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Get Noticed: 16 Creative Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses

Every company has potential competitors. And even though they offer the exact same generic product, why is one company always better off? For instance, Apple is better than Samsung. Well, maybe you guessed it right– it’s all about the marketing strategies used. To be very specific, it’s all about creative marketing strategies. 

Today, nobody likes the old and boring ways of marketing. We all unrecognizably demand marketing that pleases our eyes and minds and instincts before a purchase. The answer? Get creative!

Creative marketing, as straightforward as it sounds, is a fun and innovative way to present products in front of customers. Examples of creative marketing include event marketing, experiential marketing, influencer marketing, content marketing, and social media marketing.

This type of marketing helps to create a memorable customer experience so that every time a customer thinks of buying a product like yours, your brand pops up in their mind. So, in this blog post, we share 16 creative marketing ideas that can certainly help you stand out, especially if you’re a small business owner.

Why Use Creative Marketing Ideas for Your Small Business?

a visual graphic to represent marketing ideas (designed by Ahrefs)
Source: Ahrefs

Small businesses often face a plethora of difficulties while launching their products. They are uncertain about their sales, due to which stocking products and other resources gets a bit complicated. To ensure better revenue generation, creative marketing comes in handy. (Think of how successful those small scrunchie businesses on Instagram have become in the last few years with the help of creative marketing)

Small companies can use various creative marketing strategies to promote their products and services. These include social media, content, and influencer marketing. 

Moreover, technology is a great way to make creative marketing hassle-free. You can easily integrate technology and your marketing campaigns through various marketing software like EngageBay.

Read also: Experiential Marketing Ideas for ‘Next Level’ Brand Campaigns

16 Creative Marketing Ideas for SMBs to Get Noticed

We have compiled a whole list of creative marketing ideas that will help you skyrocket your small business performance in no time. 

No, you don’t have to adopt all of them; try to master 4-5 of these as per your business requirement. 

However, make sure you are consistent in implementing these ideas.

#1. Lights, Camera, Action: Utilize the power of video marketing

video marketing gif by Giphy
Source: Giphy

Consumers seek captivating, informative, and interactive visual connectives in the digital age. Here is where video comes into play, allowing companies to showcase their brand excitingly and memorably.

One of the benefits of creative marketing with videos is that they are highly shareable. Social media platforms have made it easy for users to share videos with friends and followers, increasing the video’s reach beyond its original target audience. 

Another advantage of video marketing is that it provides a measurable return on investment. Businesses can easily track how often their videos have been watched and for how long. This gives them accurate and true information to set off against the investment they have put in. 

Moreover, companies can use video marketing to add fun and innovation. They can educate customers about the uses of their product through video tutorials, short reels, etc. Using video is one of the most creative marketing ideas because it will not only add fun but also build trust in your target audience.

In short, it’s a win-win situation for your brand. 

Read also: Direct Mail Marketing Ideas Inspired By Global Brands

#2. Testimonials matter: Let your customers do the talking

user-testimonial-engagebay
A user’s testimonial for EngageBay on G2

Customer testimonials are another effective way to achieve organizational objectives of brand reputation and overall credibility. Testimonials on your social media handles can prove to potential clients that your products genuinely solve problems and that you are worth their time energy, effort, and money. 

There are many forms of testimonials, such as video testimonials, written reviews, or social media blogs. Authentic testimonials should be showcased to draw the attention of the target audience.

The company should focus on collecting feedback from customers who are representative of their target audience and who are willing to be honest. The company’s positive experiences with previous customers will help to establish trust and credibility with potential customers.

Now, simple, plain customer testimonials are monotonous for customers. Therefore, it is important to add innovation to your testimonials. Video testimonials of existing customers, a voice message from your customers on the website, etc., are some ways of making your testimonials fun and creative. 

Read also: 17 Fresh eCommerce Marketing Ideas for 2023

#3. Capitalize on trends and holidays

Sample restaurant menu for holiday marketing
EngageBay media

Fashion trends or fads refer to the hottest trends on the market. A business can create buzz around its products and services by staying on top of the latest trends. Fashion companies, for example, can stay relevant to the latest fashion trends by incorporating them into their designs. It is also possible for businesses to attract younger and tech-savvy demographics by using the latest trends in their marketing campaigns.

Companies can create special holiday promotions and offers that align with the festive mood during the holiday season. Retailers and restaurants can, for instance, offer Christmas discounts and publicity. In their marketing campaigns, businesses can make customers feel as though there is an urgency, encouraging them to make purchases.

