99 Marketing Strategies and Ideas to Grow Your Business
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has taken its toll on businesses around the world. From mom and pop shops to major corporations, it’s business as usual for no one.
During times of crisis and economic uncertainty, it’s important to come up with a new marketing plan. People’s wallets tighten during recessions, and changes to your marketing strategy and sales channels are likely inevitable. Companies that thrive during recessions invest in themselves and tinker with growth opportunities.
For many businesses, the tide is out right now. If you’re in a position to keep swimming while times are difficult, run with it. Use it as an opportunity to set yourself up for success when the economy opens back up.
Here are 99 marketing strategies and ideas you can use to grow your business, and set yourself up for success when we’re all out and about again.
1. Use a free keyword tool to improve your SEO
SEO can be as complicated as you want it to be, which can scare some business owners. The good news is that if you’ve never touched your website to improve its SEO, there are likely some simple changes that can make a big difference – and it doesn’t have to cost you anything but a bit of time.
Ahrefs has a comprehensive list of free keyword research tools that can help you get started. The tools can help inform your blog strategy and take your website to the next level.
2. Research your competition
What are the best businesses in your field doing right? This is a question that every business owner should ask continuously. Research the competition by using SEO tools to find out which websites are linking to them, social monitoring tools to see which social media posts are performing best, and chrome extensions like Ghosterly to see where they’re advertising. You don’t need to copy all of their practices, but knowing what’s working for the competition can help you come up with new ways to grow your business.
3. Build an email list
Email isn’t dead, despite what many social media agencies will tell you. It’s an extremely valuable marketing channel, no matter what line of business you’re in. Growing your business email list can be time-consuming.
Here’s where to begin:
First, you’ll need to figure out what you’re offering subscribers. It could be insider tips, how-to videos, or monthly updates on your industry. Here’s a step by step guide to starting a newsletter that people actually want to read.
Next comes the hard part. You’ll need to grow your list. To do so, start with implementing sign up forms on all of your owned content. Add forms in your social media bios, your email signatures, and at the end of all of your blog posts. Encourage your fans to sign up by running a giveaway or teasing content only available to subscribers. Vertical Response recently released a great article on 40 ways to build your email list, give it a read to grow your audience.
4. Form a strategic partnership
Strategic partnerships are the sole growth channels for many businesses. Just ask Sirius XM how many subscribers they’d have if they didn’t have 50+ automotive partners.
Try working with another business that has the same potential customer base as your business.
Here’s the catch though: You can’t have a similar offering.
Web development shops often partner with marketing firms to offer more services, long-haul movers partner with self-storage companies, and restaurants partner with movie theaters. A few partners can pay huge dividends. This article from Entrepreneur dives even deeper into building strategic partnerships if you’re looking for more information.
5. Start freelance accounts on Upwork, Bark, etc.
The digital economy has changed the game for service providers. You’re no longer limited by your geography – you can grow your business online.
If you’re offering a service like graphic design, copywriting, voiceover work, or any other digital service, there are likely people requesting online pitches from businesses just like yours. Upwork and Bark are great places to solicit requests from other business owners. Show them your portfolio and respond with your best price.
6. Start a webinar series
A great way to collect information on your potential customers and sell to them directly at the same time is by hosting a webinar series. Try one of these two formats if you’re just starting out:
-show off your platform (either conduct a live or canned demo)
-answer common questions from your customers
These are two great ways to entice signups.
When setting up your webinar series, build out your presentation in Google Slides or PowerPoint, and consider using a service like GoToWebinar or WebinarJam. GoToWebinar is perfect for large audiences, and WebinarJam is great for enticing signups.
7. Run Facebook lead generation ads
If your business depends on lead generation, Facebook is a great option for growing your business.
Their lead generation ads pre-qualify all leads by automatically filling in forms with users information. This way you’ll spend less time chasing fake names and phone numbers, and more time closing.
8. Run a survey to better understand your customers
Before you launch a marketing campaign, consider running a survey to get to know your customers. Offer them a Starbucks gift card or some other small gift in exchange for their opinions.
As for software, Survey Monkey and Google Forms are both simple platforms to set up in order to start collecting information.
9. Set up a referral program
Word of mouth isn’t dead, it’s still one of the most effective ways to grow your business.
So how do you increase word of mouth?
One way to encourage word of mouth advertising is by setting up a referral program with your most trusted clients and contacts. Offer them a dollar amount or a percentage for every client they refer that signs up or becomes a customer.
Another option is requesting video testimonials from past clients, with the pretext that if anyone signs up via your testimonial page, you’ll offer a referral payment. We talk about this more below.
10. Start a Meetup
Meetup is a great app that allows users to join networking events on pretty much any topic. If you sell a service, consider hosting a Meetup that teaches people your services.
When you become the trusted expert, people will think of you when it’s time to make a purchase.
11. Join your local chamber of commerce
Start networking in your community by joining your local chamber of commerce. They’re full of business owners and entrepreneurs looking to meet people just like you.
