard advert in front of?
- A-BOARDS / BANNERS – Get one outside your shop or even pay for one to be outside someone else’s shop to advertise you. Could even pay the local council or school to hang your banner on their fence.
- CONTACT EX-CLIENTS – How often do you get in touch with people have bought from you before? One of the easiest ways of getting more business is getting in touch with people who have bought from you before. Sometimes all it takes is a phone call.
- OPEN DAYS – Links back to idea no.3 but hold a open day that you can invite people to see what you do, hold a family day or see your newest product or service, etc. You can even invite the press (you know the one you took out for dinner) or link it to a charity event.
- MARKET STALL – Seems to depend where you live as to how successful your local market is and how much of a footfall there is. It can be a cheap pitch to put yourself in front of local people. Speak to your local council to see what the rules are in your area.
- NEWSLETTERS – Your children bring them home from Nursery or school every month or term? How about sponsoring the newsletter? Or better still start your own newsletter that you post through the doors of local residents?
This list could go on and on and on…
But if you can’t take anything from these marketing ideas your either doing extremely well or your not challenging yourself enough. Everybody should be able to implement at least 5 of these marketing ideas straight away. Question is, which ones will you implement?
Let me know how you get on and please SHARE this article using the social media share buttons below.