So, you’ve set up a marketing strategy for your small business. And now you want to start working on your marketing plan for the next 6 months. But how do you find the right marketing ideas for your small business to help you reach your goals?
It can be hard, especially during periods of uncertainty, to feel able to plan that far ahead. With the business landscape constantly evolving, it can be tempting to just plan as you go. The problem is, that during a busy period, you might not have the time to organise your marketing day-to-day. And having a rough 6-month plan can also help you manage finances, arrange collaborations and stay ahead of the competition!
To help with your inspiration, fill up your 6-month marketing plan with these easy to implement and affordable marketing ideas!
1. Offer something special
One thing is to prepare for possible quieter times for your small business in the next 6 months. Do the summer holidays provide a downtime for you or the transition to the colder seasons?
To re-activate existing customers and give new clients an incentive to get in touch, have discounts or special offers ready. Even a simple early bird offer can do wonders to your cash flow!
2. Start a newsletter
One of my favourite marketing ideas for small businesses: Email newsletters. Especially if your clients and customers need a long time before they buy your products or services, keeping in touch with them is very important.
A regular company newsletter is a nice way to share ideas, prove your expertise and throw in the odd discount or offer. It also keeps existing customers posted and encourages repeat business and referrals.
Find out more about how to get more referrals from your existing clients and customers.
3. Get networking
Usually, the beginning of the year is the busy season for networking – something I blame on New Year’s resolutions. But how about getting yourself out there and look for new contacts and clients during the rest of the year, too?
For example, consumers are in buying mood when it comes to the end of the year. And companies often have some money left to spend at the end of the tax year and are open-minded about starting a new project.
Whether you do it online or in person, expanding your network is a sure-fire way to give your business a boost.
4. Try public speaking
When it comes to small business marketing ideas, there nothing better than holding talks about your area of expertise to attract attention to your business.
No matter if you organise an event yourself or offer your wisdom to local organisations and their members – get out there and help people with practical, straightforward advice and you will see your business grow.
5. Sign up for conferences
There’s always an interesting trade show, exhibition or conference on. So why not make sure to be visible where your target group is hanging out?
You can use the opportunity to talk to people that might be interested in your services and look out for possible collaboration partners or suppliers. Industry events like that also often have the added value of offering new inspiration and interesting talks for yourself.
2020 obviously saw a massive shift in this type of event. While in person events are restricted, be sure to keep an eye out for online opportunities! Much like networking events, online conferences are a great way of staying safe but staying active. What’s more, online events mean you can join from anywhere in the world!
6. Start blogging
Sit down and have a think what advice and help you can provide for your target group and what their challenges are. Are there any tips, how-to’s or thoughts you could share with them?
Then you should seriously consider blogging to improve your SEO and give your social media marketing that certain something.
Read more about how to start a blog for your small business.
7. Improve your SEO
Speaking of search engine optimisation (or SEO): When was the last time you had a look at your Google Analytics and your Google Search Console? Who is visiting your website and how did they get there? What were they searching for?
8. Boost your social media
The same applies to your social media profiles: Have a look at what was the most popular content over the past weeks and consider boosting that with a specific campaign on Facebook or Twitter.
Or you could invest a little money and promote your pages to get more followers. Competitions are also a very popular way to increase your reach and engage with your fans – and subsequently, drive traffic to your website and get more customers.
9. Be ready for Christmas
Even if Christmas is further away than 6 months, it’s never too early to get started with your Christmas marketing preparations. (And in the end, it’s always here faster than you think!)
So think about how you are going to celebrate the holidays with your clients. Do you want to send Christmas cards or invite everyone to a little get-together over mulled wine? Get started in plenty time to avoid a last-minute rush in November.
I have an entire post dedicated to Christmas marketing ideas for small businesses, if you’re looking for some inspiration. Why not bookmark it for the summer, when you’ll be starting to think seriously about it!
10. Start a leaflet drop
Do you want to increase footfall for your shop or attract more local business? Consider investing in a leaflet drop campaign to tell people who you are, what you offer and where to find you!
If you are looking to specify it even more, turn it into a targeted mailshot and send it to specific businesses or households to increase your response rate.
11. Team up
Ever thought about collaborating? Non-competing businesses with a similar target group to yours are the perfect marketing partners.
They get to advertise to your customers while you get to advertise to theirs. You can run a joint campaign offering a special package deal or simply boost your respective marketing campaigns. It’s a win-win!
Again, I have an entire post dedicated to marketing collaborations – check it out if this is an option you are considering!
If you are interested in reading more about this topic, have a look at these:
Small Business Marketing Ideas
24 Small Budget Marketing Ideas for Your Small Business
Meet the Underdogs: 10 Underrated Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses
Your Small Business Marketing Plan: What is it, Why Do You Need it & How Do You Get One?