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In all likelihood, if you’ve got a small business, you’re already doing some marketing. Maybe you attend conferences, put up posters, post on facebook, or just tell people to tell their friends what you’re doing.

Maybe it’s worked for you so far. But maybe, you want to take it up a notch and improve your marketing. Well, without further ado, here are another 7 ways that you can do that. For more tips, download our guide to Marketing Quick Wins for Small Businesses.

Reverse engineer lookalike brands and competitors

If you’re out of ideas about how to grow, it might be worth getting some outside stimulus. Taking inspiration from already successful brands within your industry is a great way to do that.

You could create a new email address just for getting inspiration. Then you could sign up to loads of brands’ newsletters and find out what promotions, content and messages they’re sending out to their audience. Have a think, “how could I do something similar but better?” Get cracking and do it!

Alternatively, you could find out which of your competitors’ posts are doing the best on social media and reverse engineer them. Are they sharing testimonials and explaining how they did it? Are they telling personal stories? What makes their marketing efforts so captivating?

PRO TIP: take screenshots and save incredible strategies into a swipe file (a word doc or Evernote note or Notion page where you store screenshots). If you haven’t got time to do that, just save the posts for later. You can do that on Instagram by clicking the bookmark symbol, the like button on Twitter, or the three dots on Facebook or LinkedIn posts.

Maybe check out the Facebook Ad library. Search for your competitors. Are they running ads? Maybe it’s time for you to start doing that too.

You could also supplement your knowledge by learning the theory of marketing. Go back to basics and pick up David Ogilvy – On Advertising. Find out what moves the needle when it comes to public messaging. 

There’s nothing wrong with taking inspiration from others. Especially if it helps you grow!

Test, test, test

Whatever you decide to do, have a scientific mindset. Don’t get attached to the marketing methods you’re using. You want to always be testing different tactics and strategies and measuring the results. Seek out data to find out how your activities are performing. 

Split test different website content, different social media posts and different SEO tactics. A lot of market research agencies, and smaller marketing thought leaders spend countless hours and capital every year on testing. You can often purchase their reports, or get access to their insights in paid courses.

There are some great tools out there to help you do your own tests including HubSpot, MailChimp, HootSuite and SERPwoo for SEO.

Measure it

Following on from the last point, you can’t run tests if you’re not measuring your progress. You could have an inkling about whether something is working or not, but it is far better to look at the data.

Google Analytics is a great way to measure your progress. For more on Google Analytics, check out the Analytics Academy.

Get testimonials

People won’t buy your product or use your service until they trust you. The best way to build this trust is by having testimonials from other people who’ve used your service. The similar the people giving the testimonials are to the prospect, the better! 

Whenever you do some successful work for someone, ask them for a testimonial on Google, social media or a video testimonial you can put on your website.

Note: If you get bad reviews, make sure you respond to them politely. There’s nothing worse than not having your say if someone has left a bad review! 

Be more social

Get people involved with your brand. If you’ve done something positive with a client, tag them. Odds are that they’ll comment on your post, spreading it to their audience as well (on Twitter and Facebook at least).

Especially if you’re selling a high ticket product, make the effort to engage with your prospects on LinkedIn with relevant and insightful responses. This is a great way to trigger a conversation and build more impressions.

Form joint venture partnerships

Creating partnerships with other non-competing brands in your industry is a great way to get extra exposure from prospects. 

Perhaps you could negotiate a deal where another brand in your industry offers your product as part of their deal for an exclusive price. The incentive being that the partner gets a split of the revenue!

Or, perhaps you could plan a webinar with them, in which you both get the chance to talk about your products. The benefit is that you get exposure from their audience, and they yours.

Turn your employees into brand ambassadors

Get your staff on social media. Create a company culture where your staff are proud of their work and want to share it online. Encourage them to share quick wins and comment on each other’s posts.

This creates a viral effect as any posts are seen by each of the employees’ audiences.

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