58 Creative Marketing Ideas for Your Small Business

Creative Marketing Ideas for Your Small Business

Coming up with creative marketing ideas for your small business isn’t always easy, especially with all the other things you have to take care of daily. That’s why we’ve put together this list of ideas to help you create the next best marketing campaign for your brand.

In this guide, we’ve collected 58 of the most creative marketing ideas for your business’ marketing plan, organized into categories for easy navigation.

Let’s get started.

 

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Table of Contents

 

Social Media & Content Marketing Ideas

The first section, and the most extensive, is social media and content. Social media marketing and content marketing are the two fields that get super creative. There’s practically no limit to what you can do.

Here are our best ideas to get you started.

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Ebooks

Ebooks have long been an excellent lead generation tool for any business. As long as your ebook contains valuable content, a great-looking cover and an attractive page-by-page design, you’re able to pull customers into your funnel easily. The template below is for an ebook about remote team management and is ready for your content.

Remote Team Management Ebook Template

 

Industry Reports & Studies

A “state of” study is a great option for B2B companies, as it’s an exceptional way to share valuable and relevant information with your audience. For example, if you’re a website developer for e-commerce fashion stores, a “state of the e-commerce fashion industry report” is an ideal creative marketing idea.

The State of the Ecommerce Fashion Industry Report Template

 

Online Courses

Another example of a creative content marketing idea is courses. There’s no limit to what type of small business can use a course as a creative marketing tactic. As long as you have something to teach, somebody can learn it.

The trick to marketing a course is doing preliminary market research to know what people really want. Put together user personas for your client base to fully understand their pain points and better serve relevant content in your courses.

 

Content Repurposing

Next up is repurposing, the art of taking one piece of content and creating a bunch of others in one fell swoop. The best part about repurposing is how creative you can get, there’s no limit!

From one piece of content, you can create infographics, videos, blog posts, social media graphics, audio downloads, PDF downloads, data visualizations and lots more.

 

Data Visualizations

The mini data viz is an excellent option to visualize one data point in an impactful way. It’s also highly shareable on social media, and a combination of them can make a memorable carousel for Instagram. Mini data visualizations can even be printed as keepsake postcards to send to readers and followers, or as part of a packaging design.

Average Food Consumption Dual Chart Template

 

Digital Magazines

Are you looking for a way to make your blog just a little different—or a lot different—from all the rest? Then a digital magazine is a wonderfully creative option. The best part about creating digital magazines is the number of options you have for creating one. Gone are the days of PDF magazines, now you can have a full-on website or interactive experience as a digital magazine.

Interior Design Magazine Template

 

Seasonal Opportunities

Seasonal opportunities are a special way to reach your audience. This is another example where you have to know your audience well, before embarking on a full-scale holiday campaign. The Santa Tracker from Google Maps is an excellent example of leveraging a holiday theme into the main idea of a company.

Google's Santa Tracker

 

QR Codes

It’s unlikely that nowadays you can go a day without seeing a QR code somewhere, either to see a menu in a restaurant or to access a sales landing page from a flyer or ad. QR codes are one of those marketing techniques that have no creative limit, you can do anything you like! The example below is testament to that.

QR code mascots in a mall

 

Personalized Email Marketing

Email marketing works best when it’s personalized, it’s the perfect tool for an omnichannel marketing strategy. There are various ways to personalize the emails you send to your audience, from machine learning to behavioral messaging and interactive content. The example below is a behavioral messaging option where one email template works for three different styles.

Personalized Email Marketing

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Twitter Activity

Twitter is the social media channel where everyone can be personal with each other. It’s easy for huge brands to have conversations with pretty much anyone through tweets, retweets and threads. For any marketing campaign on Twitter to work, you need to be active on the platform and always know what’s trending and keeping up with mentions and conversations.

 

Interactive Infographics

What’s better than an infographic? An interactive infographic, of course. Include interactive infographics inside blog posts, landing pages, emails, or your knowledge base. To create an interactive infographic, all you need is a content idea and a Samandishe account. With our interactive hotspot features, you’re on your way to never creating a static infographic again.

Digital Downloads

Digital downloads are an easy creative marketing idea for bloggers and content creators in any niche. A digital download can be anything from a printable checklist, schedule, a how-to guide, or even a PDF version of a blog post. The trick is to always make them branded; with your logo, colors and fonts. Every time the reader refers to the digital download, they’re reminded of your brand.

Digital download - A Visual Guid to Creating Presentations

 

Post User-Generated Content

Any brand in any industry can benefit from user generated content (UGC). There are two main types of UGC, the ones that consumers do on their own, and you repost, and the ones your brand ambassadors create as part of their agreement with you. This type of creative content strategy can take many forms, look at some examples for inspiration.

