Every business starts at the same point of anonymity. Outside of you and your core team members, no one knows who you are or what you’re about. Don’t worry. You’ll get to the stage where your brand is instantly recognisable by their font, logo or jingle and companies are clambering for collaborative opportunities.
Until then as a small business, as you launch marketing campaign after marketing campaign, you’ll soon find it harder than you realised to stand out in the sea of - well other small businesses, and the sure swimming sharks who dominate the attention of your potential consumers.
The first thing to remember is to stay in your lane. This isn’t to keep you from growing, but to remind you that you have certain constraints, financial and otherwise, that others may not. You shouldn’t be overspending on the biggest, baddest marketing technique in the hope of an explosion of new customers or users - unless you can guarantee it can make its return.
But in an age where lip product sales are down thanks to mandatory mask usage, and eggs being smashed on heads is considered sharable content - the market is as unpredictable as it has ever been, and nothing is ever a sure thing.
As a new company without the luxury of throwing money at a campaign, access to models or celebrities to endorse your fledgeling brand - you need to be more creative with your small business ideas and generate marketing models that are easily accomplishable.
It’s about the little things you can do that can make a huge impact when you are just starting out and fighting to be seen and heard. Do your research and get an idea of what is easy to create, what is shareable, and what appeals to the average scroller and consumer.
Infographics are a big one. These visually striking snippets of information have been around for years, but are making a comeback as the go-to method to pique the interest of anyone who happens by them. You can easily find free templates to make your own, and they are adaptable to any brand and versatile in that they can display any information you want to get across in an interesting way.
Instagram’s latest sharable video idea Reels allows you to film and edit content lasting fifteen seconds. No need for a scriptwriter, film crew or fancy camera - just whip out your smartphone, get recording and get sharing. All the while showing your brand is plugged into the latest social media trend.
Don’t undervalue all the small things you can do to show a consistent presence with your brand as these short term marketing steps bring you closer and closer to your long term goals.
When you start putting numbers on the board, don’t rush ahead too soon and become obsessed with increasing them as soon as possible by any means necessary. Cultivate a relationship with those first early customers and followers to imbue loyalty, and open up lines of communication between yourself and those who you are trying to reach.
Feedback is key to helping your business grow, and from a marketing perspective, the responses you get from those early followers will be organic and authentic. They will tell you the colours you’ve used are too harsh, that the wording was thick with jargon, and they’ll notice if you don’t post on topic with social issues, and call you out for it. These remarks come from those with nothing to lose or gain by being upfront, and it is a way to garner free user feedback, all by simply keeping an eye on what is being commented.
Loyalty is one of those things that can’t be bought which makes it all the more important, especially as your business is just expanding past its roots.
It can be tempting to spread your net wide straight off the bat, but what you don’t want, is to end up with numerous social media accounts with your brand’s name all over it. Each one abandoned because it wasn’t helping you to reach your target audience.
In 2020 an Instagram page is a must for any and every brand as a marketing platform, regardless of your industry. Whether or not you choose to give your brand a presence on another social media platform is dependent on who you are trying to reach.
Current teenagers are more likely to be found on YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram, staying clear of Twitter and Facebook. On the other hand, those demographics change dramatically in correlation to Baby Boomers and Gen X. Do your research so you don’t end up with failed marketing strategies across platforms your audiences are nowhere to be found.
Despite the all-consuming popularity of social media, consumers still trust a brand with a website - even if it’s used solely as a landing page - so snatch up your domain name. It’s a reliable anchor for your brand and acts as a great house to archive past marketing campaigns.
Use this short time of anonymity to your advantage by experimenting, with your outlook on marketing and find that sweet spot between what is creatively achievable, and what your audience responds most to.
You could really want to showcase a product with artsy shots that are all long shadows and canted-angles. This may get the least amount of engagement from your audience so you create a video that is oversaturated and playful - your audience love it, but it was costly to make and you don’t feel it is truly representative of your brand or the product you are promoting. You try again and get it right with black and white images with pops of colour - you love it and so do your audience.
Trying, adjusting, and trying again allows you to find that middle ground, as well as the positive and negative effects, of straying too far in one direction. It’s a replicable formula that you have been able to calculate at a stage where nobody was paying too close attention to the sudden changes of approach. Not only that, but you have the option of quietly archiving what didn’t work as if it never happened.
As a small business, you’ll have to adopt some guerilla marketing techniques in order to both give yourself an edge and keep your brand in the game. Thankfully the internet is filled with a plethora of free and cost effective resources; finding creative talent on Fiverr, graphic designing using Canva and taking advantage of Streams services.
We are the perfect accompaniment for small businesses who are looking for a tool enabling them to quickly research content across social media platforms and content articles on the internet. Using Streams means you have fast and easy access to what - or who - is trending across your niche. In conjunction with other resources we’re a key part of small business marketing so your brand never feels like a small fish in a big digital pond.
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