Small businesses have small budgets, so they have to be creative when promoting themselves. We, of course, always recommend animated explainer videos, but there are many other ways to promote a small business while on a tight budget.
We asked small businesses for their most unique promotional tactics. Some of them are unorthodox, but they are all effective. Take a look at what these four small business owners have done to get their companies in the news and, more importantly, in the minds of potential customers.
Fake it ‘Til You Make it
Senior Web Copywriter and Content Strategist
“Are web copywriters sexy? Not necessarily. But we suggested that’s the case in a recent April Fools’ prank that’s generated laughs across the Web.
We launched a World’s Sexiest Professions Poll, which included occupations typically considered alluring. We also snuck web copywriters into the mix.
Web copywriters technically made the ‘top 10’. However, despite our intrinsic beauty, brains and brawn, we didn’t actually gain any bragging rights. That’s because, full disclosure, there were only 10 professions listed in the poll.
While we didn’t bring sexy back, we took it upon ourselves to create and announce the world’s sexiest content writers.
It’s been picked up by dozens of sites. And we’re receiving kudos from creatives and agencies around the globe. The key here is we didn’t say we’re creative, we demonstrated it. Plus, we’re enjoying the free press and backlinks — great exposure all around!”
Employ the Angel Angle
“One of my favorite stories was from Dublin’s Web Summit when over 800 startups were exhibiting (90% of them were men) and I decided to stand out by wearing angel wings throughout the conference. When I was checking out of my hotel to head back to NYC, I looked down at Judy Dench on the cover of the Irish Times and there I was right next to her (me on my laptop with my angel wings). Inside there was another 1/4 page picture mentioning my business. Ireland knew about Cheek’d.
One of my first big hits was The New York Times and I got in by simply mailing a lone black Cheek’d card in a plain black envelope to one of the main editors at The Times. A few weeks later, we were featured on the cover of the Style Section and coined as ‘the next generation of online dating,’ which lead to customers in almost every state in America and requests from all over the world to get in on the action. We immediately set up an international shopping cart and soon hit 28 countries.
Another one of my favorite stories to date would be when I slipped a Cheek’d card into Hip Hop Mogul, Russell Simmons’s front jacket pocket (when he didn’t notice) and the next morning I woke up with a Google alert that we’d gotten all kinds of hits from the NY Observer and many national customers after the article dropped.”
Mini Monster Truck
“Here’s my best trick. I took my book, a trail guide titled The Four Wheel Drive Trails of Arizona, to a Sammy Hagar concert and tossed it up on stage.
Sammy picked it up and said, ‘WTF is this? The Four Wheel Drive Trails of Arizona? I’ve got tomorrow off so I might buy me a four-by and hit the trails.’
I don’t know how much revenue it generated, however I think half of the concert attendees were on the trail the next day.
I also approach parents of children to show them my business card and get permission to give the child a business card. Once permission is granted, I ask the child if monster trucks tow trains. Regardless of their answer, I show them my business card with a monster truck towing a train, which is my kiddie ride of the ultimate combination of two of a child’s favorite toys.”
Avoid the Obvious Events
Scrubz Body Scrub
“My small business has done all sorts of promotions over the years. Standard discount sales being the biggest one. But it wasn’t until we started our once a year Buy One Get One sale, the Friday BEFORE Black Friday, that we hit pay dirt! The only sales I ever have during the year are when our Seasonal scents go out of season. This way, our customers wait all year for the big day.
We took in well over 8K this past November in the hours from 8 am – 10 pm. Our average product price is $25 so that was a huge day.
Another way we promote ourselves is by donating product for fundraising event gift bags. It is a great way for up to 50 people (that is our top amount per event) to actually try our product. We include a discount code for a future order and can then judge how many repeat sales came from the donation.”
As you can see, there are plenty of bold things you can do to promote your business in unique and sometimes daring ways. If you have passion for your brand and some imagination, you can easily find ways to get people talking about your brand. One of the best ways to get people talking is still a tried-and-tested animated explainer video. Click here to schedule an appointment with WizMotions to see how we can help you make the perfect business video.