How can a smaller company hope to compete in their industry when they are at such a big disadvantage when it comes to marketing?
Larger companies have big budgets and a greater number of staff dedicated to all aspects of the marketing process: From advertising, to customer service, and even production. For smaller companies, they don’t have the same luxuries – budgets are vastly smaller and usually a lot of the work must be done by a handful of people, or even fewer! In order to grab the public’s attention – and hold onto it – smaller businesses must be more creative in their approach and offer a unique selling point in the hope that they can beat the big guys at their game.
So, what can you do?
Social media can be a great platform for exposure whatever size you may be; it is relatively inexpensive and can reach a vast number of potential customers quickly. With different platforms to choose from, you can use them all for different purposes.
LinkedIn has 756 million members, is specifically a business and professional network and is uniquely suited for B2B lead generation. It enables you to easily target, connect and engage with your target audience. If your business offers a solution to your customer’s needs, LinkedIn is the best environment for attracting their attention.
Twitter is brilliant for interacting with other people and can be used for customer service; this is a method that has already been adopted by many companies.
Instagram specialises in photographs – this can be ideal for showing off the visual aspects of your business: different products; the views from your B&B or glamping pod. Social media can also allow other forms of interaction – invite them to post photos of themselves with your product; have a hashtag and offer a reward. You could even run competitions.
Not everyone wants to read an article about a product; maybe the individual does not get the same feeling or experience from written words that they require to make a purchase.
Millions of videos are viewed daily on the internet, and this can be a great avenue to expose your products and business.
Consider uploading a video of your product, like a demonstration or being used by a model, to your website or a social channel like YouTube. Or you could make a virtual tour of your restaurant, holiday let, office or workshop. The visual effect of your product could be more enticing to your potential customers, and you can help increase trust by being part of the video yourself.
Allowing your customer to see the face of the business can bring about a more personal touch, and a lasting impression – you could even go viral!
Consider taking a seasonal approach.
Throughout the year, there are various holidays and events, that you could use to inspire you. Food and drink-based companies can capitalise on holiday days like Valentine’s Day – bakeries offering sweet treats; restaurants selling special offers for couples. Change menus to suit the summer weather; BBQ offers; sell cocktails or mocktails.
Adapt your products to seasonal change: Sell hot drinks and baked goods in the winter; cooling drinks and ice cream in the summer; anything with pumpkin spice in the autumn! Run vibrant swimwear campaigns during the summer holidays or winter campaigns that position hats and scarves as great gifts. A Christmas Countdown, with Black Friday incentives – whatever your business, seasonal promotions can boost your creativity and your sales.
Just because you don’t have a big budget, doesn’t mean you can’t be creative with what you have. Work out what matters most to your customers and support them in that, and never underestimate the power of the personal touch.
If you’re interested in talking to our team about how we could help you induce some creativity into your marketing we’d love to hear from you. Contact us here or give us a call on 01600 891525.
This week the LimeGreen team have been joined by Beatrice Smith from Monmouth Comprehensive School. Beatrice has been spending time with us and learning all about digital marketing as part of her work experience placement.
With less than six weeks until Christmas, now is the time we start to see seasonal adverts creeping into the schedule so we asked Beatrice to put together some of her favourite festive campaigns.
My Favourite Christmas Adverts
By Beatrice Smith.
John Lewis: The Long Wait – 2011
John Lewis is renowned for its tear jerking adverts and this one is no different. The advert itself appeals to me because of the simplicity of the piece. It brings out emotion that’s hard to explain. You feel almost bad for assuming that the young boy’s interests were selfish ones when actually, all of the impatient glaring at the clock was only him willing the time to go quicker, in order for him to give a present to his parents on Christmas Day.
Sainsbury’s: Christmas is for Sharing – 2014
Sainsbury’s definitely did a good job in attracting my attention with this advert. As 2014 was the 100th anniversary of the spontaneous truce that took place along parts of the western front, during World War I, the brand decided to mark the occasion. Showing how the two countries were able to put the fighting behind them for one day to mark a time of peace and goodwill to all men reminds people of what Christmas is truly about.
Coca-Cola: Holidays Are Coming – Annual
The Coca-Cola Christmas advert will always stand out to me because it’s always shown in the same format. Although they may change elements of it, the majority of the time, the advert has the same classic theme. As soon the Coco-Cola advert comes on, no matter what room of the house you’re in, you know Christmas is on its way – “Holidays are coming!”
Irn-Bru: The Snowman – 2007
As a child the story of The Snowman was a popular at Christmas time, and even more so after the animated film release. The music “Walking in The Air” is instantly recognisable and makes you think of Christmas, so it’s clever that Irn-Bru have used a parody of this to promote their product. Re-working a childhood classic brings back many memories and emotions.
John Lewis: The Bear and the Hare – 2013
This advert is a particularly memorable one, due to the kind nature of the animals. The alarm clock is an endearing gift, that doesn’t just display a material value, but something truly thoughtful. Without it the bear would not be able to wake up and enjoy the Christmas moments with the other animals, making memories which are a gift themselves.
I think all of these adverts appeal to my age group as they play to our emotional side and we are able to connect with them on a deeper level. The music chosen for each Christmas advert helps create a big impact. Whether it’s to instantly grab your attention or simply to help tell a story, music makes a strong visual advert even more memorable. This is why adverts such as ‘The Snowman’ and ‘The Long Wait’ are such massive hits.