While being creative and relevant are important, companies must also keep a balance. The brand can appear forced and inauthentic when it overdoes holidays and trends. In marketing campaigns involving holidays, cultural sensitivities must also be taken into account.

Read also: Proven Restaurant Marketing Ideas for 2023

#4. #TBT and beyond: Daily hashtags to boost engagement

Giphy gif showing Jimmy Fallon saying hashtag
Source: Giphy

Hashtags are not only meant to increase reach but also to share old memories and purposeful events. 

The main idea of #ThrowbackThursday is simple: on Thursday, users post old photos or memories and use the hashtag #ThrowbackThursday to make it easier for other users to find and engage with their video content.

This trend has gained momentum today that different daily hashtags themes like #ManCrushMonday and #WomanCrushWednesday are used by users to post about their crushes and favorite celebrities. 

The primary reason why people love using hashtags is to connect with the right community. This community is their go-to place as they share similar interests and preferences. For instance, if someone is interested in vintage items, she might use hashtags like #vintageitems, etc. 

Apple is an amazing company indeed. Its spectacular silent marketing shows how sleek and subtle ways can be adopted to make a huge spike in the profits of a company.

You must have seen the #ShotoniPhone on billboards and even on Instagram. This is Apple’s way of connecting users who have a deep interest in clicking pictures using Apple’s iPhone. 

Read also: The Art of Guerrilla Marketing and Why It Works

#5. Connect with your community: Create a Slack Channel

Slack community graphic by Slack
Source: Slack

Building a community online with a Slack channel is surely one of the most creative marketing ideas. Communication, collaboration, and information sharing are accessible with their real-time messaging capabilities. Building a Slack channel can be an excellent way for businesses, non-profits, and individuals to interact with one another. 

To build a Slack channel, you must first sign up for an account on Slack. Then you can create and manage a pipeline using the available tools and features. Share a link or ask directly to invite members once you have created an account.

Once you have sufficient members, you can create specific channels. For instance, news channels, general discussion channels, announcement channels, etc. Creating different channels will not only keep the conversation organized and distinguished but make it easier for members to extract the correct and desired information. 

Since you are setting up a Slack channel that will have many members, it is imperative to set some rules and regulations. This will ensure decorum and discipline. 

For example, you must set rules regarding the use of inappropriate language and other communication barriers. 

Furthermore, just building a Slack channel isn’t enough; you must target increasing engagement. Encouraging members to participate by asking questions, providing feedback, and sharing their experiences are some ways that you can adopt in the initial stages. 

You can also share useful resources like blogs and articles that the members can benefit from. This will show that you are genuinely concerned about the members. 

Last but not least, building a Slack channel should create a sense of togetherness and community among the members. Make sure you regularly engage with them so that all the channel members stay up to date. Also, focus on making the user interface and navigation of your Slack channel a hassle-free experience. 

Read also: B2B Marketing Ideas: What HubSpot, Flock Freight, and LinkedIn Can Teach Us

#6. Expect the unexpected: Surprise your audience with unique marketing tactics

A gif of Seth Meyers surprised on The Late Night Show
Source: Giphy

Doing something unexpected is not always a scary experience. It can be pretty fruitful for your business. For example, taking a trip to another city or even another country can spice things up for your business. You can take inspiration from different cultures or different businesses abroad and incorporate it into your own business to boost creativity. 

Furthermore, you can try out a new hobby. For example, painting can add change your mindset toward colors and make your brand a better-looking and positive one with subtle and sleek tones. 

Read also: Beyond the Basics: 13 Hospital Advertisement Ideas to Elevate Your Marketing

#7. Teach and inspire: Create engaging video tutorials

helpful video content by EngageBay for creative marketing
EngageBay tutorial videos for new users

Video tutorials are an amazing way to educate people on how your product works. You can easily make videos illustrating the correct way to use the product and upload them on a platform like Youtube. 

As fancy as it may sound, video tutorials are hard work. They require careful planning and goal setting. Goal setting needs to be done in respect of your objective, the information to cover in the video, and your target audience. You can create a rough outline of what to cover on a piece of paper so that implementation doesn’t get problematic. 

Furthermore, choosing the right equipment is equally important. A high-quality camera, microphone, and lighting setup are essential for producing professional-looking tutorials. You can also consider purchasing video editing software like Movavi Video Editor which will make editing, adding transitions, and text an easy job.

Make sure you keep your target audience in mind while shooting the tutorials. Also, use clear, concise language and explain things slowly and thoroughly. This is because unclear language can make things harder and annoy your audience’s faith in you. Apart from the language, keeping the background undisturbed, plain, and less tacky looks more professional and always works in your favor. 