User-generated content on Twitter

 

Innocent Drinks Inspired Marketing

Innocent Drinks has easily the best marketing team in the world. This creative idea is to basically be more like them! Check out their Twitter and Facebook accounts, their print media and their messaging. They’re off the cuff, unique and totally wacky, everything you need for a blue juice that isn’t really blue.

Innocent Drinks Inspired Marketing

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Hashtag Contests

The hashtag contest is still a great creative marketing idea, even if people have been doing it for a while. Find a new and unique angle for your hashtag contest, offering cool and fun prizes that make sense with your brand. For the contest itself, make the task easy but entertaining so that people will want to take part. The example below for example asks Hyundai owners to share about their cars using the hashtag.

Hashtag contest by Hyundai

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Instagram Carousels

The Instagram carousel has made a name for itself in the social media space. If you’re still creating singular static images for Instagram, you’re missing out on the reach and engagement that carousels get. The best part? You can add both images and videos to the same carousel, creating an experience for the audience.

Create Instagram carousels easily with Samandishe — here’s an example to inspire you.

Mental health carousel template

 

Memes

There are memes and there’s meme marketing, what even is the difference between them? Not much apart from the messaging. To use memes for your marketing, there are a couple of options; meme generators like imgflip to use the memes going around and add your content, or use Samandishe to make your own memes. The trick about memes though is that they need to be recognizable as a meme, otherwise the joke will go unnoticed.

Presentation animation meme

 

Video Marketing Ideas

Next up are the video marketing ideas. If you’re keeping up with video—as you should—then you might already have tried some of these. But don’t worry, we’re sure there are some you haven’t tried yet. As you grow your video marketing strategy, remember to also create vertical videos for social media!

Use Samandishe to create these videos for your creative marketing. You have the option to use templates in horizontal, square and vertical formats plus empty canvases to work from scratch.

 

Blooper Videos

Blooper reels and videos are some of the most entertaining types of behind the scene videos. These are videos that share bits and pieces of other videos where the characters made mistakes or blundered their lines. The funnier, the better! Put it up on YouTube just like you would any of your other videos, and make sure to brand it. The example below is from a movie, and they used the blooper reel as part of their off cuff marketing.

 

 

Instagram Reels

Reels are vertical videos on Instagram that can be as long as 60 seconds. At the end of 2021, Instagram announced that they’d be concentrating more on video, and that therefore creators and users should be making more video if they want to be noticed. Getting started with Reels is a great marketing strategy to stand out on Instagram. Below is one of our most viewed Reels about color psychology.

 

YouTube Shorts

If you’re regularly uploading videos to YouTube, then you should look into YouTube shorts. They’re like the Reels of YouTube and are only getting more and more popular. Create short vertical versions of your already high ranked videos, or make new content that’s more suited for the short vertical video space.

 

 

Live Video

Going live is beneficial in a variety of ways. Live-streaming isn’t just for gamers, anyone can use this technique to their advantage. For example; livestream your event, have a live virtual summit, hold live tutorial sessions, conduct live Q&A panels. Most social media channels offer the capability of going live, try it out! The video below is a recording of a live Apple event.

 

 

Q&A Videos

When it comes to video marketing, the ideas abound. But one you might not have thought of is the FAQ video. If you already have an FAQ section on your website, then half the job is done — all you have to do is record yourself or a team member answering the question in person. Even better if you include a demo as part of the answer.

 

 

Explainer Videos

Explainer videos never go out of style, specially if they’re well-made. Every small business can take advantage of an explainer video. But what is it? An explainer video is a short visual explanation about your business or an aspect of it. These videos are great for landing pages as well as newsletters and social media!!

 

 

Funny Commercials

You might not be able to afford production of a TV commercial to air during the Super Bowl, but you can still create funny commercials. The trick to making your commercials funny is to find a comedic or humorous angle of your business. If you make a bit of fun at yourself in the process, it’ll be more relatable and make people laugh.

 

 

Webinars

Webinars are great for promoting your small business. Offer valuable information for free and then offer the viewers a discount for more in depth or personalized services with you and your business. Another option is to not offer anything in a webinar and just do them for the sake of brand awareness. Both ideas are valid and very successful.

Samandishe Webinar Signup

 

Video Newsletters

Why send regular newsletters when you can send video newsletters? The best type of video to use in—or as—a newsletter is a personalized one with someone talking to the camera. If a real person talking to the camera isn’t possible, then a motion graphics or animation with a voice-over will be ok. The idea is that there is someone talking, having a conversation with the recipient of the email. Take a look at the example below for inspiration.

