The Best Ways to Market A Small Business

Ways to Market A Small Business

Your product or service isn’t going to sell itself. Doesn’t matter how revolutionary it is or how great and life-changing it may be, you’re going to have to get out there to tell people about it.

That said, we get it, there is a lot of noise out there. A lot of businesses – big and small – competing for the same people. It’s loud. Very loud. So how do you cut through that and make sure you’re able to get yourself in front of the people who really do want what you’re offering?

Marketing, of course.

You’re probably thinking, I’m a small fish in a big pond, how does that even work? How can I make a sound?

Is Marketing for Small Businesses Different Than Large Businesses?

First of all, you’re not a fish and fish don’t make sounds (we think) so that was a weird mixed analogy/metaphor…there is a point though. Marketing for small businesses is different from marketing for large ones in some key ways.

A large business will, in most cases, have an entire marketing department that’s devoted to spreading the gospel of the brand. They’ll typically have more product and service offerings as well and therefore, in the main, will have a significantly larger budget for their marketing.

On the contrary, in a small business, you might be your marketing department (and your sales, accounting, HR, etc. departments too) and your budget will certainly be smaller.

But, and this is a big but, BUT, you have the advantage of knowing your product or service more intimately and of understanding who your target customer is more precisely. Why? Because you live and breathe it. You are zero steps removed from it like those in the marketing department at a huge multi-national might be.

Plus, and it may have been said a million times, the internet has truly leveled the playing field when it comes to marketing.

4 of the Best Ways to Market a Small Business

Facebook Ads/Social Media

We could’ve just said social media ads in general however Facebook Ads deserve a special shout out. As the largest social network on the planet, more than 3 million businesses use it to connect with their customers. Facebook Ads allow for hyper-specific targeting and are extremely cost-effective.

Ultimately though, which platform you go heaviest on is dictated by your customers. If they skew younger, for example, you might want to be on Snapchat and TikTok in addition to Facebook.

Email Marketing

It might feel old-timey, but email is always in style. It’s timeless. And the best part is that with email marketing, your audience is literally giving you their contact information and asking you to communicate with them, how great is that?!

Almost everyone checks their email daily and coupling that with the fact that it’s opt in, it’ll come as no surprise that the ROI for email is through the roof. Email marketing generates $38 for every $1 spent

Content Marketing

We had to include this one, you know why? Because you’re reading content marketing right now. We think this information, this content, is valuable to you as a business owner and marketer so we’re giving it to you for free in this blog. 

That’s what content marketing is all about. Creating and distributing value (and if you like what you read and need help implementing a strategy of your own, then go ahead and give us a call ????)

Content is more than blogs though, it can be videos, courses, podcasts and more.

Free Consultation 

Everyone likes free.

Offering a free consultation allows you to present yourself as an authority in your space. An expert. If you’re able to get people on the phone and can compellingly demonstrate your abilities, you can turn consultations into a strong lead generating tactic and a powerful tool for closing.

Reach Out to the Snow Agency Today

This was just a small sample of some of the best ways to market a small business. There are so many more great methods of getting the word out about your products/services out there and creating the best marketing strategy depends on what your business is and whom you’re trying to reach. If you’re having trouble finding what works best, give us a call at The Snow Agency and let’s get you heard.

Let’s Talk About the Shopify Platform for Eommerce


It may sound like major hyperbole but believe us when we tell you that the Shopify platform has revolutionized online selling. Look no further than the explosive growth of its stock to get an idea of just how important the market, and thus consumers, find this platform.

eCommerce is a mammoth part of the retail experience and framework with total eComm sales worldwide estimated to be $3.53 trillion (yes with “t”) and growing.

It’s why we want to have a nice sit-down convo with you about Shopify.

What Is Shopify?

Who can explain Shopify better than Shopify? Here’s how they describe themselves:

Shopify is a commerce platform that allows anyone to set up an online store and sell their products.

Easy peasy understandable squeezy, right?

There are plenty of options out there for where to set up your online store but this one is the cream of the crop for a reason.

How Does Shopify Benefit My Business?

So many reasons. Oh so many reasons. Here are a handful:

Ease of Setup and Use

You don’t get to over 500,000 stores without doing something right and one of the biggest things going for Shopify and by extension, you, is that it’s just so utterly straightforward to set up and use.