Once you’re done filming, it is necessary to remove the unnecessary elements. This is where your video editing software comes in handy. You can use its features to cut distortions and add any texts that you want. 

After finalizing the look, feel, and timing of the final video tutorial, it is time to send the final video to a distributor. This can be any platform like YouTube, a website on the web having a wide reach, etc. Make sure that the chosen platform serves your target audience and not irrelevant people. 

In all, video tutorials require careful planning and a host of other things. However, all this planning is worth it when you get customers and potential clients engaging more with your brand. So, use your creativity and make your brand a distinguished and better one!

Read also: Tips & Examples to Help You Build a Stellar Creative Strategy

#8. Picture Perfect: How visual elements can enhance your marketing efforts

Image representing visual elements to enhance creative marketing
Source: UX Planet

In today’s world, visuals and videos hold more power than words. It makes it easier for people to understand complex ideas. So, what are you waiting for? Harness the potential of visuals in your brand and skyrocket your performance. 

Well, there are various ways to add visual elements to your content pieces. First of all, you can try your hands on images, video graphics, and even animations. Visuals make your text a little bit more interesting and fun to read. They can even replace text-heavy content and make it easier for your audience to absorb information better. 

Using images can visually show your product to the audience. So, along with writing about your product’s benefits and features, you can consider adding images of your product from different angles. If you want to go a little deeper, you can even create a video tutorial that explains the features and benefits in a more creative way. 

Infographics are another way to add life to your content. You can simply create one using free tools like Canva. Just like images, they make your content easy to understand and fun. 

Lastly, who doesn’t like animations? No, it’s not only for kids; we’ve seen adults enjoy them too. So, incorporating animations can prove effective for your brand to stand out.

Read also: Local Marketing Automation 101: A Beginner’s Guide

#9. Use mystery boxes to drive sales

a mystery box made for creative marketing of baked goodies
EngageBay media

The concept of mystery boxes is fairly new. They have gained importance in the modern era of influencer marketing. Even though they are new on the marketing scene, they perform marvelously well. This is because they contain an element of surprise and who doesn’t like surprises? 

Mystery boxes contain various items relating to lifestyle, toys, beauty, etc. The best part of mystery boxes? Their price is lower than the actual combined cost of all products contained inside them. So, a bomb price deal and the sense of excitement that they carry make them the top-most choice today. The excitement grows manifold when people see their favorite social media influencers unboxing mystery boxes and sharing their experiences about it. 

If your business has a lot of stock left due to less demand or simply because of overproduction, mystery boxes can be a great way to clear them off. Furthermore, it is also an amazing way to build brand loyalty and excitement. They can even be used as a promotional tool where loyal customers receive them on achieving a milestone. By doing this, you can reward customers and make them like your brand even more. 

Before you start selling mystery boxes, it is important to decide what all items will be present inside the box, the price of the box, and how you plan to distribute it. Also, apart from what’s inside the box, how the box looks from the outside is important as well. So, make sure you invest in attractive packaging of the product that is pleasing to the eyes. 

Read also: 10 big marketing ideas for businesses with small budgets

#10. The power of SEO: How search-optimized content can boost your business

SEO or search engine optimization, as you may call it, is the process of getting your content ranked on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) organically. To do this, you need to have plagiarism-free, quality content. 

To create SEO-optimized content you need to first gain clarity on who is your target audience and what is their search intent and behavior. After that, you need to find specific keywords that your audience might search for. Keywords are an important aspect while writing content. However, you need to ensure that you don’t indulge in keyword stuffing as it is highly penalized by every search engine out there. 

Moreover, your content should be clear, concise, and easy to read. You can fulfill this by using the 8th-grade English language taught in schools. Sub-heading, headings, and short paragraphs are some other effective ways to improve the readability score of your content. In addition to this, you can also add relevant images, infographics, gifs, and animations to make your content fun and interesting. 

As important as it is to optimize your content for readers, it is equally important to optimize your website for search engines. Fret not, it’s not very hard. You can hire a website optimizer who will make sure the structure, navigation, and speed of your website are done well. 

Internal linking and external linking are two other factors that you shouldn’t ignore at all if you are serious about getting your website to the top rankings. So, try internally linking your website by connecting relevant blog posts and ideas. Moreover, try adding external links to facts and figures that you have picked up from other sources. Doing this will eventually increase your site’s credibility in the long run. 

Finally, post content in the form of long-short, short-form blog posts, articles, etc., so that your site remains fresh and up-to-date with trending topics. 

