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Marketing tips, tools, tricks & hacks for attracting customers

Are you looking for creative ways to market your small business? Here are twelve fun, creative and, most importantly, free ideas that you can implement in your business today.
1. Google My Business

Your Google My Business listing is the absolute first thing that people see when they are looking for directions to your business, looking for your phone number, or your trading hours. Plus, it helps support your SEO efforts. Not only do you want to ensure that your profile is fully up to date, with great photos and positive reviews, but did you actually know that you can create offers through Google my business?
Top tip: Leverage GMB offers as not many businesses are leveraging this benefit and I think it's a great way to really incentivise customers to #supportlocal.

2. Instagram Reels & Stories

Instagram Reels are continuing to get brands organic reach. It doesn't matter what your following is, but almost always, you will see that your real views are higher than the number of followers that you have, which is unheard of on other social media platforms bar TikTok. The main factors affecting your Reels’ success apart from the content itself are the audio you use, and the cover image. (Think of it like a thumbnail on Youtube.)

Marketing tips, tools, tricks & hacks for attracting customers

Need help? Check out this handy tutorial.

You can edit Reels for free using Canva, or the premium version of InShot which is fantastic for more advanced editing functionality. If you don’t have reels-worthy video footage, remember that many Reels actually only use photos – and some Reels are actually made of stock videography freely accessible on Canva.

Plus, if you don’t think Reels are here to stay – they have just been rolled out to Facebook. So there is truly no running from them!

Bonus IG tip: Did you know you no longer need 10,000 followers to drive traffic to a web URL? You can simply add it as a sticker when posting Instagram Stories (or below a Reel you have shared out to Stories).

3. Instagram Guides

Looking for a way to repurpose content that you have already created and posted on Instagram? Look no further than Instagram Guides. This is a perfect format for curating your bestsellers, or even communicating a menu or pricelist.

As you can edit the captions, you can change them to have more longevity. The best part is that a Guide is readily accessible on your feed when you click the brochure icon, so it can work with your highlights as a great asset to house evergreen content like testimonials and any other social proof.

4. Facebook and video animations

Video has long been a preferred format by the Facebook Instagram, but if you are worried at the thought of showing your face on camera, rest assured, you do not need to do this. Canva actually has a really cool video builder that allows you to animate short format slides and make something that would have just been a static post or a carousel into an MP4 with the touch of a button.
Top tip: I like to A/B test posting carousels with short .MP4’s created on Canva, to add more variety to my clients’ feeds!

5. Email marketing

Email marketing is next on the list. Email marketing is an absolutely brilliant platform for ROI and is perfect for small business owners, particularly for driving website traffic. Just make sure to use UTM tracking links with all outgoing sends so you can see what is working and what isn’t!
Insider secret: Did you know that Mailchimp allows you to mail up to 2000 customers without ever upgrading to a paid plan?

6. LinkedIn carousels

One of the reasons LinkedIn favours videos is due to dwell time, but if videos are simply not for you, then I have another lovely alternative. If you thought carousels were not possible on LinkedIn, guess again. You can mimic them with their upload PDF functionality. I create carousels on Canva and export them as PDF’s to LinkedIn – and just look how cute they come out!
Top tip: Remember to use at least three (unbranded) hashtags on your LinkedIn post, as this will also aid your organic reach.

Marketing tips, tools, tricks & hacks for attracting customers

7. LinkedIn Newsletter functionality

Have you heard of LinkedIn’s all new Newsletter functionality? This allows both brands and pages to notify people of when you post an article, via their app and also by email notification! Be sure to jump on this new functionality before your competitors do.

Marketing tips, tools, tricks & hacks for attracting customers

Did you know? This is possible for personal accounts too! I have amassed a subscriber base of 830 subscribers doing this with just 2,600 connections.

8. "Open to" services on LinkedIn

On a more personal note, if you are a service-based business, you can now enable the “open to” and Provide Service on LinkedIn. It seems LinkedIn is keen to jump on the gig economy following the insane success of websites likes Fiverr during the pandemic. This seems to me like their foray into the space. Once enabled, you are able to create a mini profile here and invite past clients to write reviews about you.

Marketing tips, tools, tricks & hacks for attracting customers

9. WhatsApp for Business

Next step is WhatsApp for Business, the most epic tool for small businesses. It's available for free for iOS and Android users, and it really allows you to up level your game on WhatsApp!

The tool has nine additional pieces of functionality over and above what regular Whatsapp has, including a business profile, catalogue and some advanced messaging settings to get back to more customers, faster.

Bear in mind that Whatsapp statuses are severely underutilised by businesses. So be sure to use your WhatsApp status to broadcast promotional messages as well. When customers swipe up, guess what – it initiates a direct chat with your business! Magic.
Free tutorial alert! Need help getting set up with Whatsapp for Business? This video helps you to get set up.

10. YouTube subscribe link and YouTube Shorts

Do you love YouTube as much as I do? When you add the below code snippet to the end of your channel URL, visitors will actually see the pop-up box asking if they want to subscribe.
Code snippet: ?sub_confirmation=1

Example: https://www.youtube.com/c/MegsHollis?sub_confirmation=1

The other one to look at is YouTube Shorts. Just post your vertical video that is shorter than 60 seconds, and crucially – without any copyrighted audio – and the hashtag #Shorts and voila – you are officially live on Shorts.
Not sure what they look like? Here’s an example of one I have created.

Marketing tips, tools, tricks & hacks for attracting customers

11. Email signature

Undoubtedly one of the most underutilised platforms is your email signature. How many times do you send emails in a day, and how many people receive them? It's a great way of driving website traffic, and really gets people who you're chatting to anyway better acquainted with your business.
Top tip: Signature Hound is a completely free way to overhaul your email signature (and add a promotional banner beneath yours)! The best part? No HTML required – it seamlessly integrates with all major email platforms.

12. Mini social media & website audit

Why not conduct a mini social media audit for your biz? Refresh your profile picture, update your cover pages and if not already – be sure to implement Linktree or LinkinBio on your Instagram to ensure you can more effectively drive traffic. They both act as mini switch boards, and have basic analytics to help to see who went where!

Then, look at your website with a critical eye and see what you can possibly update with your consumer hat on. Key things to watch out for are site speed, whether the site is optimised for mobile, and how many clicks it would take someone to check out if your site is e-commerce enabled.
On the topic of websites, please be aware that on 1 July 2023, Universal Analytics properties will stop processing new hits. If you still rely on Universal Analytics, I recommend that you complete your move to Google Analytics 4. Google Analytics 4 is, of course, Google’s next-generation measurement solution, and is replacing Universal Analytics.

I hope you enjoyed these twelve tips! To watch this article as a video tutorial online, please head to my Skillshare profile. You can sign up for a free one month trial using my link.

Marketing tips, tools, tricks & hacks for attracting customers

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About Megs Hollis

Megs Hollis is a Youtuber and course creator with over ten years of agency experience.

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