In just the past few years, new and exciting methods of marketing have emerged for small businesses, including new social media channels, powerful website and blogging tools, and extremely targeted and affordable search engine keyword and social media marketing. These new methods, tools, and marketing platforms provide a world of new opportunities for small businesses. Yet there is a catch – they are available to almost every small business, and your branding and marketing can be lost in a huge flood of messaging and marketing, making it more difficult than ever to get your message out and have your voice heard.

Openness, Honesty, Integrity

Effective, long-term small business marketing and branding depends on a number of traditional principles that stress openness, honesty and integrity. You have to be honest about who you are, what you do, and why the products and services you offer are necessary and/or fulfill a specific need or want. No matter what technological advancement or new marketing platform comes along, those principles don’t change. Yet it may be necessary to develop a few new marketing strategies that can make your message more engaging and memorable, helping you rise to the top and attract more new followers and potential customers.

Failure Is Not A Laughing Matter

When you’re focused on developing a branding or marketing strategy for your small business or organization, it can be easy to forget why your followers and potential customers use the platform you’re targeting in the first place. The success or failure of your small marketing campaign is not a lighthearted, laughing matter. An ineffective or unsuccessful campaign can be especially problematic for a small business with a limited budget for further campaigns, and for a new business lacking an established customer base, it could even be catastrophic. However, the potential customers you are targeting simply don’t care about that.

Develop Marketing Content That Is Fun!

On social media platforms, your potential customers aren’t logged in as a captive audience with the intention or desire to learn more about your small business. You need to give them a reason to pause, read your post or view your graphic, and click through and like or follow your page. The easiest way to do that is to create content that’s fun and engaging. Although that sounds obvious and self-intuitive, a surprising number of businesses and organizations post content marketing that is lifeless and dull, giving potential customers no reason to engage.

Don’t Be Inappropriate

Unless your “fun” content marketing is simply inappropriate under any circumstances (for instance, we don’t recommend a lighthearted or fun social media campaign for a mortuary), consider ways that you can make your content more lighthearted and fun. This may include more reposting of fun or funny content from other sources, or more lighthearted original content. Always remember to be civil, respectful, non-controversial, and make sure that your fun content fits your existing branding and tone. Being more creative and fun isn’t a license to discard or disrupt your overall marketing and branding.

Creatively Utilize Marketing Hooks

A marketing hook is similar to a tagline for your business, and sometimes the two can be interchangeable. The primary different between a tagline and a hook is that a tagline is designed as a branding element to introduce your business to new customers, while a hook is a marketing and advertising tool used to “hook” a potential customer into taking a closer look at your company or your featured product or service.

What Can You Offer?

The best way to develop an effective marketing hook is to ask yourself, “What am I, or should I be, offering to potential customers in order to get them excited and interested in my brand?”. This can be the most attractive or interesting facet of your product or service, a compelling reason to engage, or it may simply be a straightforward offer or promotion. Once you’ve identified your hook, compose a short, straightforward line that summarizes it for use across multiple platforms and services. If your hook is successful, you should see an increase in engagement and click-throughs from your followers and the public at large.