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5 Surprising Marketing Tips Small Business Owners Need To Know

Contributed by Idea Collective Member:

Picture of Beth Houtrow

Beth Houtrow

Small Business Coach and founder of Climb

Does your marketing make you feel like you're on a hamster wheel of never ending effort with little progress?

Do you keep turning out social media posts with no results? Before you put up one more post, ask yourself:

Are you getting your marketing education from social media influencers who tell you everything you need to know in a 50 second video?

That’s not an education. Or worse, are you just winging it and not doing any learning at all?

Getting a good marketing education is important. And you need to get advice from the experts – people who’ve committed their careers to studying what works and what doesn’t. To become a better business coach, I read 50 business books last year, many of which were about marketing. Along the way I learned some invaluable advice that really surprised me, and I want to share it with you.

5 Surprising Marketing Tips Small Business Owners Need To Know
1: Quality Over Quantity

So you’ve probably been told that you need to post three times a day on this platform and seven times a day on that platform. And if you don’t, you’re never going to get any followers or sales. But consider this – if no one cares about what you’re posting, then why post at all. 

In the world we live in, we are on information overload. There’s so much content available to everyone, and you have to find a way to break through that noise. It’s better to create one great piece of writing or one great video than 20 blog posts or 20 videos that no one pays any attention to. 

When you have great content, you’ll discover that others want to be a part of it. A great blog post can be published in a digital magazine, greatly expanding your reach. Or if you’re creating high quality videos, you can find marketing partners who want to participate in your shoots, and then share your content with their audience. 

2. Focus on Psychographics over demographics

So if you’ve ever taken a marketing class odd are good that you’ve been taught to design your target market around demographics – age, gender, ethnicity, geographic location, income, and so on.

And these are a reasonable starting point to begin narrowing down your target market, but they shouldn’t be your focus. Your top focus when designing your marketing assets should be to consider your target market’s psychographics. What are they passionate about? What are their beliefs, their values? What’s their worldview?

If your target market is passionate about women’s rights, whether they’re 20 or 50, similar content is going to resonate with them. If a lavish lifestyle is their top priority, then images of luxury cars, pools and mansions are going to excite them, regardless of where they live. Or maybe protecting the environment is your market’s top priority. Then your customers will be interested to learn about new ways to reduce their waste creation, whatever their gender might be. 

3. It’s a good thing if some people don’t like you

Inevitably, you’re going to find that some people won’t connect with your marketing. And that’s okay. In fact, it’s a sign that you’re doing things correctly. If everything you do is designed to be palatable for the masses, then you’re going to bore everyone. No one will be passionate about your product. No one will see themselves in your marketing. 

When your marketing has a point of view – environmentalism, women’s rights, the joy of being an introvert, cookies are better than cake – inevitably you will turn some people off. Some people will disagree with you, but that’s okay. Because your target audience, the important people, they’ll agree with you. They will see themselves in your marketing. You will be speaking directly to those people who are most likely to buy from you, making them loyal, raving fans. Better to have a small group of people who love you than a lot of people who have no feelings about you at all.

4. Keep it simple

As a business owner, there are lots of reasons why you think your product or service is great. And when you market to potential customers, you want to tell them every possible benefit they could enjoy. It makes perfect sense, the more benefits, the more likely they are to buy.

But as it turns out, this isn’t true at all. Potential customers are not interested in hearing a laundry list of all the great things about your business. Their attention span is short and their patience is limited. You must find the core benefit that will attract people and focus in on that. 

What is the number one reason why people buy from you over your competitors? If you don’s know the answer to this question, talk to your current customers and find out why they chose you. Once you know the best part about your business (from your customers’ point of view), make your sales marketing all about that key factor. 

5. Go beyond copying trending videos

You’ve probably heard that it’s useful to stay on top of trending videos and then make similar content. But there’s an even better way to grab peoples’ attention. Instead of copying a trend, find a way to spoof it or put a twist on it. 

Trends work because our brains have evolved to like things that are familiar. Familiar means trust and trust means safety. However, we also have a very powerful part of our brain that likes novelty because novelty can bring new benefits. So, to engage with both the desire for familiarity and novelty, you should try to mimic trends but add in something unexpected. 

For example, pointing at words that gave advice was a huge trend on Instagram and TikTok. You could spoof that by making a video starting with a big cheesy smile and then point at the words: POINTING – AT – WORDS – ISN’T – EDUCATIONAL. A lot of people will stop and watch your post because they recognize the format, and after watching, they’ll remember your content because you gave a message they didn’t expect.

Moving Forward

Hopefully this article has encouraged you to rethink your marketing strategy. It may sound daunting to make these changes, but these tips will make your marketing more fun and personal. 

Wouldn’t you rather be creating great content that has a real point of view and creates passionate followers? Doesn’t marketing around one key benefit seem easier than trying to share everything that’s great about your business? And wouldn’t putting a twist on overdone trends be more fun than just copying what everyone else is doing?

You don’t have to make all of these changes right away, but pick one that’s most likely to have a real impact and make a plan to put it into action. You’ll be amazed what it can do for your business. 

Contributed by

Beth Houtrow

Small Businesses Coach And Founder Of Climb

Helping the new wave of small business owners tackle the reality of operating a business. Passion for you product is a great starting point, but I’m here to help you develop the skills and know-how to actually become a successful business owner.