Standing out from the crowd is certainly not a task for the faint-hearted within the marketing world, particularly for small businesses. As well as working with much smaller target demographics compared to big companies, a smaller budget can feel very limiting, and unusual marketing strategies can seem like a big risk. Thanks to the powers of technology however, this does not have to be the case. Here are a few innovative and creative marketing ideas small business owners can try today:

1. Recycle your favourite content

Creatively repurposing old content is a great way to optimise your marketing output and engage new customers. Previous webinars, for example, may work well as video tutorials. You may also wish to consider collating a selection of old blog posts into a downloadable e-book. After all, it is likely that there will be a host of new site visitors that will have never come across this content before.

2. Offer gifts to customers that recommend your service to their friends

One of the best ways to expand a small business is word of mouth. In this way, it may be a good idea to develop a referral programme whereby customers are rewarded for spreading the word about your services. Rewards could come in the form of a small gift, a free month of your subscription service, or some form of discount.

3. Online competitions

Although you will need to spend some of your marketing budget on a decent prize, online competitions can help to raise awareness of your brand and have the potential to spread like wildfire across social media. Indeed, the number of participants you entice and the number of email addresses you capture could be well worth the investment.

You could even challenge your customers to get their own creative juices flowing. As well as giving you something by which to judge your winners, an online photo contest, for example, will provide a useful stream of free and engaging content to attract new customers.

4. Post your own ‘hot takes’

Controversial content (also known as a ‘hot take’) will always attract interest. However, be careful not to offend or imply anything scandalous. Rather, offer up your own perspective on big questions within your industry. Remember to keep it fun, informal, and engaging, and don’t be afraid to encourage a little friendly debate amongst customers!

Photo: DSC00227 by Andrew_Writer licensed under Creative commons 4