All small business owners face tricky marketing challenges. While social media and email campaigns are common sense at this point, that doesn't mean this is where you draw the line when promoting your new business. Here are a few out-of-the-box ideas that will help get the word out:
Leveraging free marketing tools like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are effective options for promoting your brand. But there's only so much you can do on your own, especially if you don't want to invest in sponsored advertisements. Focus on encouraging your followers to spread the word. A great way to promote your business is to hold contests that require followers to share a post to enter.
To do this, post a photo on Instagram of a new product and tell your followers to share the photo and tag your company in the caption. Each person who shares this image exposes your brand to his or her whole following. This is an especially useful tool for businesses involved in niche markets with a large social media presence, like wedding planning, artisan food or drinks, or cosmetics.
Start a blog
Blogging on your company's website is another useful way to market your business, especially if you're able to incorporate your company's goods and services into topics that are shareable to the masses. Become an informative voice in your industry, and you'll drive traffic to your company's website, even if people aren't looking to purchase your goods or services immediately. This gives potential customers the impression that you're a trustworthy entity to do business with in the future.
If your content can loosely tie back to your product without seeming too sales-y, you'll also gain more publicity each time a reader shares your blog posts with members of his or her online network, especially if you utilize search engine optimization.
Use your business cards
Business cards may seem like an old-school method of marketing, but there are plenty of ways to bring them into the 21st century. Of course, you can bring business cards to other storefronts in your neighborhood for promotion. However, the best way to get people to pay attention is to give your card another purpose. Entrepreneur suggests using your business card as an event ticket, note card or sticker. Add an even bigger impact by having your business card's function coincide with what your company does. Get creative in a variety of ways. For example, if you run a publishing house or bookstore, print your business information on a bookmark. If you own a hair salon, a comb with your contact information would be fun and functional. Do you make custom artisan candles? Make your business card a book of matches!