July 17, 2018
All business owners are looking for the same thing: more clients! Attracting new customers is the top priority for everyone running a company in the modern competitive economy, and is particularly important if you’re a small business without the budget to take on the big boys.
This is why many small companies have to think outside the box and get creative with their options, including coffee shops and cafés that use chalkboard markers to produce attractive or quirky sidewalk advertising, and companies that think up quirky marketing strategies to link with an ongoing local event or news story.
Of course, another important avenue for exploring in modern marketing is social media. One of the advantages of social media is that it can help to level the playing field, enabling smaller operators to compete with the big brands. It is a huge arena. A survey from Smart Insights found that early last year, there were 2.8 billion social media users in the world, spread across the leading platforms. How can small companies use social media creatively to boost their profile?
Facebook video ads
Facebook is still the most popular global social media platform, and over the last few years, there has been a dramatic growth in the number of businesses using Facebook to advertise. However, use of Facebook video ads remains comparatively small, which offers an opportunity. According to one piece of research by Buffer, Facebook videos have 135% more organic reach than normal Facebook advertising.
The appeal of social media is that it offers everyone the chance to have their say, and this democratic aspect of the platform is great for businesses. If customers like what you’re doing, then they will spread the good news about it organically, without you having to advertise.
However, with a little extra creativity, you can capitalize on the advantages of social media expressivity and use content generated by customers. You have to obtain their permission, of course, but as long as you do, using this content has many advantages. In particular, it is a more organic and natural way of marketing your brand. It also suggests that there is an active and engaged customer base for your company. The modern consumer likes to see other customers’ opinions before making a purchase as they tend to trust people over brands, so user-generated content is the perfect way to engage with the market.
Most businesspeople have heard of influencers and how they can help brands. Companies search out individuals who have a wide fan base that fits with their target market, and then reach out to the influencer in an attempt to promote their product.
The success and high profile of this form of marketing has led many small business users to assume that it is only for big brands, but this is far from the case. The important thing to remember about influencers is that the size of their following matters less than the engagement and enthusiasm of the followers. An influencer with 5,000 highly engaged followers can offer more potential than someone with 200,000 less active followers.
These individuals, with followings in the 10,000 to 100,000 range, are called micro-influencers, and there is evidence from research done on Instagram that they offer the best combination of reach and engagement, providing access to social marketing for small businesses.
For a number of years, Snapchat was where brands focused when it came to engaging users with social media stories. In fact, in the course of three years, from 2014, Snapchat increased its number of daily users from 46 million to 166 million. But now there is a competitor that offers an even better opportunity for businesses. Instagram Stories has over 200 million active viewers. It enables users to share videos, images and stories, which remain live for 24 hours before disappearing. You can also use text, emoji and location filters.
The beauty of Instagram Stories for small businesses is that they are cheap and easy to put together. In fact, all you need is a mobile device. They also come across as being authentic, which is important in the modern marketplace. And, perhaps most importantly, they encourage users to engage directly with your brand as they have to click onto the story if they want to watch it.
Marketing is all about creativity, and thanks to social media, there are greater opportunities to promote your brand than there have ever been. Hopefully, these tips will help you to boost the creativity of your brand and grow your customer base.
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