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5 Promotional Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses

5 Promotional Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses

Every small business needs a little extra promotion now and then. Promotions are just another form of marketing. Actually, anything you do to create attention and awareness for your business is all technically marketing. Let’s explore some easy, cost-efficient, and viable marketing ideas to promote your small business.

1. Offer Something for Free
Use this as an incentive. Don’t give something away just to give something away. Whether it’s bobble-head night at the local stadium, or the eBook on the website, or T-shirt at the credit card booth, all these promo freebies are actually incentives to capture either additional sales, or at least additional qualified leads.

2. Frequent Buyer Gifts
Depending on your business this may or may not work, but many coffee houses, yogurt parlors and sandwich shops have loyalty cards. You’ve seen them. Show the card when you make a purchase and the cashier will either punch the card (or swipe it these days) to track how many times you have bought something. After X number of purchases (usually 10), you are entitled to a free item of usually equal value to the lowest qualifying purchase. If you have a business where the customer can come back again and again often, then start a loyalty program to keep the repeat visits up.

3. Partnership Offers
We mentioned parnerships as a business development strategy in one of our previous blog posts, but let’s talk about partnerships now as promotional marketing opportunities. Partner up with a company or service provider who is in your field, and sells to your target market, but who isn’t directly competitive with you. Example, a printer teaming up with a Web Designer, or an auto repair shop teaming up with an auto insurance salesperson or rental car location (or all three teaming up together!). You get the point. Not everyone pitching your customers and clients is a competitor. Team up and sweeten the deal. Not to mention getting exposure to each other’s list of clients which neither of you would have had access to previously. Make it a win-win for each of you and it’ll be a double-win for your mutual clients!

4. Team Up With A Non-Profit or Charity
Now, this one is tricky, because if you do this for the wrong reasons, then it’s unethical and definitely bad karma if you believe in that sorta thing. When you team up with a non-profit, or sponsor a charity event, become a local school booster, or even donate a portion of any particular sales to a charity, you gain a lot of good will and appreciation from your customers and clients. However, just make sure it’s a cause you can get behind and fully support, and make sure it’s a cause you believe in and would (or have) donate money to out of your own pocket. Another great incentive is matching any customer portions. For example, for every widget you buy, $1 will go to XYZ charity and (insert your company here) will match with an equal $1. So long as you believe in the cause and are doing it for the right reasons, charities and non-profits are great teammates for promotional marketing efforts.

5. Offer a discount to a targeted group of customers
This is basically an extension of the first idea, but a step further. You want to offer a discount or freebie to your best customers out of the blue. A huge “thank you for being a loyal customer.” This will show that you actually care about each individual customer, and also has the side benefit of staying in someone’s mind while not being spammy. You can also offer a special gift or discount on the person’s birthday. You can offer discounts to those who take a survey. Last but not least, you can offer discounts and deals to those who review your company on Yelp, Facebook, or Google Local, and also for those who Check In on Yelp, Facebook, or FourSquare. Make it fun. Maybe even offer a bigger discount or bigger freebie to those who do multiple efforts for you, like Review on Yelp and Check in on Facebook, for double discount (or whatever you’re comfortable giving away which the customer will find valuable in it’s own right).


With these promotional marketing ideas, you should have a few new ways to get more customers in the door, and also more customers back in the door after they leave. Keep these creative promotional juices flowing! COMMENT BELOW what promotional marketing efforts you have done in your own business which has met with great success so others can learn even more tips on how to keep awareness up and constant for small businesses.

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