19+ Creative Advertising Ideas to Turn Your Small Business Around
Marketing is critical to any business including small ones who are trying to survive.
But the key focus should be the creativity behind your attempts to make better ads.
A campaign to do that shouldn’t be too expensive or vague in the presentation.
What you need are campaigns that hit the right targets which means you’ll need something extra to get the best results.
Thankfully, there are a plethora of creative advertising concepts and ideas to do that.
This article will help guide you through the marketing maze by boosting your business’s capabilities to proffer solutions to your target audience, creatively.
So, here are a few creative advertising ideas that actually work for small businesses.
Table of Contents
1) Start a Blog
Starting a blog is a no-brainer for any business that wants to keep growing.
It should be a vital aspect of your content marketing strategy. That is because it is one of the most cost-effective marketing options for a small business.
Blogs work wonders especially if you go about it the right way. There are stats to back that up, too.
For example, blogs are rated the fifth most trustworthy source for gathering online information. Also, 77% of Internet users read blogs.
Get it right
When done the right way, a good blog will not only boost your SEO but will also convert readers to consumers.
More visitors are driven to your content and will make better buying decisions, thanks to your information.
What you’re doing is building engagement, creating trust, and confidence in your brand.
While blogs are great, it doesn’t make sense to have little content on them. Post consistently and use eye-catching headlines.
It has been established that 36% of readers prefer list-based headlines.
You can tweak your blog content in that order to generate more customers.
2) Consider Guest Posting
Guest posting is a fairly simple, but much effective creative marketing idea.
However, you will need to do some good research on websites that accept guest posts and allow others to contribute to them. With that in place, you can provide relevant content for them.
Guest posting requires that you read and understand the guidelines for the particular site you pitch to. As you write, adhere to them in your copy.
Many of such sites need content that’s engaging and generally useful to them.
Use such platforms as an opportunity to introduce your business to a whole new audience.
3) Create a Press Release
A small business owner with research and PR skills is a welcome development.
Even if you don’t know how to make one, you can do research on how to create engaging press releases.
The fact is you can use them to keep members of the press in the loop about the information that’s newsworthy.
Perhaps they’ll go ahead and write about it online or in print.
With press releases, remember to keep it interesting, informative, and engaging. If you can, use great imagery to pass your message across.
There are quite a number of press release distribution tools you can use. Many of them are free, too.
4) Use Customer Loyalty Programmes
Up to 58% of respondents buy from stores and brands whose loyalty programs they belong.
Why shouldn’t you run one?
Getting new customers is all good, but you have to show the current ones you care.
To that end, a customer loyalty program can be so beneficial. It shows customers that you appreciate their patronage.
For example, if you run a coffee shop, you can hand out cute little cards for every coffee cup bought.
On the flip side, you can promise them an extra cup of coffee on their next visit.
An online version can also serve to create worthwhile loyalty programs.
As always, it pays to be creative with this idea. Think of cool ways you can entice your customers to keep coming back for more.
There’re special occasions like birthdays, weddings, and other moments you can use to give away a free gift.
Other options include a “complete five others and get one free” or something along that line.
5) Run a free Clinic or Webinar
Free clinics and webinars help to further establish your experience. They’re great ways to let your customers witness your expertise on different issues.
That way, they get to know more about your business and your brand.
What you can do is offer information valuable to them, and that will lead them to your business.
There are some platforms you could use to put your webinar or clinic out there. They include:
- Facebook Live
- Instagram live
- Pre-recordings and postings
You can create a responsive system to take comments from your customers.
That way, you get feelers on what they think of your webinar, and business in general.
6) Social Media
When it comes to social media, a small business can take advantage of the endless possibilities.
There’s not a business out there that doesn’t know about the importance of social media for business.
However, like every creative business idea, you have to be smart about your execution.
That is because about 49% of the world’s population has a social media account.
That figure represents 3.8 Billion users across the globe. A huge marketing potential for you.
If you use the wrong strategy, you’ll spend a lot of valuable time achieving nothing.
The fact is, you want connections to convert to active customers. If you have ads running on Facebook, for example, you’d want a high engagement level. That can lead to a breakthrough for your small business.
Stick to a working plan
Be careful not to be a jack of all trade, though. Just because there are many social media platforms out there doesn’t mean you should use all.
In fact, some will quickly put you out of business. Get a glimpse about what your customers (including potential ones) love the most and where they hang out most.
That way, you’ll figure out a good social media marketing idea and how to execute it.