 

 

Testimonial Videos

A testimonial video is a great way to show new prospective customers what your business can do for them. Choose testimonials that share how your business solved that person’s problem in a unique and productive way. If possible, record or film the testimonial, but an animated version with a text quote is also good. Include these videos in your case studies for a heightened reader experience.

 

TikTok Remixes

A TikTok remix is when you use a viral video as inspiration and create your own version of it. It can be just the audio, or the dance moves, or both! This technique spreads your video with the other people creating remixes of the same content. The trick is to have fun while doing it, add some humor, and you’ve got a winner. Here’s one example of thousands of TikTok remixes out there.

@odalysanddafnne

A quién le salió mejor el paso?😎 @rickylemon99 @Daniela Arredondo @karenbarreraoficial @ramonvillaaa @mia.salinass @rosy.salinass #fyp #comedy

♬ sonido original – Hermanas JM

 

Communication & People Marketing Ideas

Communicating with people is at the core of every marketing strategy, but in some cases it’s more direct. This section is all about marketing ideas that have to do with the communication you have with customers. To really have success with these techniques, remember to be honest, unique and real. Stick to your brand messaging throughout the process.

Samandishe is at your fingertips for a lot of these creative marketing ideas. Use our editor to create the graphics for these, offer templates to collaborators and link them to brand guidelines easily.

 

Be Your Own Ambassador

The best way to show users and consumers that your product or service is worth it, is to use it yourself! Better yet, show them how you use it and how it helps solve a problem. If you started your business because you couldn’t find a solution to a problem, and you came up with an idea for it, then you’re the perfect candidate for this marketing strategy.

Founder of Samandishe

 

Podcasts

What’s the difference between a podcast and a webinar? They feel more personal because people listen to them on their own and don’t have to sit in front of a computer watching a Zoom call with lots of other people. Podcasts are a great way to share valuable content through analyses, interviews and talks full of insights that will help people. The example below is a podcast by Spotify.

Shopify podcasts

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Surveys

How can a survey be used as a marketing strategy? To gather valuable data about your users and consumers which can then help you improve not only your communication but also your products and services. Add a survey to your website, app downloads, in emails and in packaging. Use Samandishe to create reports of Samandishe results to share with both your team and your audience.

Website - Survey Results Template

 

Social Activism

Start social activism campaigns not as a way to improve your marketing, but as a genuine way to give back. Don’t incorporate charity strategies just for views, be honest about it. Nobody likes a fake social activism initiative. To get started, look for issues that are close to home and then grow from there. In the future, consider a non-profit organization that stems from your main business.

Social Activism by Ben and Jerry's Foundation

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FOMO

FOMO stands for Fear Of Missing Out and is an excellent way to convince people that if they don’t take action on your offers, they’ll be missing out on something special. This technique can be as simple as a popup on your website saying that someone has bought a product, to a full-scale Twitter campaign to create FOMO around your event or launch.

FOMO marketing tactic by Booking.com

 

Employee Testimonials

Customer testimonials are great, but what about employee testimonials? When your employees and team members share their honest opinions about working in your company, customers and users will feel like they know you a bit better. The best employee testimonials are those that come from team members that work directly with the customer and can give a real representation of what it’s like to work with you. Here’s an example:

 

Demos

Product demos as marketing ideas can make an appearance at different levels of the funnel. At the top, in the awareness stage, add demos to your YouTube channel, then at the consideration stage, offer personalized demos about specific features that are relevant to that consumer. Then at the lower levels, the user or customer can request special training demos for that are unique to them. The demo below is a repurposing of a video in our knowledge base, turned into a social media graphic

 

Communities

Communities are a great way to communicate with your consumer base in an intimate and personalized setting. Make sure to start your community with a skilled community manager that will set it up for success, inviting loyal users to the launch and then starting conversations around relevant topics that pertain to your company and its users.

Samandishe community

 

Jingles

Brand jingles used to be a staple in a marketing strategy, now not so much. But if your brand hits on nostalgia and a nod to the past, then a jingle is a great choice. The trick to having a good jingle is a melody and song that will stick in the customers’ memory like an earworm. One of the most famous—and memorable—jingles of all time is the one for KitKat. If you know, you know!

 

 

Micro-Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing has lots of levels, from celebrities to micro influencers and everything in between. Having celebrities as influencers is great and all, but can get very expensive for your business. Micro-influencers on the other hand are more affordable and reach more specific audiences. What do they do? They create content that shows how they use your product or service and show it to their followers. This is a great option for small businesses of any size, especially small businesses.

