8 Creative Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses

creative marketing ideas for small businesses

There are 32 million small businesses in the United States in 2023, and guess what? All of these SMBs need creative marketing ideas! 

Marketing helps establish repeat customers and lure new ones through the sales funnel. However, many small businesses don't have a huge marketing budget. Dropping a million dollars on a digital marketing campaign isn't an option for frugal SMBs and LLCs. 

So, what can you do as a small business owner on a tight marketing budget? We have assembled 8 great marketing tips for small businesses that you can take advantage of! 

8 Cost Conscious Creative Marketing Ideas For SMEs

1. Show Up In Your Community 

Maybe you don't have a prime location on Main Street that lures all the downtown foot traffic. No worries! 

You'll still need to put in the work to remind your community that you're there and that you want to help. This can be as simple as setting up a booth at the farmer's market. 

A pop-up stand is a great way to establish your presence. For instance, someone might drop by the farmer's market for some vegetables. That is all they wanted, but as they stroll through, they see your booth selling handmade soaps. 

Just like that, you have established your brand in a new customer's mind, even if they never heard your name before. It is affordable and flexible so you aren't burdened with long leases to market your small business.

Another option is sponsoring small local events. While you might not be able to drop a fortune on charitable endeavors, donating to help a local sports team travel to a state championship often earns your name on a billboard or jersey of some sort. 

This will help establish your brand name in people's minds. Staying on top of mind is how your brand becomes a household name!

2. Design Custom T-Shirts 

This is a branding move that can last for years to come! For starters, you can use them as a marketing incentive. If someone purchases over a certain dollar amount, they will get a free t-shirt. 

To design custom shirts, make sure you invest in quality materials. No one wants a flimsy cotton shirt with a scratchy graphic logo. 

Think of a clever way you can make your clothing stand out in someone's wardrobe. A business logo is a great idea, but pairing it with a catchy slogan is even better. 

Make sure you invest in a variety of sizes, that way you're stocked up no matter how many customers come through your door. 

3. Set Up On Google Maps 

Someone might not know your brand name, but they know exactly what they need. If that's the case, they may Google "handmade soaps near me". 

Google will take their location and filter search results accordingly. But even if you're a few blocks from the customer's home, you won't show up if you aren't listed in Google. 

You need to set up a Google My Business account and input your business address. This will establish your shopfront as a physical location, and allow Google to include it in geographically relevant results. 

4. Use Referral Programs 

Often, there's no marketing machine that's more powerful than word of mouth. If you're catering to older demographics, this is especially powerful since many won't go on social media to talk about their favorite products. 

If you offer a referral program, people will get rewarded for bringing their friends and family in and having them purchase from you. It makes people more excited to talk up your store when there's a potential reward in sight! 

5. Create Valuable Content 

Wondering how to market your business? It starts with giving customers something they need—even if they don't know it yet. 

People might want infographics to see how your product succeeds in the real world. Or, they might want to see statistics on past customer successes with your materials. 

If you can present it in written form, and back it up, this allows potential customers to make a decision. 

6. Hold An Online Contest 

Now that you have that content, what can you do with it? It's time to start branching off into digital marketing. 

You can hold an online contest and use your content to promote it. The winner might get a free basket of goodies or a gift card to your store. 

To sign up, people can enter their name, email, and any other information they'd like. After the contest is over, you can use these emails to start sending out promotional emails and newsletters. 

Since you already have that content created, you've got a jumpstart on providing newsletters and other marketing materials. 

7. Use Public Spaces 

If you have permission and the right permit, one of our favorite unique marketing ideas is taking your artistic flair into the public eye! 

You can do some graffiti on the side of your building if it's permitted, or you can draw on the sidewalk in chalk. 

If it catches someone's interest and establishes your brand in a visible way, it's a great way to stretch your wings and fly! 

Small business marketing ideas are all about drawing attention. With the right marketing funnel, customer service, and products, this will produce initial and repeat customers. 

8. Join An Organization 

One of the most time-honored marketing ideas for small businesses is joining an organization like the Chamber of Commerce. This will allow you to connect with other local businesses in the area, bolster your legitimacy, and establish yourself in the community. 

If you're having a hard time finding an organization that you'd like to join, create your own! If you lead the way in business, others will surely follow. 

Implementing Creative Marketing Ideas 

If you're new to the small business marketing world, don't stress! SMB Marketing is a game of trial and error, and it's all about seeing what works with your customers. 

If one idea doesn't work, try more creative marketing ideas for your SME. Sometimes, a little experimentation will get you where you need to go. Good marketing starts with understanding your demographic, which means you'll need to build a foundation with research. 

What age range are you targeting? What is their budget? Why do they need your product? These are essential questions to answer with your small business creative marketing ideas an implementation.

Once you understand your audience and your unique pain points, you can easily connect the line from their pain point to your product with skillful marketing. 

Did you enjoy this article on creative marketing ideas for small biz? Check out the rest of our site today an visit the Marketing section for additional insight.

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