Many of the most common small business marketing tactics that are discussed on the internet and by professional consultants can be described as slow-burn ideas. These efforts, whether they include search engine optimization, online blogging or social networking, are all designed to be effective over a long period of time. Very few companies ever found their core customer base the same week that they launched any kind of marketing effort.
However, every once in a while, it can be useful to hold an event that grabs people's attention and attempts to ratchet brand awareness up by a few notches. These happenings will stick out in customers' minds, and if they aren't overused, can be a great way to introduce a business to a whole new batch of consumers that might not have noticed them before.
Contests always capture people's imaginations. There is the hope that they might win a big prize, and that possibility attracts sizable crowds. There is also the added element of competition. Contests can have multiple events, from writing a new slogan to having the best costume in a certain style. Winners can be proudly displayed on the wall of an office or retail location, which is also a big temptation for outgoing people.
Charity events are a good way to prove to customers that a company actually cares about a community or the less fortunate. Small business marketers shouldn't get involved in non-profit events unless they truly want to help out and have legitimate concern for the folks that are being aided by a charity drive or donations that might be collected. However, this kind of act goes a long way toward establishing a business in a community and functions to give customers another excuse to choose one company over another.
Straight-up giveaways grab plenty of attention. The prospect of something for nothing is an alluring one, and customers are not likely to forget it. A giveaway can be as simple as offering free products or services on a company's anniversary or as complicated as awarding promotional products to the consumers who have done the most business over a certain period of time.
The best way to take advantage of the power that these events lend to brand awareness is to funnel the consumers that they attract into the slow-burn marketing efforts that are always going on at small businesses. Managers and supervisors should carefully display social media user names, web addresses and information about how to register for emails throughout these happenings.