4 Cheap Ways To Market Your Small Business


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Going viral is having ones message heard either implicitly or explicitly. The science is murky. For entrepreneurs, we all had better be one of those, here are a few strategies from Open Forum.

We studied several viral formula resources and created our own small-business-specific list of key elements:

1. Bootstrap this one. Old Spice likely spent more than your company’s annual revenue on its viral video series, “Old Spice Guy,” so don’t even try to compete with something far out of your reach. Instead, build a team of people who love the idea. When people buy into a concept, they’ll not only work for less pay, but they’ll also help promote the final product because they have skin in the game.

Bloom of HelloFlo worked with a writer friend who wanted to create a portfolio piece to help launch his own agency, and the writer knew a professional film crew that liked edgy projects. “Once people saw the script, it was so good that they wanted to be a part of it,” Bloom says. “They knew upfront I had no money.”

2. Build a solid strategy. Social media should be just one part of your overall marketing strategy, Cantrell cautions. When you produce the video and put it out, what do you want people to do? What happens next?

“You start by understanding what your brand is and who the audience is,” Cantrell says. Then, she adds, you identify what elements of the brand you want to build on and how to go to market. “What are you going to deliver, and why would people want to share it?” she asks. Study customer demographics to determine what channel is the best fit—don’t just rely on your three friends who love your product and also use Vine a lot.

3. Spark emotion. Humor is usually the “go to” vibe for creating viral shares, and the more outrageous the better, like this ad for Poopourri. But anger can work just as well, as Savannah attorney Jamie Casino discovered with this ad. The key is to connect with an emotion that triggers a desire to act.

“On average, positive pieces are shared more than negative ones,” Berger says. “But more important is the arousal. Some emotions are activating, some are deactivating. For example, anger is activating, sadness is deactivating. It’s about whether the emotions get the blood circulating and drive people to take action.”

4. Break a few rules. Like any good entrepreneur, stay flexible, trust your instincts, and don’t let the “experts” (even us) tell you what can’t be done. Bloom went over the industry standard time limit for “The Camp Gyno.” “There were lines that none of us could bear taking out,” Bloom says. “So we made a decision to break some marketing rules and just let it be one minute and 47 seconds versus one minute and 30 seconds.

Read full article via OPEN Forum.


Jim is president of InnoThink Group a human resources and leadership management consulting firm. He has an absolute passion for people development and are constantly refining and adapting his programs in order to ensure that they have the maximum impact on those we serve. See a partial list of Jim’s clients. Hire Jim Woods to Speak  | Follow us: Facebook | Follow us: Twitter | Skype ID – jim.woods79 http://www.innothinkgroup.com   Click here to schedule an appointment.



Jim Woods is president of The Jim Woods Group. A management consulting firm. Go here to see his work www.jimwoodsgroup.com. He advises and speaks to organizations large and small on how to increase top line growth in times of uncertainty and complexity. Some of his speaking and consulting clients include: U.S. Army, MITRE Corporation, Pitney Bowes, Whirlpool, and 3M. See more at his website www.jimwoodsgroup.com.

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