Marketing and advertising are ubiquitous these days: people are exposed to marketing on TV, radio, online, on their cell phones and mailboxes, in social media. There is product placement on TV shows and films, and celebrities sponsor brands as part of their daily life.
You need creative ideas for business, and there are many ways to separate yourself from the pack with marketing that stands out. If you're wondering how to stand out in marketing, these are the top 10 tips to make the most of your creative small business ideas:
Like Eminem, you only have one shot at getting your message across. Standout marketing focuses on the one proposition they want to get across to the customer. Do not overload your message with several calls to action, unnecessary text or busy visuals. Make it short, concise and powerful.
2. Be unexpected
Don’t make flyers like every mom and pop shop. Try a different approach: use images or video instead of plain text, try social marketing instead of the old yellow pages, put your message somewhere exciting and unexpected so they will remember and talk about you.
3. Mind your Ps and Qs
Do not underestimate the power of well written text - a good slogan or catchphrase can take your message to the next level by going viral.
Also, do not underestimate the damage bad text can do to your image - customers will not trust someone who cannot even run a spell check.
4. Looks matter
There are two rules when it comes to images on your marketing. One: A great picture can’t be beat. Make sure it’s a professional photo or design, and that it comes in the highest resolution possible. Two: No image is better than a bad image. If you don’t have a spectacular graphic or photograph, don’t use an average or low-res one - let your words carry the message on their own
5. Make your headlines shine
Studies show you have 3 seconds to catch your reader’s attention. Hook them with an irresistible headline that will make them want to read more. Be original, specific, and offer value to your reader - instead of “5 ways in which our product is great”, write about things that matter to your target persona. The best small business marketing ideas should make your customer’s lives easier and better. Focus on that when writing your headline.
6. Celebrate what makes you different...
...and back it up with facts! Flaunt the aspects that make your product or service different and better from the rest, but instead of hollow hype (“We’re the best!”) back up your arguments with research and hard data (“Our deliveries are on time 99.97% of the time - that’s 5% more than the next best courier.”)
7. Be professional and look it too
Competition is fierce out there - the days of photocopied flyers and business cards with an email such as firstname.lastname@example.org are over.
If you don’t have a well-designed corporate image and a proper business email address, nobody will take you seriously.
Don’t stand out in the wrong way - make sure your marketing message looks as sharp and professional as those from the bigger players.
8. Stay ahead of the game
Leave the tried and tested for the crown, and run ahead of the pack. What’s the latest buzzword? Is social marketing the next big thing? Is everyone talking about inbound marketing? Read up on the newest trends and adopt them as early as possible.
9. Flatter your audience
Most advertising fails because it talks down to its target audience, patronizing and alienating all in one. Don’t be that guy. Flatter your listener’s intelligence with facts and accurate terminology, and watch their attention and trust grow.
10. Test and use data to improve
Technology is your friend. Use A/B testing on your website to find out which layout works better, program your social media posts scientifically to get the most hits, make the most of the tools that make your website and banners smart and adaptive.
Instead of using a blanket approach, use technology to help you target and refine, and make every customer feel special and catered to.
Ashley Quintana, M.S., B.A.
Ashley Quintana is a co-founder of BridgeRev. In her role, she develops, leads, and executes digital marketing strategies for the company’s growing client base, including a Fortune 500 subsidiary and an NBA basketball team. Ashley’s work can be found in the Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Science, and she is an OKC.biz 40 Under 40 honoree for her leadership in business and community. She frequently speaks at universities, churches, and conferences on marketing, diversity, and business.