Small business marketing is a difficult beast to conquer, but the key is to get your brands name out in an appealing, trustworthy and possibly unique way. While big businesses have the budgets to build identities that appeal to a large group of people, many small businesses don't have the time or resources to depend solely on a long ad campaign.
Instead, as a small business the focus should be on drawing in customers immediately and then proving your worth when they are there. Owners can utilize both current practices and the internet to drive their promotions and make them more effective than ever.
Start with what you have
Many businesses, no matter how new, likely have a few dedicated regular customers who maintain a sense of loyalty to the company. Creating promotions that appeal to customers who visit a store regularly is a good way to reward repeat business as well as giving those customers who benefited from their relationships something to tell their friends about. This simultaneously gives many people a reason to return while drumming up new interest through word of mouth.
Use airtime wisely
Many advertisers focus on the idea of repetition to the point of frustration. Because many small businesses have less to spend on television or radio airtime than their national competition, the focus should be on content over all else. Keeping the commercial informative and understandable is key. Airtime should be purchased sparingly and used to promote specific sales or special offers. Making an entertaining commercial that just flashes the company logo at the end is a method for gaining future sales.
Utilize the internet
The internet is a wonderful resource for small businesses, as this is the place for advertisers to take their chances and stretch their creative muscles. Creating unique promotions is a great way to appeal to specific niche markets that may make up a company's customer base. Use social media to host giveaways and sales, giving loyal followers a reason to visit over an over.
Promoting specific products with themed parties or competitions is a great way to appeal to some customers. A company that specializes in maps that show local college hangouts would do well to market to college students with a scavenger hunt promotion.
There are many ways for a small business to compete with a large one. However, this is only as long as the focus isn't on drawn out campaigns that bring in future customers, but instead on targeted ads that will bring in customers right away.