All in all, optimizing your website takes time. You need to have patience; nothing happens overnight. Just ensure that you push out fresh and interesting content that your audience loves, and you will be good to go. In a couple of months, you will notice that your rankings have improved, and there is comparatively more traffic to your website than before. 

Read also: 9 Free Marketing Strategies to Scale Your Small Business

#11. Spread the word: Referral programs that work

EngageBay Affiliate program

Referral programs are great to grow your brand, engage with new and existing customers, and add creativity to your business functioning. Here are some steps that you can follow to start your referral program

  • Identify your target audience: Every referral program starts with identifying the target audience. You can do this by creating a client avatar using tools like Hubspot. 
  • Define your referral goals: After you create your client avatar, defining your goals is important. Your goal can be anything ranging from increased sales, to higher profits, etc. 
  • Choose your incentives: You should incentivize your current audience to spread knowledge about your brand and get in new customers. Incentives can be in the form of discount coupons, cashback, etc. 
  • Develop your referral program mechanics: Use tools that can help you monitor, create referral codes, etc., at the same place.  
  • Promote your referral program: Once you develop your referral program, promote it through social media handles, and even through word of mouth if possible. 
  • Monitor and refine your referral program: Lastly, track and monitor your current performance. 

Successful referral programs require careful planning, thoughtful incentives, and ongoing refinement. Following these steps, you can create a referral program that drives new business, engages existing customers, and grows your brand.

Read also: 14 Creative Social Media Contest and Giveaways Ideas That Work

#12. Deals and Discounts: Incentivize your customers with exclusive codes

discount code example for marketing
Source: Project FBA

Email marketing is on the rise again. It is an important part of digital marketing that helps businesses connect with a large audience base. So, if you want to grow your brand in 2023, try building up your email marketing list. Unfortunately, people do not sign up immediately thinking it would flood their email. Incentives and discount codes play a crucial role in combatting this problem.  

By offering discount codes to your customers, you are influencing them to drop in their email addresses. Once you get their email address, you can be better off at your promotion game. Sending promotional emails and other types of emails becomes easy. However, make sure you add value to their life; they can unsubscribe any time they want. 

When implementing the discount and incentivization program, ensure that the codes are easily available on your website and other handles. Also, make sure that your audience knows how to redeem coupon codes through various devices.  

In conclusion, incentivizing email sign-ups with discount codes are an effective way to encourage and build your email list. They offer immediate value to your customers and put a smile on their faces.

However, sometimes, the discount and incentive program might turn into a blunder when the terms and conditions of your program are not clear. So, clear any potential discrepancies that may arise in the future by mentioning all the terms and conditions beforehand. 

Read also: Top Retail Marketing Strategies To Grow Your Business

#13. Expand your reach: The benefits of guest blogging 

Guest posts and blogging refer to writing and publishing articles on someone else’s blog or website. The goal of guest blogging is to reach a new audience, build relationships with other bloggers in your niche, and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry among industry experts. 

There are many benefits of guest blogging. It gives you immense exposure and introduces you to a new set of audience that hasn’t heard of you before. As a result, the chances of them landing on your website grows exponentially. Also, they might actually become your customers in the first go if you are lucky enough. 

Building relationships with other bloggers is another benefit of guest blogging. You can create partnerships and collaborations to contribute to each other’s work. Moreover, you can also become regular contributors in promoting each other’s work to your respective audiences. 

Apart from this, there are certain rules and regulations that you need to follow while guest posting and blogging. You need to ensure that the content you have written is relevant and conforms to the prescribed quality standards. Doing this will strengthen the collaboration and make it a long-term thing than a short-term disappointment. 

To get started with guest blogging, research blogs in your niche and find those that accept guest posts. Reach out to the blog owner and let them know about your interest in writing for their site. If they are interested, offer to send over a few writing samples so they can see your work. 

Read also: Discover the Top 26 Small Business Ideas for 2023

#14. Education is key: Host online workshops to build trust and authority

Workshops by Zoho
Source: Zoho

Online workshops have gained respect since Covid-19 has happened. People are more comfortable with learning at their own pace and at the comfort of their homes. They have become used to the online set-up much more than the traditional offline set-up now. 