Make sure other members know your service offering, and then try to build lasting friendships.
And always remember the golden rule:
Networking isn’t selling – it’s building friendships. Then, as your circle grows, there will be more people who can refer you to other business owners. Friends help friends, so make some more friends!
12. Join a BNI chapter
This is another great group you can join to start networking and meeting potential clients.
Business Networking International puts referrals first, giving you the opportunity to receive warm leads from other BNI members and do the same for them in return. With nearly 9,000 chapters worldwide, there’s likely one (or several) in your community.
13. Get your company listed in directories
Take this next sentence seriously:
Securing your online directories is one of the most important things you can do when you launch your business.
It’s not just about getting yourself set up with a Google My Business Page, you’ll also want to set up your company information in Facebook, Apple Maps, Waze, Yelp, and in other directories depending on your specific industry.
Once you’ve set up your directories properly, solicit some reviews from past customers to really boost your profile’s visibility. It’s one of the major ranking factors in Google Search.
14. Answer relevant questions on Quora
We recently answered a question on Quora that garnered hundreds of thousands of views and resulted in hundreds of signups for our weekly newsletter, The Ad Spot.
The best part is, the answer we submitted was just a short version of a blog we’d already posted. Kill two birds with one stone and look for open questions on Quora that you’ve already answered in a blog post – and rework your post to best answer the question. If you add a link to your blog, newsletter, or contact page, this can result in some great opportunities for you without much additional effort.
This is one of our favorite strategies for growing your business with social media.
15. Start an Instagram or Facebook Live video series
Live video can seem daunting, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll find it’s one of the quickest ways to get a message across to your potential customers.
Yes, the quality of your video may be less than an edited, scripted video on your YouTube channel, but there are certain times when production value isn’t the top priority.
Say, for example:
You’re a real estate agent. It’s important for your production quality to look fantastic when you’re showing off a listing, as you’re trying to present your listing in the best light (pun intended) possible. If you’re doing a quick Q&A session, however, a live video could suffice here. Ask your followers to submit questions via an Instagram Story and answer them in a live video series once per week. This will only take you a few minutes a week, and it will keep you top of mind.
16. Answer common questions in YouTube videos
What are the questions you get asked the most about your business, industry, pricing, or anything else business-related? Write down these common questions and use videos to answer them.
Scroll through YouTube and try to find videos than answer these questions – then make a new video that does the best one you can find one or two better.
Keep your ears open, listen for common questions and concerns, and then answer the frequent inquiries on YouTube. There are likely millions of people asking the same questions you hear daily.
17. Launch a blog strategy
Blogging is great for search engine optimization (SEO), as it can help you bring in new visitors (and if your writing is good, it can keep them on your site for a long period of time – which is also great for SEO).
Think about some of the search terms that you’d want to rank high on Google for and consider writing articles on those topics. It takes time, effort, and consistency, but if you commit to a blogging strategy, you can reap the benefits of search traffic for years to come.
18. Respond to press inquiries on HARO
Ever wondered how startups and small businesses get mentioned in big blogs and websites? For many, it’s through HARO, also known as Help A Reporter Out.
HARO is a website that connects journalists with sources. Business owners can sign up, subscribe to areas of expertise, and respond to journalists from major publications in hopes of getting their quote featured with a link back to their website in an article.
We’ve used it to get featured in plenty of major publications, and you can too. That’s why it’s one of our 50 favorite tools that can help grow your business.
19. Do a publicity stunt
You’re going to have to put your creative hat on here, but there are plenty of ways to successfully conduct a publicity stunt for your business.
Why’s it such a great idea?
A publicity or PR stunt can potentially get you local or national news coverage for a fraction of the cost – but your idea needs to be a winner.
Winning Example: When Uber was in its early days, it wanted to communicate to riders in the Hamptons that their service would now be available in the area, so what did they do to get local media coverage? They launched an additional service that would take people from New York City to the Hamptons…via Helicopter for the cool price of $3,000.
Hello, earned media.
20. Upsell your existing customers
Here’s a situation.
You’re a grocer, and you need to sell an apple to save your business. Two people have just entered your store, the guy who delivers your newspapers, and Mrs. Smith who is a regular customer with 5 oranges, a bunch of grapes, and one pineapple already in her cart.
Who should you spend your time selling the apple to?
Sometimes an upsell to a happy customer is much easier than pitching new potential customers. The newspaper boy has a busy day of deliveries ahead of him and has already packed his lunch, while Mrs. Smith is one apple away from a fruit salad of epic proportions and her wallet is already out.
You get where we’re going with this. Sometimes it’s easier to grow your business by selling to your existing clients than by finding new ones.
21. Speed up your website and make sure it’s mobile-friendly
Check your website’s speed, mobile optimization, and keyword data regularly. This is a way to make sure that it ranks high in search results.
For speed, we’d recommend using GTmetrix to test your load time – anything less than a “B” should be addressed immediately.
