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5 ways to freshen up your marketing

Small Business: Market Your Business

Bridal boutique uses customized marketing to brides

Worried your marketing efforts are getting stale? If you're burned out, customers will take note and you may lose business. Keep your marketing fresh by finding a steady stream of new ideas to liven up your efforts.

Maintain a strong presence, stay top of mind and earn more sales with these five ways to freshen up your marketing:

1. Give your branding a makeover

If you’ve been operating a small business for a few years, now is a good time to evaluate whether your brand needs a makeover. Ask yourself:

  • Do you need to make a brand pivot based on your bestselling products, customer insights or an updated value proposition?

  • Is your branding consistent between all marketing channels, including digital and email marketing, print marketing and social media?

  • Did you go cheap during the startup phase and now need a polished, professional look for your growing business?

Careful consideration must be given to brand updates to achieve an exciting new look that attracts new customers without alienating existing customers. One example worth studying is Harry’s Old Kettle Pub & Grill, which redesigned its logo when the company transitioned from a bar to a restaurant. The new logo design retains previous brand elements yet lends a classy, upscale look that’s perfect for signage, menus and promotional products such as shirts, coasters and mugs.

2. Promote your value proposition everywhere

Your value proposition, also known as a unique selling proposition, or USP, is a critical component of your brand messaging. It speaks to your audience and helps convince customers you’re the right business to buy from. You should know the answers to questions such as:

  • Is your value proposition (also known as a unique selling proposition, or USP) clearly stated?

  • Does your value proposition lend insight into your customer experience?

  • Is your value proposition promoted throughout your marketing channels?

When Ellen’s Bridal & Dress Boutique redesigned its website, emphasis was given to the company’s value proposition that "every bride deserves a big city experience." Together with design updates such as call to action buttons and an appointment booking system, the strategy paid off: Sales nearly tripled compared to the previous year.

3. Feature engaging images

Scrap the stock photos and bland stand-alone product images: User-generated content (UGC) is where it’s at in today’s marketing world. Ask customers and employees to snap Instagram-like pics of your products in use, then feature those images on your homepage, blog and social media pages, as well as in your brochures, catalogs and other print marketing materials. If you don’t have a good way to get UGC, you can still feature photos that showcase your products in use. Avoid the staged look and instead opt for images that emphasize your branding. This website design example is packed with Instagram-like photos that help create desire for its products.

4. Invest in social media

It’s no secret social media can be a powerful marketing channel, but consistently declining organic reach can leave small businesses wondering whether it’s even worth posting on Facebook, Instagram and other social stalwarts. Filament Tattoo found itself in that situation when it struggled to attract regional customers. However, when it incorporated a mix of targeted Facebook ads with a community-minded group, the company was able to increase sales by 34%. The takeaway? Social media marketing isn’t about posting your thought or photo of the day. It requires an investment to reach the right audience and to build a community they’re willing to engage with.

5. Demand value for your customers

Think about last year’s marketing efforts, and ask:

  • Which marketing initiatives offered real value for your customers?

  • How did they provide that value?

  • What other ways can you give value your customers will appreciate?

So much marketing is self-centered; it focuses on promoting a company without providing the type of value that yields trust and, ultimately, sales. Yet customers yearn for value, and when you meet that demand, you can foster long-term customer loyalty that pays enormous dividends. Providing value is a fantastic way to keep your marketing fresh. Develop email marketing campaigns that help customers achieve their goals. Print informative booklets that show your customers how to do something they love. Design a resourceful website packed with tips and tricks that fuel their passions. Demand value for your customers, and you’ll be able to identify natural segues to promote your products — and your audience will reward you with sales. Inject these ideas into your marketing initiatives to thwart burnout, keep your brand fresh and drive more sales.

See these tips in action:

eBook: Marketing Fundamentals

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