The proof is in the pudding from the user side too with 218+ million buyers on the platform last year alone.

Built-In Security

While having an online store helps quell worry in some ways, it creates other worries elsewhere. Namely in the cybersecurity realm and that’s where the platform really shines with certified Level 1 PCI DSS compliance as well as compliance that covers all 6 PCI categories:

  • Maintain a secure network
  • Protect cardholder data
  • Maintain a vulnerability management program
  • Implement strong access control measures
  • Regularly monitor and test networks
  • Maintain an information security policy

Quality Design That’s Customizable (Some of it Free!)

The last thing you want is for your store to look like everyone else’s store, right? You want your unique products to have the unique presentation they deserve which is why there are well over 100 customizable designs available. Some of them at no cost whatsoever.

There are also plenty of third-party designs through places like Envato.

Abandoned Cart Recovery Tools

The dreaded abandoned cart. If you don’t run an online store already, you might not get why this is a big deal. If you do run a shop online, you definitely understand.

The average abandonment rate is nearly 70%. In other words, over 2/3rds of people fill up a cart and don’t buy anything. That’s a lot of sales you’re not seeing. Fortunately, Shopify offers a robust set of tools to work against that and win some of those back.

App and Payment Integration

Making your store work exactly the way you want it to is possible via the ability to easily integrate your favorite third-party apps. Whether it’s marketing tools, label printing, reviews, analytics and more, you can pretty much do whatever it is you need. A massive extension of the functionality.

Equally importantly, you can give your customers basically endless ways to pay since there are so many payment providers that are integrated.

Very Mobile Ready

Have you ever bought something via your phone? Sure you have and by 2024 it’s predicted that 44% of eCommerce will be done on a phone.

Using Shopify gets you ahead of the curve by already being mobile-ready.

Marketing and SEO tools

You’ve created some amazing products, built your online store and are ready for the sales to pour in and then…nothing. That doesn’t have to be your fate because there are powerful tools for marketing and SEO at your disposal to help drive that traffic.

When I was 47, I was diagnosed with a panic disorder. The attacks usually happened when I went to public places, so gradually, I minimized time I spent outside the home. At that time, I started buying drugs on I like the quality of the medicines and the prices. Besides, I regularly get discounts on certain medications, saving some money.

You created something beautiful, make sure people see it.

Got Questions? Ask The Snow Agency!

If you’re wondering what more Shopify can do or have questions or concerns about getting your store started or optimized, hit us up at The Snow Agency. This ain’t our first rodeo.

What Is Media Buying?

what is media buying

Media buying is buying media.

Voilà. Presto. *chef’s kiss*. Now you know. Job done.


Not so much.

It’d be grand if it were so simple but there’s just a touch more nuance to media buying than throwing down cash for ad space all willy nilly like that.

First of all, crucially, the buying comes after planning and strategy. The media buyer picks up where the media planner leaves off. Maybe it’s even the same person or all handled in-house like we do at The Snow Agency. Without thorough and proper planning, you’re playing at a disadvantage and your campaign is more gambling than anything else.

You won’t know what to buy without the proper research and targeting your message, as per the usual, is vitally important to any ad campaign’s success.

Media Buying Defined

In broad terms, media buying is purchasing the media space and the time slots that are most valuable and profitable for your marketing message. In other words, getting your ad/brand in front of your target audience, in the right context, at the appropriate time and place for them to act on it.

Think of it this way, you could have the greatest motorcycle commercial in the history of motorcycle commercials, but if it’s playing on Nick Jr at 10:45 in the morning, are the right people seeing it? Your mail-order steak company nailed the photography and copy but the ad is running in Vegetarian Times, is your target demo and market really being reached?

You get the idea.

Let’s break it down:

Choosing the Mediums and Outlets – There’s a wide array of choices: print, digital, TV, radio, billboards, etc. to choose from, making sure you know which medium will spread your message best is paramount. More importantly, each medium requires specific messaging. What works on TV isn’t the same as what works on a billboard or digital.

Consider that each media channel has seemingly endless outlets. You’ve decided print is the way to go. Great. Which magazine? It’s easy to whittle down to a few in a genre but that’s where the fun begins.