Use this tool from Google to run your mobile-friendly test, and be sure your website’s meta tags, title tags, and alt tags reflect your offering. It’s a balance, but you need your website’s keywords to speak to both humans (your potential customers) and robots (Google).
And remember, if this feels like more than you can handle, you’re not alone:
If you need to speed up your website, don’t hesitate to contact us. A fast site can make the world of a difference in search engines.
22. Simplify your website messaging
If your bounce rate is high and your site is fast, it might be your copy that needs an overhaul. Visit your website with fresh eyes and pretend you know nothing about your company.
Does it make sense? Is it dry, stuffed with big words, and plain old…boring?
Get to the heart of your product or service offering and get there quickly. It’s better to have someone understand your product and decide it’s not for them than to have someone leave out of pure confusion as to what you do.
Lose the jargon.
23. Add a chatbot or Facebook Messenger button on your website
You may have noticed we don’t have a Messenger button on our website, which should drive home the point that this tip isn’t necessarily for every business.
There are some businesses that will see serious growth come from adding a chat button to their site – we love when restaurants add a button that allows people to order take out directly from Messenger, or when appointments can be made directly from a chatbot. You can set up your chatbot to only display during quiet hours, or during work hours – they’re flexible.
24. Run a retargeting campaign
If you’re not running a retargeting campaign currently, this is one of the most useful types of marketing you can learn about.
Retargeting (also known as remarketing) is the act of running ads to people who’ve already visited your website, or important pages on your website. If someone checks out a page about a specific shoe and then leaves your site, it allows you to advertise that specific shoe to that specific person.
Pretty cool, and a great way to close a sale.
25. Launch a PPC Advertising campaign
Google is pretty good about offering new small businesses ad credits to test the waters in Google Ads, but there are plenty of other options to explore here as well. Retargeting, as mentioned above is a great type of PPC advertising to continuously run, but we’d recommend checking out Facebook ads and LinkedIn ads as well depending on your business.
With LinkedIn ads having a minimum spend of $10 per day and Facebook’s minimum spend being just $1 per day, it’s an affordable option to explore. If you do decide to try out Facebook ads, here are the Facebook ad metrics you need to watch.
26. Track your phone success with CallRail
For some businesses like Chiropractors or Dentists, call tracking is a must.
Not only does it let you see how people are finding your phone number, it allows you to monitor calls and make sure that your front office staff is handling leads appropriately. We’ve worked with countless businesses who were shocked to learn how the typical sales call was being handled, and services like CallRail ensure that your staff is handling incoming leads appropriately.
With services like CallRail, dynamic phone numbers are used across the web that flag where specific callers found your business online. This way you can invest heavily in areas where people are finding you, and cut advertising dollars from places that aren’t working.
It’s a great way to maximize online business growth.
27. Grow your Instagram following
Please note: We don’t mean that you should grow your Instagram following by purchasing fake followers. This can hurt your engagement metrics on the platform, so be sure to get rid of fake followers on social media.
Getting new followers that actually want to interact with your photos and videos is the key to success, and to do this you’ll need to be creative.
Work with local influencers, promote your page on other channels and platforms, create engaging content, go live and offer educational or entertaining videos, and when in doubt…
28. Run a giveaway
If you’re a local store, try boosting giveaways targeted at people in your area, or cross-posting with another local business in your Instagram Stories.
But does it work?
We just ran a $30 boosted giveaway post for our favorite local Mexican restaurant that netted them 1,000 new Instagram followers that live within 10 miles of their store – again, for $30.
A little ad spend can go a long way.
29. Give away useful information
This is essentially how we run our email newsletter.
We give marketers a weekly newsletter full of trending ads that would otherwise be hard to find in one place.
It saves them time, and in exchange for the free information, they interact with our brand every Friday morning – which gives Something Great Marketing more exposure and, as we’ve seen over the past year, turns into real business for us when our audience needs help with content strategy and execution.
If you give away useful information for free or make someone’s life easier, they’ll remember you when it comes time to make a purchase. You just have to keep them in contact with your brand.
30. Become a resource for data
Here’s how Shark Tank star Barbara Corcoran became successful:
In her early days, she needed to get more press attention for the Corcoran Group – so she decided to become the person with the numbers. She ran study after study and became the go-to resource for anyone looking for information on the New York real estate market. This gave her company press, authority, and credibility in the industry, driving her success to new heights.
If you want to grow your business, be of use to others in everything you do.
31. Show your work
Speaking of social proof, case studies of your past work experience, projects, and jobs are a great way to inspire confidence in potential customers.
Ask past clients for quotes and use your successes as examples to inspire trust in future clients.
The bigger your ask from potential customers, the bigger your work examples should be. If you sell a $20,000 monthly service, you’re going to need some serious case studies.
