Small businesses often deliberately try to differentiate themselves from big corporations. They want to provide service, products and an experience that’s completely different from anything consumers get when they go to the big guys. That doesn’t mean growing small businesses can’t learn from big corporations.
In fact, there are plenty of ideas small businesses can steal (or borrow if you prefer) from the big leagues that work just as well — if not better — on a small scale.
Build Your Brand
Just because you’re little doesn’t mean your brand shouldn’t be mighty. Make your business unique, and then make it known why you’re unique through social and traditional media and other channels. Keep things like color scheme, graphics and the tone of all of your communications consistent in everything from advertising to signage to online media accounts.
Make sure all of your marketing efforts have a mobile component — that means everything from making sure your website is mobile-friendly and that emails read well on mobile devices to texting customers with special sales and events. Allowing customers and potential customers to interact with you anytime, anywhere is what most people expect these days. You don’t want to miss out on sales and engagement opportunities because you’re not considering mobile.
Take Advantage of User-generated Content
Big brands are big fans of using user-generated content successfully for one reason — it works. Consumers are more apt to believe a message from other consumers, and user-based content is the perfect way to deliver those messages. From contests to customer comments, find a way to harness your customers’ voices and use them to create low-cost, shareable, powerful content.
Revel in Real-Time Marketing
You may not be able to afford a Super Bowl ad, but there’s no reason you can’t tie your marketing efforts around the big game and other current events and happenings. With so many social media outlets, you can join in on the hot topics of any given day and promote your brand at the same time, no matter the size of your business. #Smart.
Include Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is all about tapping into the power of those who have the attention of your customers and potential customers and getting them to spread your message for you. They include everyone from bloggers to people active on social media and celebrities. Much like user-generated content, it gives customers the feeling that they’re in the know and getting a recommendation rather than a sales pitch. And studies have found it’s effective. For every $1 spent on influencer marketing, businesses earn $6.50 on average, with some earning much more.
The bottom line: Think big when it comes to marketing, no matter how small your business. With some of these tricks from big business, you could see big gains.