12 Creative Ways To Market Your Business

12 Creative Ways To Market Your Business

What is one creative way you plan to market your business in 2021? What do you have planned?

We asked marketing professionals and business owners about what they have in store for the year ahead. 

Here are twelve creative ways to market your business.

  • Instagram Reels
  • Prioritize Video Content
  • Plain Text Emails
  • Optimized Blog Content 
  • Join Online Communities
  • TikTok
  • Exterior Branding
  • Get Personal
  • Hit It Old School
  • Highlight Success Stories
  • Establish Yourself as Experts
  • Live Shopping on Apps

Instagram Reels

Everything is virtual these days and one of the most creative things you can do is capitalize on this. I am a big fan of Instagram’s “Reels” feature which is similar to TikTok. I’ve seen a lot of business owners using Reels to teach their followers something short and fun. You could do a simple “3 Tips for…” and set it to music. It makes for fun content and it gets a lot more exposure than a traditional Instagram post. Make sure to include hashtags in your caption!

Emily Ryan, Westfield Creative

Prioritize Video Content

Video creation is one of the most creative ways to market your business in 2021. Studies show that video content performs better on social media and also increases the average time on page for web users, and it is a powerful tactic that not many people use due to the labor-intensive nature of video production. We are excited to do more in this space come 2021!

Noah Downs, American Pipeline Solutions 

Plain Text Emails

Sending personalized, plain text email messages to existing and prospective customers is a simple, but underutilized marketing tactic. We receive so many emails every day, but if you can insert your business into an inbox in an unobtrusive way, then you are able to deepen customer relationships and be there when customers need you. 

Carey Wilbur, Charter Capital

Optimized Blog Content 

Going into 2021, we plan to create high-quality, optimized content to be featured on our blog.  Our goal is to be the most trusted experts in our industry.  This helps us organically rank on search engines and be the featured page when people are looking for durable device cases. We have gotten really creative with keywords and topics to appeal to potential customers and just rolled out a 3-month content strategy to aid in our marketing efforts. Content will be king in 2021. 

Peter Babichenko, Sahara Case 

Join Online Communities

One creative way you can market your business in 2021 is to join different online communities! I personally attend online webinars and meetups for female entrepreneurs and creatives to build my network and promote my company to potential clients. In addition to the reach these communities provide for my company, they also give me the opportunity to meet other prominent professionals in my vertical who help me get even better at my craft.

Nikitha Lokareddy, Markitors 

TikTok

A tactic we have been utilizing in 2020 and will use well into 2021 is TikTok. With over 800 million monthly active users, Tik Tok is officially the hottest new social media platform. While TikTok is thought to just be for teens, we have found that a lot of our target market is active on TikTok and looking for content geared toward them. We created an account and have been making our own videos and publishing them for the world to see. With no monetary investment, we just use our free time and creativity to spread the word about our brand. 

Stephanie Schull, Kegelbell 

Exterior Branding

We equip all of our vehicles with visually appealing exterior graphics to help capture what it’s like to “Cruise America.” We often hear positive comments from customers and prospective customers about these graphics. With more than 4,500 vehicles on the road, the more our vehicles are in use, the more marketing benefit our company receives. 

Randall Smalley, Cruise America

Get Personal

Not in a creepy way, but in a true authentic way. We are all exhausted from being online 24/7. Can you send a handwritten card just because? Can you organize a pickup/drop off spot for a joint activity or craft project? Can you organize a safe winter wonderland activity? I believe the secret sauce behind effective marketing in 2021 is going beyond the digital screen.

Audrey Hutnick, Smallwave Marketing

Hit It Old School

We’re hitting it old-school with some of our approaches this coming year to activate our wholesale network. Our plan is to resurrect the idea of “scratcher postcards,” but with actually great rewards under those silver flecks. Digital ads are becoming more expensive and are vying for subprime attention, while print advertising is seeing a resurgence in both affordability and the stronger eyes it gets.

Hana Ruzsa Alanis, Graphic Designer & Marketing Specialist

Highlight Success Stories

In 2021 we are aiming for the strategy of storytelling. We’re focusing on telling our clients’ stories. We believe storytelling, be it brand-led or customer-led, connects with audiences. We’re combining the two to show how our brand helps our customers through their success stories. It will take us some time to find the right stories, shape them for our audiences, and tell them in a way that showcases our clients’ hard work and success. Any good story has a setting, a character, character flaws, conflict, resolution, and lesson. Brand storytelling is not an exception. We plan on incorporating all those elements into our stories.