Here are some tips for holding an online seminar that people can learn from:

  • Choose a platform: Choose a platform that is user-friendly, accessible, and secure. This can be a webinar platform, a video conferencing platform, or a learning management system. Please ensure the venue you choose can handle the number of participants you expect and offers the features you need, such as screen sharing, chat, and recording capabilities.
  • Plan your content: Content displayed during the workshop hold a lot of power in making a workshop successful. You need to include relevant content in your PPT, slides, and images too. 
  • Promote your workshop: Promoting the workshop extensively on various social media channels increases the chances of getting more participants to the workshops. You can offer early-bird discounts, coupons, free gifts, etc. to encourage maximum participation and make your workshop huge. 
  • Engage with participants: While the content displayed during the worship is important, it is also important to make things interesting and engaging with polls and questions and answers round. So, ensure that there is optimum interaction through polls and questions throughout the workshop to avoid boredom. 
  • Follow-up: Follow-ups are where the money is present. Therefore, make sure you are taking feedback from the participants and also giving them the link to subscribe to your service. 

Read also: 18 Trending Email Marketing Campaign Ideas [+ Templates]

#15. Make a splash nearby: Promote your business at local events

A picture showing a local event
Source

Events are not only meant to enjoy; one can attend them to promote their products and also build long-lasting relationships. If you have no clue where these local events are happening, simply turn to Google for your help. Just type local business events near me / in my city and Google will direct you to the most appropriate ones. If you still do not find any relevant events near your place, turn to the relevancy king ChatGPT. Ask ChatGPT the same question, and you’ll have a long list for sure. 

Now, these local events might not always be business events, you can meet people for coffee or tea as well. Or even better, you can join an event by volunteering. The best part? You’ll be showing the world your care towards social causes as a businessperson. 

Another interesting way to attend local events is simply attending your most desired event. It can be anything like a food fest, a music concert, or a cultural event. Here also you have the advantage of enjoying your preference and learning about new cultures and people. 

Finally, participating in local events can help you improve your skills and gain new experiences. Whether you are an artist, a chef, a photographer, or a musician, you can use local events to showcase your skills and gain recognition. Participating in local events can improve your public speaking, networking, and organizational skills.

Read also: Top Local Advertising Ideas to Elevate Your Marketing

#16. Lights, Camera, Viral: Create videos that are so relatable they get shared

video marketing example image created using Canva
EngageBay media (Canva)

Everybody wants to go viral these days and gain popularity and fame. As a business person, you might also want to create viral videos showing your products and services. You can simply DIY or take the help of various social media influencers relevant to your brand. 

However, there are certain elements of a viral video that should be present in both these situations. These are: 

  • Content: The content of your video or the script should be clear, concise, and top-notch. The tone of the video should resonate with your brand. For example, if you’re in the business of selling mattresses, your approach should be different, with a more soothing and comforting tone.
  • Emotion: Emotions should always be present in your videos, as without them, your video is tasteless. So, try adding an emotion or a feeling to your video. 
  • Timing: Do not ever mess up with the timing when your video telecasts. If you are planning to go viral via television, make sure your audience sees the video at perfect timing. 
  • Sharing: Encourage everybody who watches your video to share your video so that the reach is maximum. You can also incentivize people for sharing your videos if that is possible for your brand. 
  • Platforms: Choose the correct brand to distribute your videos. For example, YouTube can be used if your brand is creative. On the other hand, if your video is professional and targeted toward business people, LinkedIn will be a better platform to use. 
  • SEO: Last but not least. SEO, SEO, SEO! Make sure that you’ve added sufficient keywords, and also the meta description before publishing your video online. 

Following these tips can increase the chances of creating a viral video. However, it is essential to remember that there is no guarantee that a video will go viral, as it depends on many factors, including luck and timing.

Nevertheless, creating engaging and shareable content will increase your chances of making a viral video reaching millions.

Read also: 6 High-Impact eCommerce Marketing Strategies to Try Now

Conclusion 

In a nutshell, creative marketing ideas are a fantastic way to improve your business performance. If you have just started out with the business, adopting these can be a game changer for your business.

Not clear on where to add creativity to your brand marketing? Try starting with just 2-3 of these ideas and keep at it until you get results. Then you can move on to do more.

If you have any doubts regarding creative marketing ideas or marketing in general, comment and we’ll get back to you. 

Until then, happy creative marketing!

About The Author

3 thoughts on “Get Noticed: 16 Creative Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses”

  1. It’s good that you mentioned how consumers much prefer interactive and informative visual connectives that are digitalized so we can utilize this to showcase our brand memorably, such as coming up with fun videos that are highly shareable on social media. I will be opening a pool resort sometime this November, so I need to start promoting its grand opening on social media soon. I’ll be sure to take note of this while I research creative marketing ideas to consider for our resort’s opening soon.

  2. The mention of virtual reality caught my attention. It sounds futuristic and exciting, but how realistic is it for smaller businesses to incorporate VR into their marketing strategies?

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