Note that the chances of a consumer recommending a brand on social media to others after a positive experience is about 71%.
Social media platforms you could use include Twitter and Instagram. Make sure you take advantage of their functions to get the best results.
7) Customer Referrals
Referrals still work a treat. That’s because word of mouth marketing remains a relevant tool for small businesses.
Don’t overlook this idea because you only have to be creative about it. A customer referral scheme is simple, and you can give incentives to get it done.
For example, as current customers to tell their friends and colleagues about your business. When they do so, they’ll get a little incentive.
Giving an incentive shouldn’t bug you down. Options like a discount on their next order, free deliveries, or a sample product, work a treat.
Other than that, you can urge online customers to use the share feature on your social media accounts.
8) Develop Pop-ups
Pop-ups can be annoying if used the wrong way. Nobody wants a redirection they didn’t ask for.
However, you can take yours a step further by attaching some value. People love something worthwhile.
As such, if they’re going to benefit from a pop-up, it becomes less of a bother.
Pop-ups are incredible marketing tools. Just place them at strategic locations like on your landing page or homepage, and an offer attached to them.
It could be a simple discount or free download. Either way, it’ll let you get an idea of who a willing buyer is.
9) Partner with an Influencer
Did you know that 89% of businesses say ROI from influencer marketing is comparable to or better than other marketing channels?
Team up with a local influencer on social media. Make sure the influencer is relevant to your marker.
There are many of them out there so you have to carry out your research before reaching out to them.
If they’re interested in working together, be open about that to your customers while they help you boost conversions.
To pay them, you can gift a product or two. The bottom line is an influencer can do amazing things for your small business.
10) Update your SEO Ability
It’s okay to be a little unfamiliar with SEO. But don’t take that as an excuse not to update your ability.
SEO is an invaluable skill you can use to boost your business. All major businesses have a website. With your website, you can do your bit to look good for Google.
Besides, people will find it easy to locate and navigate your online services. If you’re short on skills, you can use experts to format your content in a search engine friendly way. That way, you can drive traffic to your website.
No matter how well you write content, it won’t ever be seen if you don’t optimize it for the web.
If you can’t pay a professional, do some research on how things work, format your content, and get the most from your website.
SEO is a creative idea with about 53% of US consumers saying that they research products using a search engine before deciding whether buy or not.
11) Prizes and Contests
Prizes and contests are great. No one will turn down the cha xe to win something for free.
Now when the whole process is fun and rewarding. You can get people to learn more about your small business when they compete for your products.
It goes both ways. You can attend a contest if you produce an item for sale.
On the other hand, you can stay ahead of your competitors by organizing contests that give your brand much-needed advertising.
A word about what your offer will naturally spread with a legit contest and prizes that follow.
Team-up with another Brand
There’s no harm in teaming up with another relevant brand to run a contest.
As a small business, money can be a sticking point especially with prizes attached to the contests.
Get another brand, share the costs, and help each other gaunt more customers to increase sales. That way, nobody loses.
12) Produce a free Download
If you run a small service-related business, this is the perfect idea to advertise your business.
What you can do is create something valuable like hints and tips relevant to your industry and offer them to your audience.
It could be in the form of a useful tool, video, or ebook. The main thing is to make it interesting and relevant to your customer base.
After creating it, offer the download in exchange for the email addresses of your customers.
You’ll build a healthy database to operate with.
13) Attend Trade Fairs
Visiting a trade fair will give you a good number of contacts and clients.
You can attend such events as a mere visitor or as a participant to showcase your products.
Either way, you gain some benefits. Besides that, a great idea will be to combine a prize-awarding contest and participation in a trade show.
That way, you get double promotion for your small business.
14) Inventive Funding
Be inventive with your funding. Sure, it does sound like the least creative idea. Yet, it could save you a lot of money.
The thing is you will eventually need some money to promote your brand if you are a small business.
As such, it’s best you think in advance how to form your marketing budget. Going to a bank to get a loan is one option, but it often takes a very long time to process.
With the Internet as your base, you can get money to fund your advertising efforts.
For example, you can launch crowdfunding campaigns to generate money. Many people are willing to help ambitious startups and entrepreneurs.
All businesses need money to get going. So an inventive plan that sets you on that part is clever and proactive.
15) Promotional Partnerships
Promotional partnerships have become an important marketing strategy for brands and businesses.
They use such partnerships to drive revenue and expand their customer bases.
It’s also a platform to meet and exceed future growth goals. One of the easiest ways to make your small business popular for free or at low cost is to connect with other small businesses.