Natalya Bucuy, LiveHelpNow

Establish Yourself As Experts

When we look at 2021, it’s important to understand that we still have uncertain times ahead. Therefore, we need to not only have a Plan B, but we need to work our way a little further down the alphabet. We plan to stay innovative and ready to make a pivot whenever traditional marketing efforts aren’t paying off. So, we have targeted strategies for outreach, guest posting, and providing beneficial quotes for articles on high-traffic sites. By establishing ourselves as experts in our niche, we plan to exude trustworthiness and professionalism.

Sally Rong, Rellery

Live Shopping on Apps

In order to successfully market your business next year, the answer lies in adopting a combination of new social tools vs. tapping into just one. We’re anticipating that the next phase of retail will heavily focus on ‘Live Shopping.’ For example, our partners at Facebook and TikTok are rolling out new features that will make it extremely quick and easy for consumers to make purchases directly from interactive content—without ever leaving their respective app or site. In 2021, brands will be able to sell seamlessly through Instagram’s ‘Checkout’ feature and take advantage of TikTok’s first-ever commerce partnership with Shopify. This provides a great opportunity to work with influencers across platforms and explore new channel capabilities.

Greg Gillman, MuteSix

Terkel creates community-driven content featuring expert insights. Sign up at terkel.io to answer questions and get published. 

8 B2B Instagram Marketing Tips & Best Practices

B2B Instagram Marketing Tips

Instagram has always been a place for brands to shine–interacting with customers and creating a feed akin to an art show. But what about B2B businesses looking to enter the game?

How should a B2B business use Instagram? 

We asked eight B2B leaders, “What Instagram tip would you have to offer other B2B businesses?”

Here’s what they had to say:


It’s All About Insights

For us, Instagram is a place to share insights and wisdom. Our work is about people and we want to put people first through the content we share. As a result, much of our content is motivational and inspirational. Connect your business, whatever you offer, to something personal and that will offer something valuable to your audience. 

Jenn Christie, Y Scouts


Share Your Brand Personality

We use Instagram as a way to share our brand’s personality beyond our site while still promoting our business. Instagram allows us to connect to our audience in a way that’s more personable. We share our sales and products, of course, but we also engage with our followers by asking questions and including them in the content. Create a brand personality and use that to guide your content.

Vanessa Molica, The Lash Professional


Network

We have a podcast (CEOpodcasts.com) so we use it very much as a way to connect with podcast guests and generate content. The reality is that most businesses are looking for visibility so we try to provide that opportunity with our platform. By doing that, it opens up the opportunity to develop, nurture, and cultivate relationships. Simply by sending a direct message to a potential podcast guest can open up a tremendous amount of opportunities.

Gresham Harkless, Blue 16 Media


Promote Brand Identity and Culture

We use Instagram for culture posts. Our audience doesn’t consume content or convert on Instagram so we’ve switched from trying to promote on there to showcasing a more human side of us and highlighting our great brand!

Janelle Amos, Revenue Marketing Manager


Be Consistent

We use Instagram to promote our mission, programs, and fundraisers. The best practice we strive for is consistency. What I have learned about social media engagement is it is all about consistency. It is also important that you create polished and eye-catching content for social media since it is driven by picture content.

Lloyd Hopkins, Million Dollar Teacher Project


Start Your Narrative

You are not the hero of the story. This comes from Storybrand by Donald Miller and it is more applicable than ever. To be effective on Instagram, start your narrative where the user is and not what you want them to see. Provide value by helping them navigate the problem they are currently having.

Lukas Ruebbelke, BrieBug


It’s OK if it Isn’t Right For You

First, determine what business objective(s) you want to achieve from Instagram (and social media as a whole). Instagram isn’t for everyone, and if your efforts on the platform aren’t organic or authentic, it could actually damage your brand reputation with your followers. If you do create a presence on Instagram, commit to conceptualizing the type of visual content that will tell your brand’s story in a compelling way.