32. Create behind the scenes videos and flex your skills
Of what, you ask? Here are some examples:
If you run a restaurant, show people your chef’s impressive knife skills, or how he chooses a fresh avocado. If you run a flower shop, take a video that demonstrates to people what goes into a $50 bouquet wrap and where the flowers come from.
People love behind the scenes videos, don’t be shy.
33. Highlight customer testimonials on social media
We love Over. It’s one of the best apps to help you grow your business.
It could well be described as PhotoShop in your pocket, but way cheaper and way easier to use. Bust it out and make some customer testimonial photos that you can share on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. It won’t take you long and it’s a great way to show off your good reviews.
Solicit reviews from past customers on your Google My Business Page and then use their words from those reviews to make your testimonial images. Two birds, one review.
34. Ask for video testimonials
If you offer a service as a monthly fee, give your best clients the opportunity to save a portion of their month’s payment in exchange for a quick, one-minute video testimonial.
Ask clients or past clients to answer 4 simple questions:
- Who are you and what do you do?
- How did you hear about us?
- Did you like our product/services?
- Would you recommend us to others?
This simple 4 question testimonial isn’t too daunting for your clients, and you’ll be able to share the footage on your website and social channels for years to come.
35. Piggy-back on trending events
Forekast is one of our favorite websites. It’s the calendar of the internet, keeping small business owners and marketers up to date on what’s happening in the world and what’s going to be trending online this week. Use it to help with creating your social media content.
If you run a pub, you won’t want to miss out on National Beer Day, which is April 7, by the way.
36. Ask past customers for Google, Yelp, and Facebook reviews
As we mentioned, Google reviews can help lift your brand in search.
We’d recommend setting a recurring event in your calendar once a month to ask a few past customers to leave you a review on a platform that would benefit you the most.
Always send the direct link that they can leave a review at to make things as easy as possible.
37. Speak at events
Registering for speaking events is a great way to get in front of potential clients. You may need a short video reel of you speaking publicly to get asked to speak at a large event, so start small and be sure to get a friend to film you.
How to get started:
Coworking offices often do lunch and after work presentations, which can be a great place to get your feet wet. Try out your presentation in front of a few people at a WeWork office before you step up to the big leagues and give a conference keynote.
38. Partner with a local charity
Partnering with a local charity is a great thing to do for your community, and one of the byproducts of doing good in the community is that you get a chance to meet more people in your community!
You don’t necessarily have to donate in dollars, try giving your time to a good cause. If you provide a service, try offering it for free to an organization that inspires you to do good.
39. Outsource when you don’t have expertise
If you’re finding yourself putting a lot of time into tasks that don’t grow your business, it may be time to reevaluate your day-to-day.
There are many great online services and partnerships you can make to outsource aspects of your business that you aren’t good at or don’t provide value in, which can free up your time to do sales, marketing, or attend networking events.
40. Send handwritten thank you cards and gifts
Whether it’s chocolates, handwritten thank you cards, or bottles of whiskey, your clients will appreciate you appreciating them.
Keep track of birthdays and important holidays or anniversaries, and offer thanks as much as possible. We recommend staying in contact not just with current customers but also with past customers.
41. Hire an intern
No matter what the economy is doing, there will always be recent graduates seeking internships at good companies.
Hiring an intern, whether paid or unpaid, is a great way to introduce your company to another set of hands and get some much-needed help on tasks you’re looking to offload. Take a look at some of the low-value tasks you complete daily and see if they might be something that someone entering the workforce would like to learn. If they match up, hiring an intern can really help alleviate your workload.
42. Make someone’s day, every day
Former CEO of Starbucks Howard Schultz always had one request of his employees: Make someone’s day, every day.
Employees are allowed to give away free drinks at Starbucks if they feel it will “surprise and delight” the customer. Even something as small as a free drink can create a connection with a customer for life.
Just listen to this story from a Barista at Starbucks:
“Today I had a woman with a WHOLE bunch of questions about mobile ordering through the drive-thru. She was confused and decided to just order at the window. Then she was trying to figure out how to pay on the app and she apologized and said she’d had a bad day. Because she was holding up the line and she had a bad day, I decided to give her the drink for free. She started crying and said her best friend just died, she said she loved me, and left. Glad I could help.”
These small interactions create real bonds. Never miss an opportunity to make someone’s day at work.
43. Run an A/B test, then alter your website’s copy accordingly
If you’re not tracking your website visitors, now is a good time to set up Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics on your website.
These free platforms give you a ton of data, including who is clicking what and how people become leads. Try sending traffic to your website, monitoring the analytics, and then changing the verbiage on your site. This type of test will let you know what is higher converting in the long term.
44. Become an expert copywriter
Think about how people find out about your business. In most cases, the written word is involved in some way.
Every business owner and marketer should dedicate free time to improving their copywriting skills. To start, we’d recommend reading The Boron Letters and Hey Whipple, Squeeze This. They’re fantastic, timeless introductions to the subject.
45. Make sure your offering is clear to your friends and family
Look, we’re not suggesting you make your family and friends your sales team – but we are suggesting that you make sure that they at least know what you do, and who benefits from what you do.