That way, you can reach an agreement on mutual promotion with businesses linked to your field.
The fun part is that the business you choose won’t be your direct competition.
For example, if you run a catering business, you can enter an agreement with a delivery service.
They can deliver your products to customers while you give them discounts on direct purchases.
16) Traditional Advertising
If this creative step has crossed your mind, don’t ditch it. That’s because traditional advertising is anything but old fashioned.
It’s still in vogue and often costs you less to use. There are tons of mediums with the best being:
- Newspaper ads and magazine ads. With them, you can attract new customers to your small business.
- TV and radio stations
These are great ways to drive up interest in your small business.
17) Create Data-rich Infographics
Infographics are insanely powerful advertising tools. That’s because they engage one of the most important human sensory organs – the eyes.
As such, they represent eye candies, are often easy to comprehend, and people love to share them. That makes them a creative means to drive-up traffic.
You can hire a designer to make cool infographics that represent what your small business stands for.
On the flip side, you might decide to give it a shot yourself.
Either way, it’s important to note that infographics can help boost the traffic to your site by up to 12%.
There are Amy free templates online you can take advantage of.
18) Claim free ad Promo Credits
Huge ad campaigns may be out of your reach, budget-wise, but you can find discounts and coupons floating around for Facebook or Google Ads.
Further, some web hosting services will give advertising discount codes to businesses as part of their membership offerings.
Go ahead to check and see if yours does. While receiving the promo is easy, you’ll still want to improve your PPC skills.
They’ll help you get the best results and audience insights.
19) Turn Employees into Brand Ambassadors
For many small businesses, saving up on additional expenses is important.
To do that for your small business, encourage word of mouth advertising to boost sales. Who best to do so than your employees.
Research also shows that customers are to purchase a product if they hear about it from strangers.
Build Confidence in your employees
Treat your employees well and if possible, give them opportunities for growth.
That way, they’re encourages to become your brand ambassadors.
It’s an incredible network to tap into especially if they develop a genuine interest in your business. Leverage their voices to reach a larger audience.
Introduce a Discount sale
You can consider hosting an exclusive discount sale. For example, a “friend and family” promotion at intervals will help promote your small business.
You can also learn how to use Facebook for your business.
Go ahead to create an event, invite employees, and ask them to share it with their contacts.
That way, you gain more reach for your event and brand in general.
20) Leverage your Community
Thinking locally is an advantage. It’s always nice to give back to your local community.
That’s because people appreciate gestures and even a small step towards a community leaves a lasting impact.
Watch out for local events
Chances are that your local community is planning some event. Be on the lookout for such occasions and sponsor them if you can.
For example, you can give out free printed shirts or prizes for local competitions and also get to know your local customer.
Another good initiative is to gift out your products to contestants in the events.
It’s all about taking part and your community will appreciate the time and effort.
21) Recycle old your Content
Sometimes, it’s the old things that matter. In your bid to breathe life into your advertising campaigns, you can take several steps backward.
Look for some of your old content and repurpose them. For example, you can turn a successful blog post to an infographic or video tutorial.
You can also use other content from your site to promote new strategies.
When you’re done, you’ll find out that you’ve developed new content from old stuff.
22) Vehicle Branding
This is one cost-effective and creative way to advertise your small business.
Get the right paint job of your business logo and colors on a dedicated vehicle.
You can also use your personal vehicle to advertise your business especially if you or staff are constantly on the move.
If a full paint job is expensive, opt for cheaper options like stickers and magnets.
All you want is to give your small business some publicity.
23) Newsletter Emailing
Sending an e-mail newsletter to your customers is a great attempt to connect with them.
It also represents a perfect way of presenting special discounts, new products, and information to your loyal customers.
The keyword here being loyal customers. That’s because it’s something of a bad move and a waste of time to use this method on potential customers.
Sending them commercial emails by way of advertising will appear too cold especially with no subsisting relationship.
Target your audience
If you send such emails to new customers, there’s a big chance they will end up in the spam folder.
Such an attempt will also be illegal. What you can do is target customers after finding out more about them and the rules on email advertising.
Every small business out there needs a creative idea to boost its chances of survival and growth.
Advertising is not a one size fits all, but you can always adapt these ideas.
Many big brands had to start from such humble beginnings so be rest assured that you’re on the right path.
Trying different strategies and ideas will give you a chance to make something original.
The best part is the chances of your small business succeeding are vastly improved.