“Our job is to connect to people, to interact with them in a way that leaves them better than we found them, more able to get where they’d like to go.”

-Seth Godin

There’s a cold hard fact in business, “Just because you build it, doesn’t mean they’re coming.”

You may spend thousands of hours launching your business, but that time is mutually exclusive to the efforts required to attract customers.

So here’s where marketing comes into play.

The essence of marketing is to breed familiarity between your business and target market so upon their desire for a particular product or service, your brand is top of mind.

However, in a noisy world how does any particular business stand out to get noticed?

In the article today, we’ll look at three bold options to stand out, one time-tested option to acquire and retain customers, and two time-saving tools to scale your social media efforts.

Let’s begin!

1Hack the News for New Product or Service Ideas

The idea here is to tie your offerings to popular or trending stories. For many foodpreneurs, there’s the ability to create new products or services somewhat quickly.

With a tool like Google Trends, you can quickly detect the most popular stories and searches. Even with the ability to niche down to a particular topic or category.

Using this tool, you can identify a popular story, align a product or service offering and ride the PR wave.

For instance, let’s say you take something like the Zika virus.

You might be able to…

  • Create a food product containing ingredients that naturally repel mosquitoes.
  • Name it something recognizable – perhaps a play on words.
  • Find places publishing about Zika (just about every major news outlet nationally and locally).
  • Send your product info and humorous storyline on how it will help thwart the evil flying monsters (humorous because you’re not a doctor so watch your claims).
  • Ride the PR wave.

By the way, the Zika idea is completely off the cuff, but you get the idea.

This type of marketing is similar to sandwiches being named after famous people. Especially when they’re in the news. You ride the wave of popularity to help fuel your business. And if you’re really creative, you can have something every month that has this type of buzz.

2The Bigger, Bolder, & Badder Approach

What would you say about a $100 hot dog or $817 ice cream scoop? A quite a bit, I’m sure. Whether it’s positive or negative, you’d likely have something to say. And that’s the point.

$100 hot dog Photo by Jason Sammon

Creating something outrageous can be a great marketing strategy. Whether you link it to the news, most shared stories on the web, or something local, you’d likely get some great exposure.

To pull this off, you’ll need to think outside the box. So here are a few tips to help.

  • Check Guinness World Records for ideas and potential records you can break.
  • Find a complimentary product or service to massively enhance your product or service’s value. In the case of the $100 hot dog, it’s the condiment that drives the price.
  • Check BuzzSumo to get an idea of what’s most shared around the web. It’s like a social currency evaluator and can help with your product or service creation or storyline.
  • Look at Google Trends to get an idea of what’s most popular around the globe.

The fact is people love talking about outrageous things. So why not give them something to talk about?

3Loyalty Programs

By far, this is a time-tested approach to acquiring and retaining customers.

Loyalty programs can include free products or services, discounts, or special gifts, and you’d be surprised at what a small free gift can do to a customer’s loyalty.

Depending on how strong your loyalty program is, you can get people talking it up to friends and family. It can also be a stand-alone marketing campaign to push potential customers over the edge.

You don’t have to complicate this process, something as simple as cards that get punched work wonders for places.

However, if you want to step it up, here are some premium services that can streamline the process.

The idea is to get a program in place that entices people to choose your business while promoting loyalty along the way.

4Make People Pick Sides – Your Side

As an example, Chik-Fil-A’s marketing campaign has cows waging war on chickens for many years now. They stand on billboards and paint the words, “eat more chikin.”

Chik Fil A

In this same vein, think about how you can create a line in the sand for your customers to side with your business.

Can you wage war with some entity, whether real or fictional?

Is there a way to promote your business so customers “take sides?”

For instance, if you have veggie products, perhaps you can wage war on carnivores altogether. You can stage an epic battle with a hero versus villain story line and spread it across social media.

When you force people to picks sides – your side – they become closer to your brand and become raving fans.

Look at the epic battles between Mac and PC or IPhone and Android users. Fans of each of these brands fight for their chosen side. And they stick with them despite logical reasons to jump ship.

5Social Media Tools

At this point, you know the importance of social media marketing. More people peruse social media than engage with actual humans these days – and yes, it’s crazy!

However, one of the hardest parts of social media marketing is finding the time to keep up with all the profiles on various social channels.

Two time-saving options (among others) I’ve used are Buffer and Hootsuite. They allow the management of profiles in one place and have calendars to schedule posts. It’s a phenomenal way to keep up and scale your efforts.

For instance, I spend about 2 hours every Sunday planning the social media content for the upcoming week. Everything from quote cards updates, articles, advice snippets, etc. It’s all scheduled at once, and it’s posted throughout the week without pressing enter for every single update.

Using a social media management tool can help ensure consistency in your updates and free up the most precious resource required to run a business…time!

Final Thoughts

If nothing else, I hope these got the wheels turning. Trying to stand out in a noisy world is tough and requires creative thinking and strategic planning.

Whether you try one or all of the tips above, I’m confident they can help spark some visibility and aid in your growth efforts.

Are there marketing tips for foodpreneurs that you can share?

If so, I’d love to hear your comments below!

Also, grab a copy of the 10 Rules of Entrepreneurship below with some helpful advice for getting starting on your entrepreneurial journey!

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Find out the most important part of having an idea, why you should double or triple expectations, a vital step before you create a product or service, how to build lasting trust with your customers, and more!

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