Make it clear to those around you that you’d love it if they threw your name out there whenever a certain subject is mentioned. Sometimes just communicating this message to friends and family is enough to bring in a warm lead or two.
46. Nail your elevator pitch
If your parents can’t understand your pitch, it’s likely too complicated.
Use this formula as a starting point:
My Company <name> is developing <offering> to help <target audience> <solve a problem> with <a secret sauce>.
Basically, you want to make sure you emphasize your company name, offering, target audience, and how you’re solving their problem.
Something Great is a marketing agency that creates high-quality blogs, newsletters, videos, and social media content for companies that want to grow an online presence.
This statement tells you what we do in plain English. Write one out for your company.
47. Give away some swag
T-shirts, mugs, hell, even stickers are a good place to start.
People love swag, and if you’ve got a cool logo, they’ll be even more likely to want your gear. By the way, if you don’t have a cool logo – contact us. We can help.
Do a giveaway on social media and ask the winners to post a photo with their new swag, they’ll be happy to oblige.
48. Promote your business on LinkedIn
LinkedIn advertising is a bit more expensive than Facebook from a minimum budget standpoint, but it can be extremely useful for B2B advertising. If you need to reach a buyer who uses a specific type of software, holds a specific title, or works at a specific company, you’re in luck. LinkedIn is full of useful targeting data.
LinkedIn’s targeting features are extremely diverse, here are a few things to know about LinkedIn advertising before you start a campaign.
49. Write a blog about businesses with the same customer base as you, but who has a different offering
The idea here is to get featured on the blog or social media channels of the company you choose to write about.
Consider this scenario:
You’re a real estate agent and you’d like to reach potential buyers and sellers in your city. Why not write a blog recommending your favorite local moving company? When you’ve finished the blog, share it with the company via email and tag them on social media – you’ll likely see your name mentioned on their social channels, introducing your brand to their audience. Everybody wins.
50. Use a scheduler to post on social media consistently
By the way: We used the exact strategy in point #49 above to get featured on Buffer’s social media channels with this article: 5 Reasons to Schedule Your Social Media With Buffer.
Schedulers keep you accountable, and they are a great way to use time blocking. If you sit down once a week and create your social media content, you’ll be much more efficient than if you post ad hoc. You’ll also find that the quality of your content is much higher.
Personally, we like Buffer as a scheduling tool. Click the link above to learn more about why we prefer it to Hootsuite and other schedulers.
51. Explore the power of Twitter search
Twitter Advanced Search is truly one of the most underused tools online. Here’s a complete guide to Twitter Advanced Search that will help you find potential customers searching for your exact services and products.
52. Create an infographic
If you have some design chops, creating an infographic full of information that your potential clients would find useful is a great investment. Add your company branding to the graphic and share it with digital publications online, or suggest that current blogs add the graphic to their existing articles.
Infographics can bring links back to your website which in turn helps increase search engine optimization, so if you’re used to creating standard images, be sure to throw infographics into the mix.
53. Run a promotion on Instagram
Connect your Instagram account to your Facebook Business Page and you’re ready to run ads with the credit card connected to your Business Manager. From here you can promote your posts and drive traffic to your profile, entice your audience to message you, or bring in visitors to your website.
Boosting posts on Instagram helps you reach more people and grow your Instagram following – just remember to target an audience that you know will interact with your posts in the future. There’s no point growing your page if you’re going to be muted and forgotten.
54. Shift or expand your service offering
When business is slow, put your creative hat on. Think about tailoring your services to something that is in high demand – many businesses have done this during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are a few examples.
Gyms, which were shut down early on, started renting out equipment and doing online training sessions on social media. They’re bringing the gym to you since you can’t bring yourself to the gym.
We’ve seen five-star restaurants transition to drive-thru burger joints – who doesn’t want to try a burger from a world-class restaurant?
Bars like the famous “Please Don’t Tell” speakeasy in New York City are selling cocktails in tiny bottles like in the picture below.
Continue to add to your service offering in hard times. This only expands your potential customer base in the future, while also keeping you going during uncertainty.
55. Create custom images to share on social media
Engaging content is the name of the game on social media. We’d recommend keeping a swipe file for creative marketing ideas and noting whenever you see a social media post that makes you leave a comment, push the like button, or share it with a friend. Then look for common themes and create your own content that keeps your audience engaged.
Custom images are a must, so learn to use an app like Over and format your images for each social network individually. You can also use Over to create custom cover photos for your social profiles.
Here are five tools for creating social media content that we love.
56. Test the waters on Reddit, but tread carefully
Reddit is an interesting corner of the internet.
It’s full of amazing communities, and there’s likely a community dedicated to whatever you’re selling.
That being said, the community is extremely sensitive to blog spam and sales pitches, so you need to make sure you’re GIVING more than you’re taking. Give great advice, tips, and content to community members, and you’ll see lots of traffic in return. While that’s the mindset you need for Reddit, it’s actually a great mindset for everything you do.
