Big Brand Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses
For a small business owner, looking at big box retailers’ marketing can be a little bit overwhelming. At times, it can seem that larger brands have resources that you simply can’t attain. They’re big, they’re flashy, and they have one very specific quality: huge marketing budgets. Small businesses often assume that they simply can’t afford to use the marketing techniques leveraged by the big brands. But here’s a secret:
While you may not be able to get an endorsement of your restaurant from Anthony Bourdain or spend millions on a nationwide advertising campaign, small businesses have access to the strategies that lie at the heart of those big brands’ efforts. To spark your marketing creativity, we’ve got three big brand marketing tools that you can leverage for your business, whether you’re a just-beginning bakery or an established mom and pop hardware store.
Let’s start with one that’s big – and misunderstood. The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing this way: “…a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.” (It can be hard to tell what’s considered content marketing, and what’s just considered advertising, so if you’d like some examples, Josh Steimle has gathered a list of content marketing samples on Forbes.) The gist of it is this: content marketing means posting things that are of value to your customer, in hopes of leading them to spend money with you. Great examples of content marketing are blogs, infographics, and even informative social media posting (we’ll get to social later).
The best thing about content marketing for small businesses is that typically, it’s free! For the cost of hosting a website or opening a social media account, you can begin to produce content that increases customer trust in your business and builds reciprocity as you give them free tips and info. Content marketing increases your business’s search rankings and therefore the ability of your potential customers to see your business when they look for their needs online. Looking for a great way to start? Forbes has a great article on creating a great small business content marketing strategy.
Social Strategy & Paid Ads
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: social media can be great for your business. However, it can be a daunting task to make social media a large portion of your marketing strategy. We wrote a few weeks ago about spring cleaning your online business presence, and those tips are a great place to start your social strategy. Put aside a little bit of time to plan your social media strategy (remembering that your social posts can be content marketing!), set up a calendar, and start posting.
Next: make sure you’re boosting your posts and paying for advertising, particularly on Facebook. If you’re on the fence about whether paying for posts is worth it, the Moz blog has a great breakdown on why you should pay to advertise on Facebook. If you’ve got even $30 to spend on marketing – you’re all set.
It’s an exciting thought for business owners: If only I could go talk to the people who were most likely to be interested in my business, I could get them through my door easily. And you probably know that those big brands leverage huge amounts of data to specifically target their consumers. That level of directness can feel unattainable – but it’s easier to access than you might think. In those Facebook ads that you can boost (for as little as $1 per day!), you’ll find the option to target those ads to people with specific interests. With a little bit of research, you can begin to target customers with interests relevant to your business.
And when it comes to direct mail, you’ve got options. New mover marketing is a great first step to targeting your advertising to customers who are open to changing their buying habits and creating brand loyalty.
Feeling ready to take on your marketing?
We can help. Contact your local Welcomemat Representative here!