Out of the Box Thinking Could Save Your Small Business

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Out of the Box Thinking Could Save Your Small Business

It’s easy, living in the future like we do, to forget that not all marketing has to be digital. In fact, your business will fare much better if you draw from both online, offline, digital, and non-digital marketing methods when building your campaigns.

Not sure where to start? Here are a few suggestions.

Standing Out From the Crowd

If your business is brick and mortar based (or has any sort of presence in the physical world), one of the best things that you can do is to make sure that you don’t just let your storefront (or office-front) blend in with the rest of your building or surrounding neighborhood.

There are several ways to accomplish this. Creative window displays is a popular go-to when trying to set yourself apart from the crowd. Another common method businesses use is putting a sandwich board out on the sidewalk. Often the sandwich board is made out of a chalkboard or whiteboard on which the business owner announces sales, writes fun quotes, does drawings, etc.

Perhaps the best method, though, is the one that most often gets overlooked: the awning. More and more often, companies are foregoing awnings in favor of inlaid signs.

Don’t! And if your landlord won’t let your business install your own permanent awning, get creative! A custom canopy that you set up over your door will do the same job and will definitely stand out from the rest of your rule-following neighbors.

Show Up to Make a Difference

The great thing about digital, web-based, and social media marketing is that it allows you to be present for your customers even when you are swamped. It encourages conversation. Do you know what else encourages conversation? Showing up at events.

When you were just starting out you probably went to dozens of networking events in an effort to build your community and make connections. Apply that same gumption to your marketing efforts.

Don’t worry, we’re not going to recommend that you attend a bunch more of those painful mixers. We are, however, going to recommend that you join your local chamber of commerce. Being a member of your local chamber of commerce affords your company (and you) some really awesome benefits — you can have your company included on chamber communications, meet other local entrepreneurs, etc.

Another good idea is to show up at industry events. Spring for table space at the next industry convention or conference. Contact event organizers and offer to run or participate in panels. Conventions and conferences are great learning and business building opportunities.

It is also important to expand your efforts beyond your industry and niche. Sponsoring local community service projects and taking part in local fundraising efforts (like collecting donations for food banks, etc) is a fantastic way to get the word out about your business.

Support your local arts scene and schools.

Keep Up With Your Correspondence

Direct mail has been a marketing standard since mail was invented. You likely already have some direct mail campaigns running. We’re not going to talk about that here. Instead, we’re going to talk about good old-fashioned letter writing.

Have you noticed the recent explosion in Tiny Letter’s popularity? This is because people love getting mail, even if it’s not specifically intended for them. This is true for your customers as well.

Sending birthday cards, holiday cards, quick “thinking of you” notes to your customers will remind them to keep patronizing your business. It also helps endear them to you and will make them more likely to choose your products and services over those offered by your competitors.

These are just three ways that non-pixelated forms of marketing can help your business grow. Have you been getting creative with your offline marketing methods? Which trials have been the most successful?

Share your tips with the rest of the class!

Editorial Team
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