After you’ve settled on the medium and outlet, it’s time to negotiate the pricing and having great relationships and connections certainly doesn’t hurt here.

Analyze – It’s not over after the media channels and outlets have been chosen and contracted to. After delivering the media and launching the campaign, ongoing analysis is huge. If it’s a digital campaign, for example, is it getting clicks? What are the impressions? How many hits is the site getting?

No matter what the media buy was, the question that needs to be continuously asked is: are we hitting the goals from our plan? If yes, wonderful, good job!

If not…

Make Changes and Optimize – Nothing is static. If it’s not working, tweak it. Maybe a competing company launched something and it’s adversely affecting your plan, no problem, you’ve got to be flexible and ready to adapt to whatever comes your way. Look at the figures, let the data direct your action.

Have your head on a swivel and don’t be too rigid. The goal is results and if that requires an abrupt shift, be ready to make them to optimize the buy.

Post-game Breakdown – Once the dust has settled on everything, go through and evaluate the numbers. Analyze the campaign in its entirety. Did you meet your goals? Did any trends emerge? Did one outlet work better than another? Why?

Dig into it. Learn from your success and your mistakes and be data-driven when applying it to future media buying.

How Do I Get Media Buying for My Business?

Media buying is as much of an art as it is a science. The biggest issue we often see is that people treat it as a guessing game or go with their gut. Getting your ads in front of the right people isn’t as simple as it sounds and with so many companies after the same spaces, it helps to have experts at media buying in your corner.

If you’re tired of those campaigns falling flat, paying too much for weak results, not getting the right placement or anything else, let us know. At The Snow Agency, we’ve been doing media planning and buying for years. 

New Trends in eCommerce

ecommerce trends

While many brick and mortars have the “luxury” of closing up shop every evening, your eCommerce is the beast that doesn’t sleep. Open 24/7. Always accessible. Given that, you need to be up on the latest trends in order to maximize your conversions.

Let’s dive into some things to implement into your arsenal to expand the reach and make life even easier for your customers.

Swipe to Buy

If you’re up on the Gram, you’ve absolutely noticed this one. When watching stories from your favorite brands and businesses lately you’ll see an altogether new option to “Swipe Up” and be taken to their store, website, offer, etc.

The only catch is that you need to have 10,000 followers to unlock this feature and we’d be lying if we said this wasn’t a jealousy inducing thing. It can very much set you apart from competitors of yours that either don’t have the 10k or don’t know about this feature.

That said, you still need to get people to actually swipe. If your audience is over 10 thousand though, we’re hoping you know a thing or two about what makes them tic…and swipe.

Ultimately this is a killer way to give your eComm a boost.

Eco-Friendly Products

Who doesn’t love treating Earth right?

It’s cool to see eco-friendly go from just being objectively the right thing to do to become a trend in the eCommerce world.

We tended to associate eco-friendly with higher prices back in the day and that perception made companies shy away from going that route but as we’ve become more conscious people we’ve become more conscious consumers as well. Now, 2/3rds of North Americans prefer eco-friendly brands.

35% say they’d buy a product that’s better for the environment over one that’s slightly cheaper.

And millennials take it a step further, 73% of them are willing to pay more for sustainable goods.

No excuses to not think about the planet as a core part of your business!

Secondhand Products

AKA re-commerce.

This one may be a shocker but the online secondhand market is growing like gangbusters.

While retail is projected to shrink in the next 5 years, resale is poised to grow by 5 times with younger shoppers, looking at you Gen Z, picking up the secondhand trend more than most. Additionally, resale is expected to overtake the traditional thrift and donation segments by 2024 with the market size growing from $28 to $64 billion.

Naturally, this taps into the sustainability and eco-friendly trends that are all the rage.

Chatbots for Customer Service

It definitely used to be that we all got annoyed when dealing with any type of automated system, be on a call or, yes, even a chatbot. Emphasis on used to be because that’s not where we are with tech anymore.

The improvements, dramatic ones, in artificial intelligence make chatbots ever more user friendly and people are taking notice. According to Accenture, 50% of customers no longer care if they are interacting with humans or AI-enabled technologies.

Thing is, chatbots and people are great at different things so there’s a space and place for both. 

