One of the greatest difficulties for a small business attempting to independently market its brand is the lack of clarity concerning the best options. You know your safest bet at reaching a wide audience is to hire a marketing firm to launch a campaign on your behalf, but if you are like most small businesses, the road thereafter is opaque—and it’s difficult to not feel as if the marketing world has deliberately kept it that way.
Luckily, there are several resources available to small businesses interested in marketing that will ensure that you understand the terminology and practices associated with establishing and advertising your brand. Knowing the basics of marketing is the first step toward improving your business, and, if you so choose, determining the best marketing firm to handle your needs.
Marketing Firms: Websites
Though it seems simple, your greatest resource for learning the basics about marketing before you hire a marketing firm is to peruse the websites of the marketing firm in question. Though many firms choose to keep it simple, presenting websites that betray only the bare minimum of information—such as how to contact them and the services they offer—there are other marketing firms that actually break down each of their services and provide suggestions for “DIY marketing” on the their blogs.
Example: the Los Angeles-based marketing and web design firm Promotion Exchange offers dozens of pages on topics such as SEO (search engine optimization), keyword analytics, sweepstakes campaigns, online marketing strategies, and more!
If you are interested in hiring a marketing firm to promote your business but are not reading marketing blogs, there’s no better time to start than now! Marketing blogs are simple to find and are expressly written so small business owners can understand them. Not every suggestion offered on a marketing blog will be possible to implement on your own, but educating yourself on what your business may need can only help you prepare for the costs and find a firm that specializes in that brand of marketing.
Example: the business marketing page of Mashable is a great place to start. There are dozens of articles about marketing to open your mind to the contemporary marketing landscape.
Think Out of the Box: The Lucky Deal
If your business is in serious need of marketing and advertising help, then you may want to consider “out of the box” solutions such as deal websites. Hear me out: we all know at this point that most daily deal websites come with strings attached. After marking your wares down 50 percent, the daily deal website will then ask for another 50 percent of your returns, leaving you with only 25 percent of your original profits. For many businesses, this makes advertising with daily deal websites unprofitable; though they might gain attention, they lose profit.
There are, however, daily deal websites that do not engage in profit sharing, and those websites operate entirely in your favor. You may hear deals and coupons and think only of what you’re losing, but on a few deal websites, you have the option to only discount what you can afford—and still you retain all the attention you garner just for participating!
Example: The Lucky Deal. Created as both an alternative to printing paper coupons that patrons usually throw away and an opportunity to connect local businesses to the customers who want their services, The Lucky Deal offers several options for businesses to market themselves. With no financial commitment and no profit sharing, business can list coupons, daily deals, and sweepstakes on The Lucky Deal, ultimately marketing themselves for free!
So Go Get Started!
In the world of marketing and small business, every second counts! Engage with your local community to help boost your brand into a new sphere of consumer awareness. We’ve provided three free resources for your small business to begin its marketing journey, and hope you use those resources to achieve your marketing goals.
Author: Ogechi Wadibia (Marketing Copywriter)
Ogechi Wadibia is a marketing copywriter for Promotion Exchange Marketing and Web Design. With a degree in journalism and experience in the marketing field, she takes pride in offering small businesses informative articles on how to take steps forward in the complicated advertising and marketing landscape.