To keep your business growing, especially in a competitive industry, you must have a well-planned marketing strategy. There are countless ways for small businesses to get creative with their marketing efforts. New marketing campaigns can be a great way to get customers excited, boost sales and build your brand. Here are five great ways to connect with your customers.
Make Your Marketing Messaging Fun and Relevant
If you offer products or services relevant to a specific time of year, spread the word with fun and seasonal messaging. Many retailers use window paint or sidewalk chalk to capture consumer attention with seasonal drawings that include messages about discounts. You can incorporate the same light-heartedness into your direct mail and email messages by leveraging more colorful images and text. This tactic also works for non-retail industries. Architects, contractors and construction, for example, might benefit from tailoring imagery and messaging around summer home renovations.
A good start for your small business is to offer special themed discounts or sales. People are naturally drawn to a deal, but you can enhance your sale by linking it to something that affects your customers. This can be anything from the weather to a special event in their community. If the local little league team is in the championship, offer a discount or 1 percent off your goods or services for every run the home team scores during Saturday's game (with an appropriate limit, of course). Once you settle on the right theme, you can get the word out with dynamic printed flyers or banners on your website.
Another way to connect with potential customers is to host customer appreciation events. Perhaps you can throw a barbeque for customers or offer your customers tickets to a baseball game or to an amusement park. Events provide two advantages for your small business: helping you interact with customers face-to-face and keeping customers happy. Interacting with your customers on a regular basis can help you get to know them better. It can also help keep your business at top of mind when searching for or recommending your product or service.
Hold a Contest
If you’re looking for a way to drum up excitement about your business, you can create buzz by holding a giveaway or contest. Contests encourage current and potential customers to engage with your brand and entice them return to your website or business. Think a contest sounds too expensive? You don't have to offer a large prize to get customers involved, but make sure to check your state’s guidelines. For example, a coffee shop might offer a daily chance to win a free drink for anyone who shares or likes the company's Facebook page. If getting customers through your door is a goal, you can offer a bigger incentive or prize for those who sign up in person.
Sidewalk sales are traditional brand-boosters for retail businesses. However, creative non-retail businesses can take advantage of community events as well! If you have a physical location close to local retail, you can hold an open house and get customers through the door by serving lemonade or other refreshments. Once you get potential customers through the door, explain your product or service.
Small business owners understand the importance of connecting with customers. Connections can happen face-to-face in storefronts, restaurants, salons or offices; they can also occur online through social media, website interactions and promotions. Using these five marketing tips, you can continue to find new ways to connect with your customers and their needs.