57. Submit your product on Product Hunt
If you’ve built a product, Product Hunt should be your new best friend.
Create a profile and submit your product along with a quick explainer video and some details. Many amazing businesses have launched themselves on Product Hunt, including some of our largest clients. It deserves your attention if you’re creating a product.
58. Launch a podcast
Got some time and the willingness to learn?
Starting and launching your own podcast can help you reach a new audience via a new platform. Think of your subject matter, make sure you’re filling a hole in the podcasting world, learn about audio trimming with a service like Audacity, and submit your podcast to Google Play and Apple Podcasts.
59. Run an ad on Spotify
Audio advertising is often overlooked, but it’s affordable and a new way to reach your potential customers.
Spotify’s advertising rates are lower than other more established advertising platforms, and with the average consumer taking in 4 hours of audio per day, it’s where your customers are. Here’s a look at everything you need to know about Spotify Ads from our friend Sasha Hartley.
60. Build a relationship with influencers
Social media influencers are great people to know.
They’re often up to date on the latest trends and tactics on social media, so even if you’re not using them to promote your products, they can be a good source of information if you build a relationship with an influencer.
Take them out for a beer, ask them what they’re seeing on specific platforms, and test out their rate cards if you need to get a product in front of a large audience.
61. Republish your blogs on Medium, LinkedIn Pulse
If you’re writing blog content, there’s absolutely no reason not to be republishing your blogs on other platforms. We’ve already discussed this strategy with Quora, but you should also be republishing either entire blogs or portions of your blogs on Medium and LinkedIn Pulse. Add relevant tags and link back to the original article at the bottom of your republished blog.
But remember – republishing is different from publishing. Always be sure you share your writing on your own blog first. Never build a house on rented land, as they say.
62. Pitch your blogs for republishing
Medium and LinkedIn Pulse are places where you can republish anytime you like, but to go a step further you should be reaching out to blogs around the web for republishing. Many notable websites, including places like Fast Company and Business Insider, will republish your blogs on their website if they feel that your content is relevant to their audience.
Be sure to pitch people in your industry and ask them for a link back if they do republish your content. This helps your chances of ranking in search engines. Inspect links with Moz’s Chrome extension to make sure they’re “do-follow” links.
63. Get featured on major industry publications
Getting featured on a major industry publication opens you up to new audiences, bolsters your SEO, and ultimately can help you generate more conversions.
We recommend building a list of contacts at multiple publications and submitting pitches to them regularly. Here’s a step by step guide to get articles published on major publications.
64. Build an explainer video
Whether it’s an overview of a product, service, or your company in general, video is a great way to communicate your brand’s offering to the world.
Work with a freelancer on Fiverr or hire a video creation agency like us to put together your brand overview piece. Explainer videos will often be featured right on your homepage – if every one of your website’s visitors is going to watch your video, make sure it’s well done.
65. Start and join Facebook Groups
Facebook Groups are growing rapidly, and there are two angles you can take with them.
First, you can join groups that have your potential customers in them and answer their pertinent questions as a trusted expert – this is something every business owner should be doing.
Secondly – and this is the less popular, but potentially more beneficial avenue to take – you should consider starting your own Facebook Group and growing a community of your potential customers. This gives you the control to post what you want to who you want, and own a channel of motivated buyers.
66. Grow your Facebook following
A Facebook following isn’t just social proof for people researching your company, it’s also a great group of people to reach free of charge once you build up your audience.
You may have to pay a bit in advertising dollars to grow your following, but once your audience is large enough and interacting with your content on Facebook, you’ll have a group of people to whom you can freely promote your business.
67. Join groups that aren’t business-related
Sometimes the best type of networking is just the practice of making new friends and connections. You don’t always have to be in a conference room with a suit and tie on, exchanging business cards.
Try joining a local sports team or a charity organization and connecting with people outside of your industry. You never know where a new friendship can lead.
68. Practice the 80/20 rule and focus on your best referral partners
The 80/20 rule, or the Pareto Principle as it’s often known, basically states that roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Try to think of ways that this principle can be true for your own business right now.
Our company offers a commission to anyone who brings us new business, and maybe yours does too. One of the ways the 80/20 rule is true in our business is that of our referrals, 80% of the new business we receive comes from 20% of the people selling our services. Some people just have a better knack at relationship building than others. Reward the people who bring in most of your business. Focus on the 20% that bring in the 80% and you’ll see your bottom line grow even higher.
69. Use a CRM and follow up with leads ASAP
The quicker you follow up with a lead, the more likely you are to convert them.
That’s true in virtually every industry, so we feel confident saying it’s true in yours.
Use a CRM like HubSpot which offers both a free and paid Sales CRM software, and add your leads into the platform as soon as they’re entered. Assign follow-up dates, log relevant information, and never let a customer fall through the cracks. This is a fantastic tool to set up when you’ve got some free time.
