Whether you’re launching a startup or have a well-established small business, marketing is essential to achieving success. Now that we’re in the digital age, online marketing has become highly effective in businesses engaging with and retaining existing customers as well as increasing brand awareness. However, that does not take anything away from the power of traditional marketing. We recommend you consider these five marketing ideas:

1. Create Partnerships

Choose several reputable complimentary businesses in your area to partner with. This is not only a great way to get the word out about yourself; it will also help to expand your network. If you own a fine dining establishment that frequently hosts major events like weddings, you could approach an event planner, photographer, florist, winery, etc. to build a solid referral network that benefits all parties.

2. Make Sure You’re Listed on Google My Business

If you’re in business you need to be on Google. Google My Business offers businesses a free listing that includes the name of the business, physical address, phone number, the hours it’s open, photos and even driving directions. People searching for your business will find it listed at the top of the screen. New customers can now reach out to you online, by phone or in person. 

3. Be Active on Social Media

Some online marketers recommend being on all social media platforms, however we think a business should focus on the channels that are most appropriate for their type of enterprise. If you’re in the world of fashion, you want to be active on Pinterest and Instagram since they are the most visually inspired platforms.

If you’re a financial planner or accountant you may find LinkedIn more helpful in broadening your network and establishing yourself as an expert since that platform allows members to post interesting articles. Businesses trying to develop an active community of followers and those that offer regular promotions and specials would likely benefit most from Facebook.

Whatever platform you choose to focus on, you need to invest some time in engaging others by creating a dialogue, answering questions and offering your expertise. The idea is to be social on social media. You’ll do this by sharing valuable content, whether it’s curated or original, marketing your product and/or services to consumers while continuing to engage with them

4. Use Print and Online Advertising

Advertising always pays off if it’s done right. Consider your budget while evaluating your options, which are as follows:

  • Ads in your local newspaper or magazine
  • Business listings in local print and online directories
  • Google AdWords campaign
  • Targeted display ads on the social media platform you’re most active on

In determining your strategy, think about who your target audience is and whether they will see your ad. Make sure you know in advance how you’re going to measure your ROI so you know if what you spent was successful in getting results.

5. Have a Contest

People love participating in a competition or contest, which makes it a great way to draw in new customers. In the process you’ll collect more email addresses and subscribers to your e-newsletter. Ideally, your prize should be products and/or services that your business is known for. You can promote your contest through blogs, on your website, on social media, and in your shop. Once you have a winner, you can publicise this in the same manner.

If you’re looking for some additional funds to get started with one of the above options, an unsecured business loans could be a good option. Unsecured Finance Australia offers a number of unsecured lending products that could support you with the funds you need to start marketing your business more proactively.