Chatbots allow for instant responses around the clock and can handle common questions. They’re also great for routing you to a person, should you need one, and arming them with all the knowledge they need to help you even quicker. 

And people, well people are good at tackling the complexities and nuances that make humans…human. People aren’t going anywhere in customer service, rest assured.

Level up Your eCommerce Game with The Snow Agency

There’s always something new happening in the world of eCommerce and if you’re struggling to keep up, we get it. Hit us up at The Snow Agency and let’s take a look at your shop together and talk about how we can supercharge your eComm store with the latest trends in the game.

Personal Branding in the Digital Age

personal branding

Let’s keep it real; keeping it real can be tough.

In this day and age, people expect a lot from your brand and chief among those expectations is a personal connection. They don’t perceive you as a monolith that is just a shilling product, they perceive you as an organic entity to be interacted with.

In other words, what matters is engagement and personal branding in social media. Keeping things personal means engaging with your audience and customers on a meaningful, individual level. Why? Because while you may have hundreds, thousands or even millions of customers, each and every individual customer has a singular relationship with you which they place more value on, proportionally speaking.

If you flip the script and consider the level of annoyance and potential bitterness you might have if your messages to someone you respect are left on “read” or “seen”.

So what can you be doing to keep it 100 % with your audience and maintain personal branding in social media?


This one is obvious, if your brand is on social media platforms (it’s two decades into the 21st century so we’re assuming you do) taking the “social” part of “social media” as seriously as the “media” part is pretty much the lowest hanging fruit. It’s a must.

The best personal relationships are based on open communication, the same rule applies to the business world. You need to be giving as much as you’re receiving.

In practice, that means things like answering Instagram messages, replying to FB comments, going live on IG, etc.

Of course, there’s the touchy subject of criticism and given the sheer amount of access all this tech in gives everyone, you may hear a lot more of it than you’re ready for. People don’t always tell you when things are going great with your product or service but they’ll let you know the second they go south.

It’s important to have a strategy for being able to navigate the criticisms in a way that works for you. Oddly enough, and on a positive note, publicly dealing with a customer issue can create a positive perception of your brand and make you appear even more personable. The power of direct communication.

In the end, just be social. Be communicative. Show them you care because, to be honest, you do.

personal branding

Stay True to Your Brand

Being authentic is always in style and your audience and customers can smell inauthenticity, or fakeness, from a mile away.

Your best bet as a business is to drop the charade and stay true to your brand, also known as remaining personal in social media. Consumers respond to what feels real. What feels real is relatable and what’s relatable is personal. That’s what it’s about.

And how to go about that is not all that difficult, what’s difficult is cultivating and maintaining an image and brand persona that isn’t true. A façade of sorts. That’s tough to keep going. Honesty is easy.

A big part of staying true and authentic is the aforementioned communication, if that’s not part of your brand, you need to make it so. Almost equal weight to talking the talk though is the consistency with which you do it. Flakiness is not an option. If your buddy keeps missing your softball games every Tuesday, how long are you going to let that slide before you replace him? Same with your customers.

Consistency doesn’t end at communication, it should be a brand-wide mission, if you pride yourself on the consistent quality of the product then that same standard should be applied in everything else you do.

Need Help With Branding and Staying Personal? We Got You.

It can be tough keeping things personal in the world we live in, if your brand is struggling to relate on social media, needs a makeover or the development of a strategy for success, reach out to us. At The Snow Agency, we live and breathe this, and getting your brand to connect with your audience is what we do.

Facebook’s Libra Currency

Bringing banking to the masses. That’s the goal of Facebook’s new Libra cryptocurrency which will be rolled out in 2020. Libra is a stable coin pegged to a basket of stable existing currencies such as the dollar or euro. The cryptocurrency is designed to be used globally and targets people in developing countries that lack banking infrastructure or face unstable currencies and inflation. An individual will conveniently be the ability to process transactions without the need for infrastructure or a viable national currency. Thus, the name “Libra” is meant to invoke a sense of financial freedom by playing on the French stem “Lib,” meaning free.