Rennie Leon, Director of Marketing and Communications


Feature Behind the Scenes

Instagram is our favorite tool for letting our brilliant team shine. Since we’re a digital marketing company for small businesses, it’s important for us to have a medium where our clients can learn more about the awesome people they’re working with. Through our efforts, we aim to show that we connect small businesses with customers and have a great time doing it. Since Instagram is a casual social media platform, I recommend using this channel to feature the people working behind the scenes. Show people what your business is all about, but don’t forget to highlight those who make things happen! 

Grecia Olachea, Markitors

11 Best WordPress Design Tips For A Clean & Modern Website

Whether you like it or not, people will judge your company based on your website. In light of this, it’s important to have a clean, user-friendly webpage to attract clients. If you’re operating on WordPress, there are multiple options available to impart a modern feel to your website. 

In this piece, 11 small business leaders share the steps they took to breathe new life into their company sites.


Conduct Research

We recently just did an overhaul of our website. We started by researching large companies we look up to and see what type of content and style they’re currently using. Once we had a better understanding of current trends, our own user experience, and the ideal layout, we found a template and plug-ins that would drive conversions.

Megan Chiamos, Cannabis ERP Software 


Have Easily Identifiable Calls to Action and Negative Space for Easy Navigation

We are currently working to move our website to WordPress from a different platform because of its versatility. During the transition, we are working with a designer to ensure the best possible SEO performance with the new design. Two of the key components of our new site will be easily identifiable calls to action and negative space to help ensure easy navigation.

Pete Newstrom, Arrow Lift


Use Meaningful Images

Selecting images is a very important part of website design. For our adoption agency, the images we have chosen to select on our website are very reflective and respectful of the unplanned pregnancy our birth mothers face. Previously, our website was populated with photos of babies. Now, the hero images on our site are filled with images of the life situations birth mothers face: the initial positive pregnancy test; the discomfort of a pregnancy; wondering what the future holds; research; joy. By including these images, it is our hope that we can visually communicate to birth mothers that we understand what they are going through…and that we are here to help. 

Kenna Hamm, Texas Adoption Center


Simplify the Messaging

We have simplified and cleaned up the messaging. Ensure load times are fast and provided call to actions right at the top of the site. We also are telling people what happens to their information right up front using video so we can eliminate any fear. Finally, we are including video and virtual tours as much as possible.

Thomas Ahern, Embark Behavioral Health


Prioritize User Experience

Carefully think about the user experience and flow of information. Write enough but not too much — nobody likes to read the web. Make sure the design is clean, simple, and appealing.

DD Kullman, University of Phoenix


Keep it Fast and Efficient

I am in the process of a redesign. I was using a template that had a lot of custom css that just slowed the site down. Speed is one of the biggest ranking factors so I have switched to a lighter template with fewer plugins and a whole lot less custom CSS. Most of the fancy stuff I didn’t use anyhow. Simple, clean, easy to navigate, and fast is better than cool bells and whistles.

Eric Rutin, Rutin Marketing


Keep it Simple

Simplicity.  Easy, clean, and to the point without extra bells and whistles.  Use this style for a quick reference and then to start a real conversation about meeting your customer’s personal needs.  Every business and website has different needs.

Joe Harlan, JoeHarlan.net


Keep it Clean and Basic

My team and I are always updating our WordPress website. We keep it clean and basic. We want our customers to be able to easily flow through our website. 

Vanessa Molica, Eyelash Supplies Company


Use a Fresh Design and Real-Time Data

We have an expert and award-winning team that uses fresh design and real-time data to create brand awareness and help our services stand-out. We look at our site every day and it shows.

Cameron Robb, GPEC


Short, Choppy Copy Wins

One underrated aspect of a modern website is the copy. Short, choppy copy wins in today’s world. Say what you need to say in as few words as possible, as clearly as possible. For example, “We help ____ with ____ by ____”

Michael Norris, Youtech


Don’t Overcrowd the Pages

To adopt a clean, modern look, I do several things. One, I use a font that’s readable. I make sure that it’s big enough and that the color has high contrast against the background. Two, adding adequate space in between text and elements. If the page looks too squished, it looks outdated and messy. Three, use high-quality images to add visual interest.

Danielle Ganon, SEO Marketing Company