Micro-Influencer Marketing on Instagram

 

Brand Ambassadors

Brand ambassadors programs are similar to micro-influencer marketing, but with a strong difference. A brand ambassador is generally a long time user or client of your company, and their sharing of your brand is more personalized and in depth. Create some sort of badge or certification for them, so they feel special and proud to be your brand ambassador. You can also offer brand ambassadors to be part of your affiliate program for a better incentive. Below is an example of a social post by a Subaru brand ambassador.

 

Localization in Different Languages

Start a localization campaign for your business to reach more people around the world. Translate your main content into a few other languages, including landing pages, blog posts and even your interface if you’re a SaaS company. Before you start, conduct some market research to find out where your client base is, apart from your main location. Below is a screenshot of one of our localized landing pages.

Localization on Samandishe's website

 

Emotional Storytelling

Storytelling is a big part of any marketing strategy, regardless of the scope. But emotional storytelling goes a step further to really connect with the audience in a personal way. For an emotional storytelling campaign to work well, you need to know your client base well. Talk to them, ask about their specific pain points, what gets to them, what pushes their buttons. Then create a campaign around those ideas. The example below is a Coca-Cola can design campaign with messages that people would like to gift to others. Like a greeting card on a can.

Emotional storytelling from Coca Cola

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Event Sponsorships

Sponsoring an event about something that pertains to your industry can give you lots of visibility while reaching new customers in a hands-on or virtual setting. Every event has their own style of sponsorship packages which can range from having a banner or ad, to branded webinar and discussion forums. For example, when you become a sponsor of InBound, your brand becomes one of the important partners of the event.

Event Sponsorships by Inbound

 

Hands-On Marketing Ideas

Last but not least is a category that goes beyond the usual digital marketing ideas and steps out of the box. Some of these ideas are simple and small, while others are expansive and complex. Choose one that fits with your budget, but you might be surprised how easy some of these are.

 

Graffiti & Murals

Use graffiti for marketing if you’re looking for a unique way to reach your client base where they least expect it. You can get as conceptual or as classic as you like with graffiti marketing, the idea is to delight and surprise. The two examples below show a large representation of McDonald’s fries as a street crossing and the other is a more classic approach of a wall mural.

McDonalds guerilla marketing street art

 

Guerrilla Marketing

Guerrilla marketing is when you go way beyond the ordinary and create campaigns that are so off the cuff that they stay in the viewer’s memory for a long time or inspire a photo and a share on social media. There are countless examples of guerrilla marketing, but here is one from Axe Body spray where stickers of running women were added to seemingly normal Exit signs.

Guerrilla marketing by Axe

 

3D Billboards

Billboards, the long time big scale operation for a marketing campaign, is no longer “just” a billboard. Now, digital billboards on populated corners have visual 3D effects that seem to pop out of the building. From cats and lions to flying purses, everything is possible. The example below is of a collaboration between Loewe and the relaunch of the Ghibli movie Spirited Away.

 

 

Snail Mail

Good old paper correspondence, which we now call Snail Mail, is another hands-on creative marketing idea to consider. With most marketing strategies happening online, a posted paper letter will definitely make an impact. One of our editors received this letter from Grammarly promoting 40% of annual premium plans, all accessible via a practical QR code.

Paper marketing from Grammarly

 

Augmented Reality

With the increase of Metaverse conversations happening in the marketing world, augmented reality is only growing in popularity. Strategists believe that soon it will be a common occurrence instead of a once in a while thing. Augmented reality is achieved when a hands-on element is augmented through a mobile device with a camera. From trying on clothes to setting up new furniture in your home, this strategy has no limit in creativity.

Augmented reality marketing by Gucci

 

Scavenger Hunts

Good old scavenger hunts can also make for fun and creative marketing ideas. Nowadays, a scavenger hunt is mostly digital, but can also be done in a local setting if your brand is small scale in one location. The trick to making a scavenger hunt work as a marketing scheme is to offer an incentive at the end, and make sure to add your brand messaging and relevant visuals to the hints and clues. Did you take part in the Wendy’s Cyber Search?

Cyber scavenger hunt by Wendy's

 

Stickers

If you’ve ever seen the back of a traffic sign, the inside of a bathroom stall or the backside of people’s laptops, you know that sticker marketing is still alive and relevant. Your stickers will compete with all the surrounding others, so make it memorable and fun. Send them to your existing customers, add them to swag bags, give them away in coffee shops, do whatever you want with them! Use Samandishe to design your stickers and then send them to a printing shop that will cut them into the exact shape you want.

