What are THE most effective ways to advertise and market your business?
Hello, friends! I am so glad to be back and finishing out this Turn The Tables series. We decided to pause over summer & give everyone the brain break we most likely needed, and resume our Table once fall and school were resuming.
Today we are talking about the most effective ways to advertise and market a business. For us, at Thimblepress®, we have always put a lot of effort into our marketing, mostly because that is my background. Before I started Thimblepress, I was a co-owner of a design & branding studio in Charleston, SC. I’ve always understood the power of marketing. One of the things we don’t always have is a huge marketing budget. Since the beginning, we have taken a grassroots approach to our marketing and empowered our customers to share our products over social media. Plus, we like the idea of our customers sharing if they love it or not, because then it gives the buyer an honest understanding of the product. We can say the same exact thing about the product, but there is something about a third party, outside source that makes it real. Kind of like when your mom tells you something your whole life that you ignore, but when a random stranger tells you that exact thing, you some how to trust them and believe it. ha ha! We put a lot of time into photos that capture the true essence of our products. We want to show our customers how the products can be used, and of recent, we have been incorporating hands into the photos so the customer can get some type of size reference. We can put four inches in the description, but in the culture of go-go-go, it just makes it faster and easier for the customer to see it vs. reading it. They can understand a photo faster than they can calculate how big four inches really is. Am I making sense? Anyways, I totally got a little off subject.
We believe in marketing and advertising. We have tried a few Facebook and Instagram ads, but for the cost of them, they didn’t always yield the best results. We have also expanded efforts to grow our email list. We realize our email list is something that we have a little control over. Social media can add algorithms, but hopefully we will be able to always utilize our email list like we have. We realize how precious an email list is, so we are super careful not to over-send or send too much. Trust me, just as much as I am a marketer and creator, I am a consumer and know the effect of getting too many emails. It can get annoying. So we try to respect our email list and only send them the most exciting, helpful and useful (coupons and secret sale) email we can. At the end of the day, we are not trying to market to everyone. We are not for everyone. We are trying to market to our best friends, the girls we want to hang out with, the girls that make up our friend circle, the girls we KNOW would love our product. We area trying to build our community, our tribe, our posse, our besties!
So far, social media has been the most effective tool for spreading the word for my book, BRIGHT LIGHTS PARIS. Also, gifting to influencers in different areas around the world has proven to be amazing and given a huge return on investment.
Most effective ways? How about ANY ways? This is something we seriously struggle with, and have JUST hired help for a social media campaign. We could not be more excited to have someone else take this on, as none of us likes doing it, and we just don’t have the skillzzzz.
CONNECT WITH E. FRANCES
We had always relied on social media (FB, IG) for advertising, but recently began to focus on growing our mailing list to have more control over who receives our announcements. Just last night I created my first Google Words campaign, and fingers crossed that helps with our advertising.
CONNECT WITH STACIE
I have a firm belief that because we are a stationery company, we should put our money where our mouths are and send physical mailers. I also remember in my brief time as a buyer how much I loved getting mailers from stationery companies. We also try to make sure that we are sending MailChimp emails to our retailers whenever we have a new release— whether it is for a holiday or in conjunction with a show.
CONNECT WITH JANE & ANDY
CONNECT WITH KATIE
CONNECT WITH GINGER
The most effective way for us, is word of mouth. We are lucky to have amazing customers that love our products, so they are happy to share the love. Because our customers were doing such an amazing job of spreading the word, we implemented a referral program that rewards them for sending their friends and family our way!
CONNECT WITH TONYA
Our biggest wins for marketing are both Instagram (our inbox is filled with emails that start "I saw your recent post on Instagram and am wondering ..." and networking in the event industry (because we do a lot of custom work for weddings and events, connections are key!)
CONNECT WITH CATHERINE
Word of mouth. I don’t have to do much more than that these days. In terms of marketing the books I publish, that’s a different story that I’m still working on. I try to work with my clients to put on exciting events, thoughtful influencer gifts, and targeted media campaigns but I spend my life trying to "crack the code" for what makes any book a bestseller. I'm getting closer!
CONNECT WITH KIM
The industry is changing right now and it’s hard to say what's working and what isn’t when it comes to marketing. We have more tools than ever to reach our audience. I will always say the best way to market your business is to build relationships with your customers and use a market strategy of a niche you can serve well. Email and content marketing is still the best and most effective way to turn followers into loyal customers because you own that contact information, unlike using other platforms like Facebook or Instagram ads.
CONNECT WITH JENNIFER
CONNECT WITH LIZ
INSTAGRAM!!!! Give a girl a good hashtag and get out of the way! I thought I was going to be a small town designer serving a small town market forever until... Instagram. Suddenly my work was visible to people well outside my small community and opportunities that I had only dreamt of started to present themselves.
CONNECT WITH CAREY
Instagram and email blasts have been the most effective thus far. Also, doing snail-mailings around shows has been great. Buyers and press are on the lookout for show mailers and seem to get a great response!
CONNECT WITH ROBYN
Direct advertising hasn’t worked for me in the past. Social media is a huge help, as we all know, for creative business. My secret weapon is developing relationship with key business partners, including planners, venues, hotels & influencers. Those relationships have become my greatest asset for growing the business.
CONNECT WITH NANCY
The majority of my business has been word of mouth. While this isn’t necessarily a scalable model, it has helped me to fill my 1:1 practice. I built my relationships through what I call the Social Glue Method and I do my best to pour into others, find ways to support and encourage them. Through that relationship, I have become somebody that people refer and that stamp of approval has been a catalyst to my growth. I also love to podcast. The Creative Empire Podcast has been a way that I can help share knowledge, value and authentic communication and education into the creative world that has also let others know about my services!
CONNECT WITH REINA
We’ve been so fortunate to receive amazing press and frequent mentions in national magazines and popular blogs, which is something we could never ever afford to pay for. That being said, there isn’t necessarily a huge correlation between big media and sales. We’ve tried everything from Facebook ads to the local newspaper, but honestly the most effective marketing is good old fashioned word of mouth. People trust their friends’ opinions and don’t want to feel like they’re being marketed to. We can get more traffic from a mention on a smaller account with a few loyal followers than a huge one with tons of so-called influence.
CONNECT WITH JESSIE
Our new method is to target the audience and figure out how we get as close to them as possible. For instance, we set up several holiday pop ups at two local West Elm stores and a big church bazaar in a target zip code. We made up postcards with our information on it and a map.
CONNECT WITH STEVE & JILL
Instagram and my podcast, hands down! I started my podcast back in 2014 shortly after having twins (cuz I’m nuts like that!) and, at the time, I had no idea that it would be effective marketing for my business - I just wanted to have interesting conversations with cool people!What I’ve learned in the 2.5 years of doing the show is that a podcast is a great way to build trust with an audience. So, yay! I’m gonna keep going with that for sure! (Wanna hear me interview Kristen? She’s the best!)
CONNECT WITH TIFFANY
CONNECT WITH MANDY
Instagram and Facebook has been very effective for us and it’s free! It’s a pretty rare occasion for me to spend money on advertising. Creating good client relationships is pretty priceless when it comes to advertising as well….. referrals are key in my industry.
CONNECT WITH LESLEY
CONNECT WITH MARY
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