Marketing your business can be a daunting task, especially if you're a small business with limited resources and limited bandwidth. But, it can also be an opportunity to challenge yourself, think outside the box, and create simple strategies that are focused, effective, and fun to execute, with the ultimate goal of inviting prospective customers into your world and increasing sales.
Embrace Traditional Methods
In the age of digital marketing, it's easy to underestimate the power of the analog marketing tools available to us, but they can be used to create positive memories that last.
Printed flyers, postcards and promotional items that can be held, touched and seen IRL vibrate at a different frequency than, say, email newsletters. This doesn't mean one way is necessarily better than the other, it simply means old school methods have not become redundant - even in a digital age - and can add value to brand awareness and memory, especially when used in conjunction with new age / digital tools.
Not every method of traditional marketing makes sense for every business. Consider your options and think about the ways each could be used - both short and long term - to promote your team’s goals.
Have Fun with Promotional Items
If you don't know where to start, start small and organic. Promotional items that relate to your business (e.g., branded wine openers, matchbooks, lighters, pens, notebooks) can be an opportunity to express your flair while offering customers something they will use, appreciate and remember.
Start with an item that you and your customers actually use on a daily basis (like a fine point BIC pen) and customize it with your brand’s unique colors, logos and designs. There are a variety of online resources that offer a range of prices, design options and minimum order requirements for your specific budget and length of promotional initiative. This could mean customers get a free pen with each purchase over $25 for the month of March (short-term), or it could mean they’re used in your shop by staff members and free to all customers on a more long term basis. If you have fun with it, so will your customers. Pretty soon you’ll be creating custom pins, stickers and patches and your customers will be asking for them.
Share Information with Postcards & Flyers
Well-designed postcards, rack cards and flyers can help disseminate general or specific information while also allowing you to flex your brand's design aesthetic and unique personality.
Think of them as little pieces of art that share your story and invite people in. Having something physical to hold, experience and take away can create a more memorable impact and emotional response than a digital image, the latter of which customers see thousands of on a daily basis.
Design and print flyers that share details about an upcoming event, send mailers to a targeted group of customers with an exclusive promo code, or create postcards that distill your company’s ethos. Printed materials are a small commitment that make a big splash. If you’re not a skilled designer, don’t fret! Free and affordable templates can be found online on sites like www.creativemarket.com and www.canva.com.
Marketing your business doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, be stressful, or take a lot of time. Simply being aware of all the available resources and educating yourself on the efficacy of certain strategies can empower you to make the right decisions for your business. Embracing traditional marketing tools can help reach and target a local audience that may not spend a lot of time on the internet or engage on social media. So, keep an open mind, strive to diversify your marketing strategy and have fun with it. Your business will thank you.