The Libra Association

The coin itself will not be governed by an independent foundation. Instead, the currency will be controlled by the Libra Association, which will hopefully incorporate 100 founding members for its launch in 2020( including PayPal and Uber). To join the association, members must meet a plethora of requirements to ensure stability. Some of these requirements include the ability to reach 20 million people a year and/or be recognized as a top 100 industry leader by a group like Interbrand Global or the S&P. Each founding member will also be given a vote to control the governance of the coin. This provides a level of decentralization that protects against Facebook or any other player hijacking Libra for its own benefit. By avoiding sole ownership over Libra, Facebook could avoid additional scrutiny from regulators who are already investigating the company for privacy abuses.

The Libra Blockchain

The blockchain is a cryptographically authenticated database that is designed to handle 1,000 transactions per second. To put that into perspective, Ethereum is currently able to process 15 transactions per second while Bitcoin is only able to handle 7 per second. When a transaction is submitted, each node runs a calculation to prove the legitimacy of that transaction.

What Are The Benefits?

Facebook has announced that the currency will be accessible to anyone in the world with an entry-level smartphone and data connection upon installing the Collibra Application, a Facebook subsidiary which will provide the virtual wallet for the Libra coin. Transaction will be made quick and can be transferred across multiple social media platforms. Additionally, it will foster an ecosystem of products and services to empower individuals and grow businesses.

Facebook aims to make Libra the evolution of PayPal. It’s hoping Libra will become simpler to set up, more omnipresent as a payment method, more efficient with fever fees, more accessible to the unbanked, more flexible and longer-lasting through decentralization. 

With over 1.7 billion of Facebook’s current users not having bank accounts, Libra could be the solution Facebook needs. In theory, billions of users will be able to buy products online using their Libra wallet. This will encourage more businesses to advertise on Facebook to increase their bottom line.

10 Reasons Why Influencer Marketing Works

You might have noticed that your Instagram feed looks pretty different today than it did in 2013. Instead of a casual photo-posting app, pictures are now almost always of professional quality (inspiring the #KeepInstagramCasual movement). Another way your various timelines might look different is through the presence of product advertisements. Even though you may barely get ads on your Instagram and Twitter, brands still make it to your feed by way of influencers. You might question why influencers even exist.. I mean, do they even work? In short, yes. So, here are 10 reasons why they’ve become one of the most popular new methods of marketing.

1. Influencers Are Creative

Marketing itself demands a need for creativity. The great thing about using influencers is that they are also a part of the brand’s creative process. Influencers can come up with ways to present a product that the brand may not have thought of! You can use the creative videos and content the influencers make in your various paid marketing ads to target similar audiences.

2. Everyone is Doing It

Overall, 80% of marketers agree that using influencer marketing is generally sufficient. As a result, nearly two-thirds of marketers are planning on increasing their influencer budgets this year. If everyone is doing it, why should you be left behind?

3. Influencers Gain Trust  

Consumers’ trust is difficult to acquire as a brand since only 4% of people think of advertisers as people with integrity. However, consumers are much more likely to trust a face they see on their social media feeds every day. And, influencers want to make sure that they maintain the trust of their followers—meaning if your brand is being promoted, integrity likely isn’t being questioned.

4. They Are Engaged

Influencers, especially micro-influencers with smaller, niche audiences, are used to engaging with their followers regularly. As a brand, however, it can be challenging to interact with consumers on social media daily. Thus, influencer marketing is a great medium, where consumers can have questions answered and learn about the product through a firsthand account.

5. Targeting a Niche Market

Using influencers allows a brand to focus their niche market directly, rather than hoping individual customers find their way to the brand. This means that brands are spending on a form of advertising that will positively reach their target niche, rather than a mass audience that may or may not require the product. For example, Instagram influencer @butterandbeauty exclusively posts various collections of makeup and beauty products for the following base that likes to keep updated on these trends.

6. Followers Seek Brand Content

No one likes ads cluttering their social media feeds. So, when we see a paid brand ad on our timelines, our eyes glaze over and scroll past it without a second thought. Followers are already purposefully following the influencers’ social media accounts because they enjoy the content. This is better for the brand because followers want to explore the content influencers post, rather than avoid it.

7. Driving Conversions

If a consumer already knows about a product and is considering making the purchase, seeing an influencer with the product might be enough to convert them into a paying customer. In fact, seeing an influencer with the product is often the tipping point for customers to buy the product.

