10 Powerful Marketing Campaign Ideas for Small Business

It’s hard to tread fresh ground or develop unique marketing campaign ideas for small business when it seems there’s no originality left to uncover–haven’t people tried everything already? Often, this means amateur marketers will aim for “shock content,” which brings up feelings of frustration, annoyance, and even disgust in consumers. This type of incredulous approach does not have the power or sway you need for a sustainable business.

Marketing is in a class all of its own, and some folks need help understanding the psychological and emotional dimensions influencing consumer opinions. Experts often describe marketing using abstract terms. But in reality, it is about the execution and action of marketing, known simply as marketing campaigns.

Today, we will break down the essentials of what works for many successful businesses in the economy today. These cheap marketing ideas are sure to make you a shrewder businessperson. So, let’s first answer the question:

Why Is Marketing Important for Your Small Business?

Yes, why is marketing important for your small business? Why should you bother with it? The first (and perhaps most crucial) reason is that marketing makes up a significant portion of how your brand makes its first impression. 

Commercials, social media advertisements, or short videos are often customers’ first introduction to your brand. A very excellent, humorous example would be the company Pillow Cube. The video is brilliant because it pokes fun at itself, advertises the product, and demonstrates value through customer testimonials (which we will discuss later on). Check it out below.

Of course, there is a delicate balance between absurdism and parody, which are tonally different in their strategies. Adopting an absurd yet charming style of advertising is sure to attract attention. 

Still, when you delve too far into the realm of parody, you run the risk of seeming disingenuous with your message. And yes–people notice this. Whatever information you put out there will be dissected, especially if it conflicts with your values.

How to market a business begins with an idea but ends with a promise. When you break a promise, it is harder to regain the trust of your customers. Let’s look at some marketing campaign ideas for small business that can catapult you to the next level.

10 Powerful Marketing Campaign Ideas for Small Business

Marketing campaigns are promotional blueprints that aim to attract attention to your brand. Companies often direct these campaigns toward new or potential customers that might have heard of their brand but thought it wouldn’t be the product for them. 

They may think this way because the marketing was weak or lacked direction. So, here are ten powerful small business advertising ideas that are sure to be effective.  

1. Offer Free Products or Services To Influencers

Some people may think of influencers as manipulative, fake, or pampered. However, this is only sometimes the case. Influencers range in size from 1,000 to 1 million followers, and you can find them in nearly every niche, which is excellent news for your business.

Woman influencer with floating social media logos floating around her head.

Having that influencer speak highly about your product or service is a great marketing tool. A paper from the Aalto University School of Business showed that influencers in the fitness niche hold massive sway over consumer opinions and brand loyalty. These influencers can offer discount codes for your product, which makes for a win-win for all parties.

2. Capitalize On User-Generated Content

User-Generated Content (UGC) is a broad category of content that can reference reviews, social media posts, and testimonials. There are ways of sharing user-generated content that is authentic and not fake. You can show just about any average Joe using your product, but there is no story; it does not have a beating heart. UGC is content for the people.

When sharing UGC, make sure you credit that person by name. Give them a special shoutout post through social media channels. Engage your customers through contests like the Starbucks White Cup Contest or the Chobani “I Dream of Creamer.” User-generated content is essentially “free content,” but you shouldn’t exploit it. Keep in mind that much of its effectiveness will be about your angle and intention.

3. Design Your Own Shareable Infographics

Infographics are a relatively old marketing trick to make learning information more enjoyable. When people think about infographics, they often think of stock charts and bar graphs, but there is much more to this medium than meets the eye. Infographics can be more text-based, too, and implement pleasant colors, nice typography, and relevant statistics.

Making your own shareable infographics doesn’t take long. To make one, you don’t need a bachelor’s degree in graphic design. Think about it in quadrants, leading the viewer from the top of the infographic to the bottom. Use simple vocabulary and short sentences, so the viewer doesn’t have to squint or get close to read it. Shareable infographics can be influential in the right hands, so ensure you’re serious about it before starting this venture.  

4. Create and Execute an Engaging Business Blog

Anyone can start a blog on their business website with just one idea. However, high-quality content requires research and effort, and you cannot create an engaging blog from thin air. Plus, website SEO will suffer if you don’t keep up with it.

The best blog content is evergreen, meaning information stays relevant for years. People don’t want to read about breakups or political opinions, so keep them out of your business dealings. Whatever you write, have somebody you know proofread it. A poorly written piece of content is noticeable.

5. Sign Up for HARO (Help a Reporter Out)

HARO is a service that helps journalists and writers get expert information in their niche without going down an information rabbit hole. Signing up for a HARO means having access to specific backlinks that boost the quality of your writing to a different level. 

It is also an excellent way for you to offer your expertise to someone else looking for, say, a construction expert. Once you establish that relationship, you have one more person in your network, which can make all the difference.

6. Publish Customer Testimonials

If you have the luxury of having a significant following, you will likely have some customer testimonials in your arsenal. Customer testimonials take the form of videos or written reviews, highlighting an aspect of your product that they believe is incredibly cool or helpful. These can help on-the-fence viewers decide whether or not to trust your company.

Customer testimonials can be compilations, moving through a series of customers from all different backgrounds, or they can single somebody out—a single mother, a veteran, or somebody from a disenfranchised group. You can organize customer testimonials in many ways, so find the one that fits your brand voice best.

7. Sponsor or Partner With a Charity Organization

Giving to charity is one of the best ways to show that you care about a particular cause. Partnering with a charity takes it one step further, especially if you give customers a chance to donate 1-3% of their purchase to that charity. 

Charitable partnerships will help customers feel good about purchasing from your business. Because we face so many existential threats, it is nice to be able to focus on something you can directly impact, which makes this marketing move especially poignant.

8. Create a Customer Loyalty Rewards Program

Rewards programs are an easy way to make customers feel the urge to return to your business multiple times. They can take the form of punch cards, credit cards, cashback deals, or other promotional limited-time offers. 

Sure, customers feel appreciated when you appreciate their business, but adding a personal layer shows that you, as the business, care about them. For example, Barnes and Noble offer discounts, first dibs on events, free shipping on all orders, and a special birthday item. These are relatively easy to implement for the average small business.

9. Share Your Brand Story

How you created your brand has a personal story attached to it. Some customers may be interested in how your business began, and Patagonia is a great example. As you scroll down the page, you see vintage photographs fade. 

Each segment tells a part of the narrative: friendship, family, passion, and health. By the end, you feel you’ve gotten to know Patagonia better and feel that connection. This connection is the influence a good brand story can have.

10. Run Contests and Competitions

Competitions and contests are a great way to foster a community between long-time and first-time customers. Word of mouth spreads quickly, and people generate ideas. It is easy to see how this campaign can benefit a company’s repertoire. You can change the theme every year or have it be consistent. The key is to just have fun with it!  

Final Thoughts

You cannot develop a marketing campaign in one night, and there will be a lot of trial and error if this is your first go at it. Fortunately for you, campaigns follow a formula, despite popular belief. Though there is no magic recipe for success, these ten powerful marketing campaign ideas will give your small business a competitive edge for the long haul. 

Did you find this article helpful? Which campaign idea would you consider trying first? Share your story in the comments below!

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