By Anica Oaks

Starting a business takes a lot of hard work, but entrepreneurs must maintain their business by competing against popular and well-established brands. Small businesses cannot become successful overnight, but they can accelerate the process through proper marketing techniques and advertising campaigns.

Create a Marketing Mantra

Every small business needs their own unique marketing mantra that doubles as a strategy statement. Marketing mantras usually include the company’s name, target demographic and special benefits of the product or service. For example, a restaurant would say that they are they are the preferred provider of casual dining experiences for local families. Brainstorming shouldn’t be a problem because business owners can reach out to friends, employees and regular customers for ideas. Once the marketing mantra is finalized, it should be incorporated into the marketing strategy, promotional materials and communications, such as emails and stationary.

Use Brand Advocates

A new marketing tactic is to enlist and enable local brand advocates. These sociable individuals should be happy customers who enjoy promoting the company and helping others. For example, a small business could enlist a few local brand advocates to help present the company at local events or reach out to other businesses for potential commercial opportunities. Small businesses and their brand advocates can focus on causes that are important to the community, such as crime, education and pollution. These brand advocates can help their company become champions for their cause through organizing events.

Study the Competition

There are many reasons why competitors are successful, which may be related to their business model, sales techniques or customer service practices. However, many entrepreneurs make the mistake of vaguely researching or identifying who the real competition is and why they are successful. Businesses that fail to differentiate themselves from the competition will fall by the wayside and experience weak marketing results. Be sure to thoroughly evaluate past, present and future competition in order to maintain a competitive edge. Knowledge of differentiation allows small businesses to customize their products, services and practices.

Event Marketing

Event marketing is emerging as a popular way to engage customers while raising brand awareness. For example, many companies offer free toys, t-shirts and books at crowded public events. Flash mobs and highly expensive gifts are not needed. Instead, the public simply needs a unique experience with complementary products. For companies that offer professional services, such as accounting and investment firms, handing out finance-related promotional materials will most likely not attract consumers. Instead, these types of companies should consider renting equipment to offer free food, and may want to check out Budget Restaurant Supply and similar companies for necessary equipment.

Don’t forget to take advantage of blogs, websites and social media platforms to promote brand awareness and customer engagement.

Anica is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.