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How to Promote Small Businesses Creatively

Rupsa is a Content Writer and an entrepreneur who likes to write about marketing, business, and organizational culture.

Business promotion

Business promotion

Creativity is a precious quality for entrepreneurs. It helps them present their brands in a unique and attractive way.

Marketing is one of the most popular terms in the modern business environment. Being an entrepreneur, I always look for ways in which I can promote my business without spending much. The classical definition of marketing considers it as a process that helps business firms create, communicate and distribute value. Therefore, creating something that adds value to customers' lives remains at the center of all marketing strategies.

Promotion is an integral part of marketing; it falls under the communication category and focuses on publicizing services or products so that more sales can be generated. In this closely knitted global environment, customers always look for relevant information before making any purchase. So, it is our responsibility as marketers to develop promotional strategies that precisely convey our brand messages, educate our customers about the benefits of our offerings, assure them of the quality of the products, uphold certain brand values, and obviously, benefit as many people as possible.

In this article, I will be talking about five creative promotional strategies along with real-life examples.

Educate Your Customers, it Is Important

Each company present in the market sells some sort of products or services; however, a new company that has not yet developed a strong brand image should do something more to allure customers. Patch is a UK-based company that sells indoor plants to the urban population. It not only sells the products but also provides its customers with a free plant-parenting course. Many individuals around the world would love to decorate their balconies or drawing rooms with beautiful houseplants. However, they refrain from this idea just because they don't know much about plant parenting. By providing them with a free course Patch is doing both, solving customers’ problems and educating them about Patch’s products. Not only that, Patch assures its customers that its ‘Plant Doctors’ are always ready to receive customers’ calls and answer queries related to their plants. Using this smart promotional strategy, Patch is building a strong and sustainable relationship with its customers who would definitely spread positive word of mouth among their acquaintances.

Develop a Straight Forward Content Strategy as Time Is Valuable

Have you heard of Canva? It is an Australian start-up that enables even non-professionals to design attractive brand logos, social media posts, posters, presentations, etc. absolutely free of cost. Canva has launched a pro version too; however, its basic features can be accessed by anyone. The promotional strategy of this brand is quite simple, content marketing and Search Engine Optimization. If you visit the Home page of the Canva website, you would see that their content strategy is pretty straightforward. The first line of the home page directly tells what this brand actually does ("what will you design?"). The first line is followed by a list of services that Canva offers; its service profile includes options such as presentation, video creation, social media posts, etc. The Home page doesn't talk much, instead, it showcases a wide range of attractive templates that a user can use to create extraordinary designs for their small business or personal affairs within a few seconds. This strategy respects consumers’ time, patience, and needs. Make sure when you create a website, it makes all the necessary information available to the visitors; otherwise, they would go back and visit some other pages.

Engage Customers Through Social Media

Social media promotion is probably the easiest and cheapest promotional strategy that a brand can use. However, simply posting images of your products on social media would not help you expand your reach. You have to engage your customers in different ways. Upholding values can be a great tool for engaging people. Sevenly for example is a US-based clothing brand, which came into existence in 2011. This brand is all about beautiful causes (Autism, Cancer, Black History Month, Food & Water Relief, etc). Its social media accounts are mostly dedicated to its causes, not to its products and this promotional strategy makes Sevenly special. Everybody wants to be associated with meaningful social causes and Sevenly gets a lot of exposure through this technique. Small-scale brands should always try to make sure that their businesses are based on certain values. Promoting those values is a smarter idea than promoting their brands aggressively. They need to remember, if their products are not completely new, they have to do something else that makes them unique. Promoting certain values won’t cost you much, don’t worry.

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Benefit as Many People as You Can

You are here to benefit yourself and customers are here to benefit themselves. Nobody is concerned about your needs as an entrepreneur. If you want to be loved by your customers, try to benefit as many people as possible. Meesho for example is an Indian brand that sells clothes and accessories online. However, multiples eCommerce brands are there that do the same job, then what makes Meesho so different and popular at the same time? Meesho does not sell products only, it asks women to resell its products and earn for themselves. In this way, it has attracted a large number of Indian women that want to resell some products and make some money. This promotional strategy helped Meesho to gain quick popularity and increase its market reach.

Let Your Customers Test Your Product First

Customers are paying their hard-earned money for your products and it is quite understandable if they are willing to pay for those items only when they know your products are worth buying. Therefore, as a business person, you should make sure that you let your customers test your products first. You also need to identify a business model that can generate revenue without charging the customers directly. This strategy works best for those that are dealing in digital products or services. Jason Njoku, for example, is a British-African entrepreneur who founded the IROKOTV (2011) which is a Nigerian equivalent of Netflix and it targets Nigerian as well as the global audience. He is a successful entrepreneur who has built every bit of his business since the very beginning of IROKO. Njoku identified a gap in the content distribution system of Nollywood (the illegal distribution of movies and shows) and decided to make content available to viewers legally. He started as a YouTuber and he knew that businesses cannot run depending on the ‘free model’. People must pay for the products that they consume. He adopted the subscription-based model that Netflix uses; however, he also knew that in order to attract viewers towards his platform he cannot deny the impacts of YouTube's free streaming model on viewers. So, he lets his viewers watch some of IROKO-owned movies and shows on YouTube totally free of cost which in turn assures customers of the quality of the products IROKOTv is offering. Njoku can still earn money by running ads on IROKO's YouTube content.

All of these examples show that if you are a small brand and working with a limited amount of resources, only creativity can save you. Be creative to generate some buzz and draw people's attention. Make sure you appear as a responsible brand that cares for others and thinks beyond monetary gains.

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