Pedro Pinto November 12, 2021 7:44 am

How Founders can Grow their Small Business with Innovative Marketing 

Marketing should be a key part of your business plan when you are getting your new venture off the ground. But when your grand ideas outstrip your budget, you are going to have to get creative. 

In case you missed it, in part one of our series on marketing tips for small business founders, we taught you how to craft your marketing strategy, what you should include in your digital marketing plan, and how to build a brand your customers can connect with. In this blog, we will give you our top tips on how to leverage creative marketing to support your small business’ growth and explain what metrics you should be tracking to make sure your investment is paying off. 

✨ Creative and Cost-Effective Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses 

When it comes to your marketing campaigns, the only limit is your imagination. As long as you are reaching your audience, there are countless ways you can make an impression. 

A good place to start is tapping into active communities. For example, on LinkedIn, you can look for groups around your target market, or on Instagram or Twitter, you can use hashtags to find out how your customers talk to each other and join in on the conversation. On the flip side, your strategy could be to instead target emerging platforms such as through Reddit and Quora’s relatively new advertising programs. 

Other ideas include unusual sponsorships, hosting a webinar event, or holding photo, video, or caption contests that boost your brand’s awareness and provide you with some great user-generated content you can use across your marketing channels. 

🗣 Leverage Storytelling to Connect with your Customers  

As humans we love a good story because of the way our brains work. Storytelling, or narrative imagining, is the way we look at the future — predict, plan, and explain. It has a place in every culture and society and today is an incredibly powerful tool that is applied widely from learning settings to marketing. 

With storytelling, your brand can take abstract concepts and simplify them into a clear, core message. By creating a narrative around your brand, you can humanise it. It’s all about creating an emotional connection with your audience. But you need to be careful that what you create is not a poorly disguised advertisement that your customers will see right through, almost certainly alienating them from your brand. 

Even if you sell a typically boring product, your business still has a story to tell. When sharing yours, consider your values, the people behind your brand, how your company started, and your journey to where you are today. A good story is entertaining enough to keep your audience engaged, but it still adds to their knowledge. It should also be universal – relatable to all audience members and aligned with the emotions and experiences we all undergo. 

In your marketing storytelling, you should draw on your customer’s sense of curiosity and build suspense. This makes your message more memorable and encourages customers to seek out more information about your brand. You can also leverage their aspirations and goals by creating content that empowers your ideal customer to shoot for the stars. 

Another idea is to use case studies in your storytelling. These customer success stories can educate potential customers on how your brand can solve their problems with your product or service. A good case study should tell your customer’s story from start to finish, starting with why they sought you out in the first place and concluding with how you helped them thrive. 

📢 Invest in Relationship Marketing 

Without your customers, your business doesn’t exist. This is why you should put time and resources into creating meaningful relationships with your customers, known as relationship marketing

Done right, this can foster long-term brand loyalty and turn your customers into advocates for your brand. In fact, customers that are engaged with a brand spend 23% more than the average customer. It is also cheaper to generate sales from existing customers than to attract new ones. As little as a 5% increase in customer retention can boost revenue by 25% to 95%. 

There are four key components to building customer loyalty through relationship marketing. They are: sharing your values, being useful, rewarding customers, and partnering with other brands where you can mutually add value to your respective businesses. 

One way you can do this is by connecting face-to-face at customer events. In today’s climate, virtual and hybrid events are taking the place of in-person brand experiences. Other ideas are loyalty programs to encourage repeat purchases and content marketing that adds value to your audience through blog posts or videos. Finally, having great customer service is vital, with 47% of consumers switching brands during the last year due to a bad customer service experience. On average, women tell 10 people when they have had a poor customer service experience. 

📈 Tracking your Growth with Marketing Metrics 

Data is power, and you can use your marketing metrics to measure and inform your business’ growth. The key metrics for marketing are revenue, customer lifetime value, customer acquisition cost, cost per lead, and your marketing return on investment (ROI). 

To justify your marketing spend, you need to understand your ROI, which can be found by dividing your total spend by the revenue generated or your total spend by your customer lifetime value. Your customer lifetime value is an important metric here, as it can help you project future revenue. 

🤝 Empower Your Marketing Efforts with Neat  

With Neat, you can maximise your small business’ marketing efforts with our smart corporate cards. You can track your spending in real-time to monthly or total spend limits, and you can set up virtual cards for each of your channels or campaigns, so you have complete control of your budget.  

Plus, there are no monthly fees, minimum spend, or hidden charges, and you get 1% cashback on every transaction. Learn more here

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