Sticker marketing strategy

 

Free Stuff

Free stuff and free samples are always a great option for marketing your product to new customers. If you have a physical product that is packaged for sale, you can create smaller versions to give away as gifts in other orders. For consumable products, offer free tasting samples at the shops where your products sell. People love free stuff, take advantage of that and reach more people with your product.

Free samples by Airborne

 

Gamification

Add games and interactivity to your marketing campaigns to create fun and memorable moments for your customers. Create a branded game to add to a landing page, make an app that turns your brand into a game of some sort. Make it fun, memorable and offer incentives when relevant. A simple punch card idea can be turned into a game by asking the user to scan a QR code that takes them to a fun short game they can win points from.

Example of gamification marketing

 

Sustainable Postcards

If you’re already using postcards for your hands-on marketing strategies, why not try sustainable postcards to the mix. Go as far as using seeded postcards with easy to grow plants and herbs. Print short instructions on the card about putting the postcard in their garden or a plant pot where they’ll see plants grow. Ask them to post photos of the grown plants with a branded hashtag, and you’ve got user generated content as well!

Sustainable postcards

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Experience Creation

Experiential marketing is easily of the most creative marketing ideas of the moment. But how do you create an experience that can be marketed? You look at what people are obsessing about and build an experience around that. A great example is the pop-up of the fictional ice cream store, Scoops Ahoy from Stranger Things. Netflix and Baskin Robbins collaborated to create this experience, and it was a hit with viewers and ice cream lovers alike.

Experience Creation by Netflix and Baskin-Robbins

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Gift Boxes

Take the idea of free stuff and free samples a step further and create gift boxes with your products. Include some bestsellers along with new releases so that the gift box is both relatable and new. Send these for birthdays, as holiday gifts, or as thank you packages to the most loyal customers. You can even include the option to buy gift boxes on your website.

Giftboxes from Cratejoy

 

Posters

Posters will never go out of style. There’s always a place to put up a poster; a wall, a bathroom stall, bulletin boards in cultural centers and much more. Remember to include a QR code in the design for easy access to your digital presence. Make sure to send the visitor to a relevant website or landing page that is directly related to the content on the poster.

Swimming Poster Template

 

Merchandise

Merchandising is one of the oldest techniques for hands-on creative marketing. It’ unlikely that it will ever die or go out of style. A pen with your logo can be on someone’s desk—or junk drawer— for years, water bottles will last forever as long as they’re good quality, t-shirts and caps will take up space in closets and drawers for a long time. Your brand becomes a household name and you reach more people that you can imagine.

Buildup marketing example for Tru Blood

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Mysterious Build-Up

Mystery marketing is not very commonplace, but when used well, it can make a strong impact. The idea behind a mysterious build-up is to create an air of suspense and inspire questions. How do you do it? You start a creative campaign that doesn’t mention your brand at all, it just builds up interest. The show True Blood did a great job of using this technique before it aired for the first time.

Buildup marketing example for Tru Blood

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Packaging Sweepstakes

Everyone knows the story of Charlie’s Golden Ticket for a chance to visit Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. You can create a similar campaign for your brand with packaging sweepstakes and a big prize. In your packaging design, include a type of golden ticket for the few lucky winners or a code to scan or input on a website. Create buzz about the sweepstakes and you’ll see sales rise for the product as people look for a chance to win.

Packaging sweepstakes example by Xamoom

 

Samandishe Is Your Visual Partner for All Creative Marketing Ideas

Regardless of the size of your small business, the marketing strategies and campaigns should be given the importance they deserve. If you don’t have a marketing team yet, start small with some of your existing team members and work your way up from there.

The Samandishe team plans are the perfect addition to your content creation and marketing toolbox, from easily designing visual assets to effective organization of brand assets and templates, you can do so much that you’ll wonder why you didn’t have this at your fingertips from day one.

Not everyone is attracted to the same type of marketing, that’s why it’s best to have a variety of campaigns running at the same time. This is the best way to reach a wider range of potential clients and customers. Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many complex ideas at once, try a combination of easy and difficult instead.

For example; print stickers, create and post Instagram Reels and maybe produce a digital magazine. As your business grows, evolve your marketing into more elaborate strategies. Always have your customer in mind when crafting messaging, visuals and interactions. The more comfortable and happy they feel about your brand, the more conversion you’ll get.

Don’t have a Samandishe account yet? Not to worry. You can sign up for a team account easily with your work email. The Samandishe team is here to help you succeed with your marketing and your business overall. Here’s to lots of happy customers!

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