If you want to grow your small business in 2020, you need to stand out. This means breaking the mold and doing it better than your competitors.
You need to get creative if you want to stand out. But if you’re struggling and you need some inspiration, read on for four ways your small business can break the mold in 2020.
Host a live video Q&A
Breaking the mold means connecting with your audience on a personal level. The best way to achieve this by actually speaking to your customers, in this instance, through a live video Q&A.
Host a Q&A via Instagram’s live video function and invite your audience to submit questions to you (perhaps using the Questions Sticker available on Instagram Stories.)
Use this as an opportunity to showcase your brand and help your audience better engage with it.
Start by introducing your team. You likely don’t work alone, but perhaps people are only likely to be familiar with your brand’s figurehead, whether that’s you or someone else.
During a Q&A, you can bring in people from different roles in your business, showcasing the kind of talent you have to offer and making people far more likely to believe in the quality and potential of your team.
Demonstrate expertise. People want to follow experts because they admire them and they can learn from them.
You can field specific niche questions (which will depend on your niche) or general ecommerce questions (your followers might be curious about how to scale or want to know how to sell a business, or need some guidance on GDPR, etc). And, if you nail them, you can even use the video stream as the basis for a larger video tutorial later.
Show personality. Not all the questions you’ll get will be serious, or even relevant, and that’s a good thing. If you gracefully field some silly questions and show that you can be relaxed and personable, it will make you seem much more likable, and help you bolster your overall brand reputation.
Turn your pop-up shop into an engaging event
While we’re still in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, pop-up shops are still a valid way to break the mold — use this time to plan your event so you can hit the ground running when things return to normal.
Pop-up shops give you the opportunity to take advantage of foot traffic on the street and turn it into a quick sales boost. Further to this, it also lets you expose your business to a new audience, one who might not have discovered your brand otherwise.
But while pop-up shops are perfect for a quick sales uplift, they’re also a ripe opportunity for boosting engagement too. Break the mold and transform your pop-up store into an event with informational talks, free samples, photo opportunities, guided sampling, and so on.
In this way, you give your customers the motivation to share about your event online, boosting engagement and providing you with a ream of great content you can use for your online marketing too.
Partner with other brands for an exciting collaboration
Brand collaborations are one of the most creative and exciting ways to break the mold and show your target audience you are at the forefront of your industry. Lots of big brands do this. The apparel brand Nike is renowned for this, often collaborating with designers, studios, celebrities, and others to create new sneaker styles.
Reach out to a non-competing brand whose industry might feasibly overlap with yours. For instance, if you sell kitchen gadgets, you could team up with a foodie brand.
The actual collaboration can take a variety of different forms. You might create a new product together, for example, or you might simply decide to market complementary products together.
By collaborating with other brands, you show your audience that you are open and progressive, working with other businesses to offer a new, creative product for your audience. At the same time, it also lets you capitalize on your partner brand’s existing customer base for added exposure.
Turn your social posts into engaging stories
One of the best ways to break the mold and keep your audience engaged is through stories. These narratives add depth to your brand, making otherwise prosaic issues relatable to your target audience.
For instance, you could write about a fictional customer who uses your product to resolve their pain points, or you might talk about your brand’s history and values.
While the general rule with social and email marketing is to keep it short, that doesn’t always apply when it comes to stories. If a story is engaging, people will want to read it no matter how long it is.
Try writing a really long social media post that tells a story. While shorter posts might get higher click-through rates, longer posts often get more engagement within the actual posts.
On most social platforms, a long post will have a “See More” link that your readers can click on. If many people click on this link, it suggests that they are engaging with the longer posts. So rather than sending people to your website or somewhere else, try to keep them on your post and engaging with your story by making it significantly lengthier.
You could do something similar by using a series of shorter stories, perhaps on Instagram or Twitter. Post a series of short updates that tell an overall story, and then each new update effectively becomes a chapter. Doing this will keep people hanging on for the next one, and you can share a much longer story without being restricted by the length of the posts.
In the competitive business landscape, only the most creative and daring brands succeed. Follow the tips above, break the mold, and stand head and shoulders above the rest in 2020.