Big brands are always looking to reach small businesses, but navigating the best ways to connect and determining what influences a small business’s purchasing and hiring decisions to can be tricky in this day and age.
So, we thought it was best to hear directly from some of the amazing CarolRoth.com contributor network of business owners, experts, advisors and entrepreneurs.
They have shared their own preferred ways for big brands to reach them and what inspires them to work with, hire or purchase from a larger company.
Their answers are presented below in no particular order.
You may notice some similar ideas listed, but I kept them separate, as something in the way one is framed may resonate differently with you.
1. Send Some Web Traffic Our Way!
The best way for big brands to reach out to us is by giving us a shoutout (and tagging us) on our Facebook business page. As a rapidly growing online publication hungry for traffic, we’re always looking to get in front of the eyes of our readers. In fact, the last service we purchased also offered us an added incentive to share our content on their social media channels once the deal had been finalized. We got a great product for our team, and some extra web traffic to go along with it! Thanks to:
Humza Maniar of Fit Small Business
2. Go Old-Fashioned For Me
Because I'm such a huge fan of old-fashioned mail order advertising, I love when big brands advertise through the mail. There's nothing like getting a direct-response sales letter, complete with a great headline, skillfully-crafted body copy, and a compelling reason to order now.
Plus, because most companies ignore this marketing tactic, my mailbox is emptier than ever before. This means it's relatively easy for big brands to get my attention. So, go get your stamps and start mailing. Thanks to:
James Pollard of The Advisor Coach
3. The Magic of Marketing
I run a branding and communications firm so maybe I am biased, but marketing really works for me! Whether it is a coupon or direct mail piece from a retailer, a sample from a food & beverage company or a clever ad for a new technology device, if you can get my attention with a compelling story for your product or service I am hooked. Great headlines, photography/images or a free sample may be all it takes to break through the clutter and for me to take notice. Pique my curiosity and you create a fan! Thanks to:
Paige Arnof-Fenn of Mavens & Moguls
The one best way for big brands to reach me is through email. The way I decide to work with a big brand is if they are in the technology industry, since my expertise lies in reviewing products, tools, and services of brands in the tech niche. We then ultimately select who to work with through word of mouth recommendations of friends and family, and online reviews. Thanks to:
Janice Wald of MostlyBlogging.com
Regardless of the brand, I know the value of good relationships and lasting partnerships. If a big brand wants to work with our agency, the best way for them to connect with me is the old fashion way - over the phone. Owning a business means I am always on, but not always online. If you give me a ring, I am more than happy to pick up and talk shop with you. I’m a simple guy who believes personal interaction goes a long way. So, if you're interested in partnering with Porchlight, call me. Thanks to:
Greg Corey of Porchlight
6. Envision Opportunities
I love connecting with big brands initially through social media, especially Twitter. Brands that are savvy and interactive stimulate my interest in buying from and reaching out to them for sponsorships and partnerships. Being aware of needs in my community and connecting a trending issue with the interests of a big brand can inspire the creation of unique opportunities, like a paper or office supply company sponsoring vision board parties for college students or small business organizations. Thanks to:
Tina Nies of Be Happier Today
Big brands need to make better use of uncommon sales mediums.
For instance, these days, when I receive an email for a SEO, PPC, or marketing automation platform, it goes right into the trash. I'll hardly even notice it.
But, one company really got through to me -- they sent me a pair of socks in the mail.
That's right, a physical pair of branded socks! They had my attention, and as a result, I gave them the benefit of a virtual demo, and now they're top of my list when I'm ready to buy. Thanks to:
Adam Gingery of Majux Marketing
We live in this amazingly technologically advanced world, where data is at the fingertips of every brand that tells them a lot about what they think their clients want... but when do they actually ask?
What if big brands went out quarterly & actually said, what are you interested in? What if brands asked what teams I followed & what were the interests of the people in the household... & then sent me content that spoke about teams I was interested in and things that were of interest to me? Thanks to:
Ben Baker of Your Brand Marketing
9. Email - But Be Smart About it
Email is always the best way to reach me. But, it had better be relevant to my business or my needs. Most emails are not, whether from lone wolf salespeople or big brands. "May I have just ten minutes of your time to discuss your [something] needs?" And "something" is often (usually) not something I need, such as mail room or HR items. So, that shotgun's not a very smart way to outreach. Thanks to:
David Leonhardt of THGM Writing Services
10. Storytelling on Social Media
More than the channel, it depends on how relevant and helpful your message is. There has to be an emotional connection and that is not possible without personalization and high-quality storytelling. The old salesy techniques and pitches are not going to work. If it’s social media, it is critical for big brands to learn and use the art of authentic storytelling. If it’s email, it is important to segment and personalize (though Social Media is a better choice than email). Thanks to:
Sadi Khan of RunRepeat
is a national media personality, "recovering" investment banker, dealmaker, investor, speaker and author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Entrepreneur Equation.
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