70. Use a voicemail script when calling leads
If you’re in sales or run a business that requires a lot of calls, having a standard voicemail script to go off of is truly a game-changer. You’ll be more prepared and ready to provide information that gives you the best possible chance of getting a callback. This is one time to not be in the moment – have a script.
Once you have your script down, then you can start to play with it and A/B test different parts.
71. Start an online course
Building and selling your own online course is a way to introduce yourself as an expert before introducing yourself as a business owner. If it’s a video course, try selling it on places like Udemy, or if you’re selling a PDF or pamphlet, try Gumroad.
Draw people into your course, whether it be paid or free, and show them your knowledge base before you pitch your sales offering.
72. Use customer service software
Customers want to be able to reach businesses immediately, and good customer service software is worth the investment.
A product like ZenDesk can help you respond to inquiries in a timely manner, in many cases businesses are opting to use ZenDesk as their only customer service channel, including phones. You’ll have access to ticket numbers, custom responses, and more.
73. Reduce your tax burden
Want to make more money next year? Get a better accountant, or learn more about taxes and operating costs.
There are so many loopholes that big businesses use to reduce their tax burden, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t be taking advantage of every savings measure available to you as well.
74. Learn, learn, learn
Some of our most eye-opening business growth moments have come from a pretty familiar place – books.
Grow your business by reading every evening or listening to books on Audible or Libby (if you have a library card, audiobooks are free on Libby!).
Here are a few books that have taught us the most about growth in no particular order.
-Predictable Revenue by Aaron Ross and Marylou Tyler
-Traction by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares
-Essentialism by Greg McKeown
-Hacking Growth by Sean Ellis
Whether it be about marketing, product, or business design, each of these books has helped us grow our business, and we have no doubt each of those four titles can help you as well.
75. Create specific website pages for your most profitable customer bases
If you find that your business is selling a good majority of your products to one specific customer demographic, it may be time to start skewing towards that group of people.
Remember the 80/20 rule here, and try to give attention to the segments of your customers that purchase the most. Edit copy, create videos, and build out entirely new sections of your website that speak specifically to that audience.
76. Set a budget for boosting Facebook posts
Setting a budget makes sure that you don’t neglect your marketing channels – you’ll often grow your page by hundreds of followers without even thinking if you just take a bit of action.
We try to budget out the month for our own Facebook page, and give more of a boost to posts that we think could see the most engagement. And remember, it doesn’t have to be evenly split. You can focus your efforts (and your ad dollars) on promoting only your best content.
77. Target your email list with Facebook ads
Your email list has already shown an interest in your product – try targeting them with ads on Facebook. You can upload a CSV file as a “Saved Audience” into Facebook, and then choose to target that audience anytime you run an ad or boost a post.
This is just one more reason why it’s so important to have an grow your email list.
78. Use Twitter Cards to promote your content
If you’ve created a good blog, presentation, or e-book, Twitter Cards can be a good place to promote your content. Just make sure that your potential customers are using Twitter regularly – it has a smaller audience than Facebook, but many segments of its users are highly engaged.
79. Use a social listening service
Social listening tools can help you make sure that you know what’s being said about your company online. They alert you when your brand is mentioned in articles, blogs, and even on social media. This gives you the opportunity to share great content that mentions your brand and respond to negative comments the moment they’re made.
80. Build a lead funnel with ClickFunnels or Unbounce
We’d highlight recommend using this strategy to test out your new products or services. Try building a funnel and running some PPC campaigns to see if there’s any interest in your product before you commit to building a place for your new items on your website.
81. Build a widget
This is one of our favorite tips from the book Hacking Growth that we mentioned above. Simple widgets can provide a lot of value to your potential customers, you just need to learn how to build them or work with a development team. Since it’s not an entire website, sometimes widgets can be quite affordable.
What do we mean by widgets? Any sort of tool that can be placed on your website and provide value to your site visitors. Estimate calculators are a great place to start.
82. Create a product video
Most companies only offer pictures of their products, try creating videos to give buyers a more in-depth look at your offering.
Product videos don’t have to be lengthy and can be shot on the iPhone or Galaxy that you probably already have in your pocket. Play around with the lighting and see if you can do more than just a static photo.
83. Start a swipe file
This is one of our favorite creative processes – it helps you come up with new marketing ideas that can grow your business.
A swipe file is a place where you store creative ideas you see from others. It gives you a starting point when you’re thinking of your own ideas. Use it for inspiration and draw from the work of other brands that have enticed you to make a purchase.
Your swipe file can be digital, in the form of an Evernote notebook or a Drive folder, or it can be analog and stored under your desk. It’s whatever works best for you.
For more information, take a look at our guide on how to build a swipe file.
84. Test out Waze Ads
Trying to bring people into a storefront can be challenging, especially from a data and analytics standpoint. It’s hard to know whether your ads brought someone in, or whether it was just blind luck.