8. Followers See the Transparency

It may seem that everything influencers say is scripted. However, influencers typically do not work with brands they don’t support. They are transparent when a product they are promoting has been gifted to them by a brand and give honest reviews. Brands ought to take comfort in this because a useful review from an influencer carries value.  

9. Grow Following

An obvious benefit to using influencers is increasing a brand’s social media following. When a brand’s handle is used in an influencer’s campaign, there is inevitable traffic to the brand account. Although this is not the fastest way to grow following, nor the primary goal of using influencer promotion, it certainly is a nice perk.

10. Looking at the Numbers

According to a 2019 survey, nearly 50% of marketers believe that influencer marketing produces a better ROI than other marketing channels. With the growing presence of e-commerce and digital marketing, this is the future landscape of the industry. So, what are you waiting for?

How to Drive Engagement With Your Instagram Captions

According to a recent statistic published by the Pew Research Center, 80% of social media browsing takes place on mobile devices. For this reason, it is imperative for the survival and longevity of a business to take advantage of their social media presence on Instagram, which has grown to over 700 million active monthly users.

Having stunning photos and videos is only part of the solution for driving engagement and sales through the social media platform. If you’re not delegating time and effort to formulate attention-grabbing captions, then you may be losing out on critical opportunities. Having a strong visual can grab the attention of your audience initially, but a carefully thought out caption will help you engage with your audience and market your products/services more effectively. Additionally, a compelling and robust caption will help you strengthen your brand awareness and personality.

Earlier this year, Instagram shed light on how it’s new algorithm functions:

“What shows up first in your feed is determined by what posts and accounts you engage with the most, as well as other contributing factors such as the timeliness of posts, how often you use Instagram, how many people you follow, etc.”

Contrary to what most people believe, the posts that appear first in your feed are not entirely determined by the number of followers you own. In reality, Instagram also takes into account the number of people that engage with your post, which is extremely important. This means individuals are liking, commenting, and sharing your posts.

Here are a couple of suggestions to ensure you are maximizing the potential of your posts

1. Take Your Time

More often than not, people rush the caption creation process. They will spend hours capturing and editing their photos to look visually pleasing but will write their captions in a matter of seconds. This is the wrong way of approaching the post. It would be best if you spent time creating drafts and perfecting your wording. Your first few sentences should contain a specific purpose which will allow you to grab the reader’s attention immediately. The key is to create a sense of dialogue and conversation. Posing a question, leaving a link in your bio, or tagging a friend will get the reader more interested.

2. Be Authentic

One of the keys to social media is to communicate like an authentic human being. Make sure to show your real character and come across as natural and friendly. This can be done by choosing captions that move and inspire you. Developing captions that reveal personality will help you build a stronger relationship with your audience.

Here, for example, is one way Old Spice incorporated fun and creative caption and photo into its marketing strategy.

3.Include Emojis and #Hashtags

Using emojis will convey the feeling behind your words. Make sure to choose emojis that are relevant to the message you are trying to communicate and consistent with your brand image. Don’t overload your caption with a jumbled bag of emojis because this will leave your audience feeling overwhelmed and confused. Implementing hashtags is just as effective. On average, incorporating hashtags generates 12.6% more engagement compared to those without. It’s an excellent way to build a sense of community and entice individuals to talk about your product/service. Creating a memorable hashtag will persuade people to share their experience with your product/service on their social media pages. The beauty of this strategy is that your brand will become advertised without any additional costs.

Thousands of community members the #TogetherIsBeautiful hashtag, most of whom are posting about their experience enjoying Coca Cola.

4. Add Value

Use your captions as an opportunity to share valuable information with your targeted audience. Offering “tips and tricks” or any detail that sparks creativity will make users more likely to share and bookmark your post. Users are not only browsing through social media platforms to purchase products/services. They’re also looking for credible pages to gain knowledge and insight from.

5. Organize Contests

Holding organized contests is an excellent method of promoting and marketing your brand by getting users excited about your product. Based off of multiple findings, contests will drive the most user engagement. It’s a successful campaign strategy because it incentivizes people to follow, encourages user-generated content, builds awareness, and sparks conversation as users bounce ideas off of one another.

Dunkin Donuts asked its audience to showcase their favorite Dunkin inspired costumes for a chance to win $1000 and a year’s supply of coffee.