Being a small business can be hard, being a new small business can be even harder. From learning to take your firsts steps in your early years, to learning to drive a car later on; the majority of what we learn in life is from our elders, and marketing your small business is no different. Here are five lessons you can take from the big brands…
Create a strategy
“We’ll print 10,000 leaflets and post them around the local area until they run out” is not what you’ll hear in the marketing department of any big brand. Big brands don’t work from week to week, jumping from idea to idea, they create clear, concise marketing strategies. Large corporations have done their research, they know their target audience, and they set goals and come up with measurable steps to achieve those goals. Having a clear marketing strategy in place is bound to bring nothing but success for your business, and ensuring that you have an accurate way of measuring how well the marketing efforts are performing is key to developing your business further.
Always listen to what your customers want
Customer feedback is invaluable, both positive and negative. Knowing what your customers have to say helps shape your business for the better, and after all, you are here because of your customers. By listening to your customers, you will show that you value them and their opinions, and by shaping your business around your customer needs, they will be less likely to look elsewhere.
Never underestimate the power of social media
On social media, news travels fast! Every business should be on social media, as it’s a completely costless way to get your business ‘out there’. Social media is one of the best ways to encourage engagement and user-generated content. Take Coca Cola’s ‘Share a Coke’ campaign for examples. The company printed just under 1000 different names on their bottles to encourage consumers to purchase a bottle with their name on. Shortly after the campaign was launched, social media was flooded with images of peoples personalised bottles. This was a simple yet effective way to get consumers promoting their product using social media, without harsh advertising techniques.
Be aware of your competitors but don’t follow the crowd
It’s vital that you know who your competitors are, and you keep track of what they are doing to pull in customers. If you want to be noticed, you need to be different and think outside the box. Heineken’s ‘Worlds Apart’ campaign is a great example of a big brand stepping away from the norm and taking controversial marketing by the horns. The campaign is based around a social experiment, taking people in pairs with opposing beliefs, who were then asked to undertake an activity together. At the end of the activity, their opposing views were revealed, and they were then given the option to sit down together and discuss their controversial views over a beer. At the end of the experiment, each and every pair decided to discuss their differences over a bottle of Heineken. The video earned over 14.5 million views and a huge amount of exposure for the brand.
Offer something in return
The best way to engage with consumers is to offer an incentive. Receiving a discount, complimentary product or the chance to win something is a great way to entice buyers. A great example of a big brand employing this strategy is the online clothing brand, ASOS. The fashion brand asked followers to use the hashtag #AsSeenOnMe when showing off their latest purchases on Instagram, for a chance to be featured on the ASOS Instagram feed. ASOS demonstrated perfectly that you don’t need to offer something big and costly to grab the attention of consumers.
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