This is where Waze Ads can be of service to you. Banks, restaurants, and auto shops are all over Waze Ads, and if bringing traffic into a storefront is important to your business, they can work for you too.
Here’s how Waze Ads work.
85. Guest blog for other publications
Guest blogging should be an important part of your marketing strategy. It can help build search engine traffic, referral traffic, and get you in front of a new audience that’s never heard of your business before.
Try reaching out to people with successful blogs whose audience is similar to yours, and ask them if they’re in need of guest contributors. Just be sure you get a link back to your website in return for your writing.
86. Mention other companies in your blogs
When you write on your own blog, be sure to identify a few people or brands that could potentially share your content before you start typing. Mentioning or recommending others is a way to have your content shared on social media, giving your blogs more amplification. Be honest though – it’s easy to sniff out a roundup post that is trying to use this strategy in a manipulative way.
One or two relevant product recommendations per article should do the trick.
87. Master Google Search Console
One way to really up your search engine traffic is to set up and learn to use Google Search Console.
Search Console allows you to see what people are typing into Google when they see your links on the site, and what people are typing when they actually click through to your website. Analyze this data monthly and see what people are searching for to find your website, then match up some of your keywords and blog titles to fit what people are typing into Google.
You’ll see lots of increased traffic if you do this practice monthly.
88. Update your old blogs
Taking the time to update your blogs with new photos, relevant links, and new information is a signal to search engines that you’re providing valuable content. There are blog articles we’ve written that have received little traffic for months, only to get 100x that amount after a quick update.
Go through your old blog content quarterly and see what you can do to make it better and more relevant.
89. Link your blog posts together to make an ecosystem of knowledge
It’s called the Wikipedia strategy. Create one master blog (it could be an article like this) that is long-form, we’re talking 5,000 plus words. Then link to and from that article and use it as the cornerstone of your blog.
Linking your content together in this way keeps people on your website for a longer period of time, which helps your SEO.
90. Add names and alt tags to your website’s images
If you don’t add names and alt tags to images on your website, you won’t be able to rank for those terms when people search for images.
Describe what’s in your images when you type out your alt tags to see maximum SEO benefits.
It’s a simple process – every time you add an image, add that alt tag.
91. Develop relationships with journalists
Getting to know journalists who write about your industry is a great use of your time.
Build relationships and try to network with them both online and in-person, and make sure that they know your name and your company. If you demonstrate your knowledge as an expert and let journalists know you’re happy to be used as a source, your odds of getting mentioned in an article go way up.
92. Create GIF stickers for Giphy
If you create a simple GIF that can be searched on Instagram, you can rack up thousands of views. Just make sure that your GIF is going to be seen by people who could potentially purchase from you – otherwise, you’re wasting your time.
Try to work your brand into the GIFs in some way. A million people seeing a GIF you made doesn’t matter unless your brand is somehow involved.
93. Set up an affiliate program
Try offering influencers in your industry a referral fee for referring new clients to you.
There are millions of digital creators – podcasters, designers, photographers, etc. – who are looking for ways to make money and continue pursuing their passions as a career. See if there’s any crossover appeal and offer them the opportunity to be a brand ambassador.
94. Sign up for LinkedIn Pro Finder
LinkedIn Pro Finder helps you connect with potential customers, especially if you offer a B2B product or service. It allows you to search for people with specific titles and specialties and see their full profiles, which can be great for scouting out new business opportunities. LinkedIn offers a free month of Pro Finder, so be sure to give it a shot.
95. Offer perks to your best customers
We once worked with a company that sold tours to both the general public and travel agents. While the majority of their phone calls came from your average person looking to inquire about a trip, travel agents made up a much more significant portion of sales. And obviously – sales are more important the phone calls.
To show travel agents that they were valued, the company opened a hotline and only shared the number with their best clients. This made their best customers feel rewarded, and also gave the company quicker access to their highest converting potential clients.
Helping your best customers leads to more sales. Every time.
96. Show off your team
People like to see behind the scenes, and introducing your social media following to your team is a great way to get your audience invested in your company.
Take a look at what this local Walmart store did on social media that made it go viral. People want to meet your team!
97. Start a Twitter Chat
If you’ve built up a following on Twitter, hosting a chat is a great way to get your followers online and engaged at the same time. You’ll need to offer them something for joining, whether it be networking opportunities, educational content, or something else.
Try floating the idea to your followers and see if you get any interest.
98. Google Display Ads
Google’s Display Network is cheaper from a CPC standpoint than the Google Search Network, and it’s a good way for brands to stay top of mind.
You can target people by interests and location and make sure you stay in front of your potential customers as much as possible. Run them side by side with a search campaign and see which garners the best results.
99. Be kind
If nothing else, be kind. Consumers remember who was shady and who was there for them during tough times – don’t be the brand that runs a “Memorial Day Sale to Honor the Fallen.” Give where you can, help others better themselves and their lives, and business will take care of itself.