The best way to come up with brilliant marketing ideas

Do you find it hard to come up with creative marketing ideas for your business? Discover the best way to create brilliant campaigns that work.

A brilliant, well-planned marketing campaign can be the making of a small business. And yet too many start-ups and SMEs mistakenly think they don’t have the budget, ability or resources to come up with one.

The truth is that with the investment of some time, some creative use of resources and a strategy to follow, every business has the ability to create and implement a campaign that hits the spot with their audience.

And here’s how you do it.

Be creative with your ideas – and resources

Just because your business is tiny, it doesn’t mean your marketing ambitions need to be equally minuscule. Forget huge marketing departments and budgets. To create a campaign that works, you just need to be clever – with your ideas and your resources.

Start by picking the brains of your friends and family, or bouncing ideas off someone who’s in your target audience. Find out what kind of things appeal to them, and which offers, messaging or images don’t resonate.

And don’t worry if you don’t have an in-house designer and blogger, either. Use freelancers if you have a little budget and you think your idea will repay the investment, or try to learn some basic design skills yourself.

If you’re really stuck for budget and talent, you could always look at offering a freelancer a skills swap in return for free help.

Start brainstorming ideas

It doesn’t matter whether you’re on your own or have a team to support you, brainstorming is a great way to warm up and think outside of the box. It’s also free!

There are many different techniques out there that help you unleash your creative juices. Some of the most effective are:

  1. Mindmapping
  2. Storyboarding
  3. Role playing
  4. Reverse thinking

Look them up and try them. You’ll soon find out which ones work best for you.

Find sources of inspiration

Other businesses can also be a goldmine of creative inspiration – you can learn a great deal from the successes and failures of other brands. You can gain valuable insight from:

  • Your competitors – take a look at what your competitors are doing and how it’s working for them. Is there anything you could emulate? Or do better?
  • Big brands – big brands are a great source of inspiration. Could you resize one of their most successful campaigns to suit your budget and industry?
  • Marketing blogs – reading marketing blogs regularly will help you find out about new formats, tactics or channels you might want to try out.

Things to consider

No matter how crazy you may want to go with your ideas, in order for them to generate results you’ll need to keep these factors in mind at the ideation stage:

  1. Your audience.
  2. Your objectives.
  3. Your resources.
  4. Your brand personality.
  5. Influencers.
  6. Your niche market’s seasonality.

Think about your target audience. What are their interests? What worries them? What engages them? Build your ideas around these topics.

Thorough research is best, but it’s not always possible. If you don’t have the opportunity to speak to someone in the right demographics, it can be very useful to create three to five personas that represent your target audience. (You can find out how to create a marketing persona here.)

What are your objectives?

Once you’ve established the theme of the campaign, look back at your objectives. Are you looking to build your social media profile, gain media coverage or generate leads?

The KPIs (key performance indicators – how you measure the success or otherwise if your campaign) you assign to your campaign will dictate the format it should take, whether that’s a webinar, free eBook or press release.

Then you’ll need to consider whether you have the right resources to execute that amazing idea you came up with. Do you have the right staff or budget to bring the idea to life?

Don’t pick an idea that doesn’t fit your brand

Don’t settle on an idea unless you feel it fits with your brand personality. In the excitement of coming up with a brilliantly creative idea, too many brands forget about their brand identity.

So before you jump headlong into planning your campaign, ask yourself if it is in line with your brand values, tone of voice and mission.

And don’t forget to think about how you’ll promote your campaign once it’s live. Research relevant influencers and build a target list, so you can get in touch with them when you’re ready.

Engaging them at ideation stage can also be useful, as they could provide you with great advice and will then be more inclined to support your campaign.

Pick your launch date

Once you’re happy with your idea, establish what time of year it would be best to launch the campaign. Look at market trends, but also at keyword volumes (both annual and monthly). You’ll want to launch just before interest in that topic is high.

Whatever the size of your business, follow this advice and you’ll find it easier to come up with brilliant marketing ideas that work.

Elena Manighetti is Head Of Content Marketing at digital marketing agency theEword.