Best quick marketing tips for local businesses

If there were 5 easy things you could do to grow your local business, gain new leads and increase your profit margin, wouldn't you want to know? 

Below are our 5 quick & easy tips you can do today that should help you market your business in the long run. What are your best business tips?

1. Set a goal

Whether you want to get more people in the door, book more appointments or grow your client base, it's essential to have clear goals in mind to help keep your business growth on track. 

2. Get online and build relationships

Whether it's a website, social media or online advertising, make sure your business has some form of online presence to ensure you're not missing a major market. Social media is also wonderful for building relationships with other local businesses and the local media. 

3. Make it personal

When it comes to local businesses, it's imperative to keep the personal touch alive in your business. You may choose to do this by including your name or photo in your flyers and promotional materials, or even by recording a promotional video about your business. 

4. Network

Join your local Chamber of Commerce, support community events and fundraisers and get involved with nearby events to build a relationship with your community and fellow business owners that will benefit you in the long run.

5. Celebrate yourself

Don't be afraid to tell the world what's different about your business and any successes you have along the way. If you win an industry award or reach a big milestone, use it as a marketing opportunity. Make sure to get in touch with local media who will no doubt be happy to cover your event on radio or in the newspaper. 

Need help with marketing?

We know West Cork businesses, and we're available to help. Contact us now for a no-obligation quote or just to chat about how we can help your business.


How to create a marketing video for your business - 5 questions to ask yourself

Lots of local businesses in West Cork and beyond are turning to video marketing to tell potential customers about their company and inform their target audience about their products and services. 

In the age of social media, video has quickly become an extremely useful tool to spread your message both locally and within a wider group. Using targeting to reach a particular demographic can be incredibly effective. 

Below we've outlined some questions to ask yourself BEFORE you begin planning your video. These questions will help you decide which direction to go in. Need some help? We provide video creation and social media services for businesses in West Cork, so make sure to get in touch if you have any questions. 

1. What do I want people to do after they watch my video?

Like your page? Sign up for a mailing list? Come to your store? Have a clear objective in mind before you begin. 

2. What is the estimated length of the video? 

45% of viewers stop watching videos after 1 minute and 60% don't make it to 2 minutes. Keep your video short, snappy and effective.

3. What is your budget?

You don't have to have a big budget, but having a figure in mind helps keep the project on track. 

4. Where will people watch the video? 

The production of a video intended for Facebook will differ slightly from one intended for a website - be clear on where you want your video to be used. 

5. What's the essential information that needs to be included?

Have a checklist of your Unique Selling Points that must be mentioned and make sure they get covered. 

Want to learn more about marketing your West Cork business?

Get in touch with us by emailing or calling us on 028.21200 for more information about our services or a no-quibbles quote. 

How to encourage word of mouth marketing for West Cork businesses

Have you heard of word of mouth marketing? It's one of the oldest advertising techniques in the book, and even in the age of social media and digital marketing, it's still one of the most important strategies to employ. Essentially, word of mouth marketing consists of encouraging your customers to recommend your products or services to their friends or family.

Why is word of mouth so essential? Well, it's well known that a recommendation from a friend influences 92% of all customers to make a purchase. Below are a few techniques you can try to ensure your customers want to recommend you to their peers.

1. Treat your customers

Giving your customers an above average customer experience is the best way to encourage them to recommend you to friends and family, so make sure the basics of your operation is customer-experience orientated. Ensure your staff is friendly, polite and helpful at all times, and go out of your way to make sure the customer is happy.

2. Digital tools

There are several online tools you can use to encourage your clients to leave you a review online, such as email reminders, social media apps and website plug-ins. 

3. Equip the customer

Make it easy for your customer to review you to their friends by equipping them with reasons to talk about your business. This could be anything from insider knowledge, great service or a great story. In recent years, a popular trend has emerged for companies to supply a founding story to their customers, often using social media to spread this message, and it has proved extremely effective. 

4. Don't forget to ask

The best way to get a review from a customer? Ask. Ask them to tell their friends and family about your business. Ask them to leave you a review on Facebook. If you're up for any awards, as them to vote for you. You'd be surprised how effective this direct approach can be! 

Need help with marketing?

Just get in touch with us by emailing or calling 028-21200. We offer a range of marketing services, including digital consultations, design and print. 

6 ways to improve your social marketing strategy

Social Media Marketing continues to be big news for West Cork businesses. It's an extremely effective way to target specific audiences, segment customer groups and connect with potential clients. 

Many local businesses are using social marketing but would like an easy way to "level up" their efforts for maximum impact. 

Below are some quick tips for enhancing your social media presence:

1. You get out what you put in

The latest studies show that 6 hours of social media management per week leads to a 66% increase in lead generation and 61% improvement in search engine rankings on average - so it's certainly worth finding time in your schedule to devote to social. Alternatively, you can hire Star Creative to manage your social media for you, for a weekly fee. Get in touch for a quote. 

2. Think visual

Much like the physical ads you place in your local newspaper or the signage above your storefront, the visual aspect is hugely important in social media. In fact, visual content in shared 40 times more than text alone, and attractive visuals increases customer's willingness to read content by 80%. In practice, this means choosing eye-catching photos or graphics to accompany your material. 

3. Try a video

43% of people want more video content from local business. Whether it's seeing behind the scenes, learning more about the business or watching footage of an event, video is becoming an incredibly effective way of reaching customers. 

4. Add a newsletter sign-up

Whether you're already running an email marketing campaign or are just thinking about doing it in the future, you'd be foolish not to ask your social media audience to sign up to receive emails from you. You can easily integrate your MailChimp account with your Facebook page, or you can get in touch with us to do it for you. 

5. Build a relationship

Coca Cola can't respond to every customer who responds to them on Facebook or Twitter, but you can. Use social media as a way to build relationships with your clients and show your personality. Here's an interesting case study of an American company who predominately using social media marketing for their business.

6. Measure your results

It's all very well and good to devote 6 hours a week to social, but you need to be able to measure what good it's doing. Learn how to use the insight tools built into your chosen platform - Facebook, Twitter and MailChimp all have excellent tools already set up. Keep an eye on your engagement and impressions and you'll soon learn what your customers react to. 

Want to learn more? 

We offer social media training and management services, as well as complete marketing packages. Get in touch with us for a no-obligation quote. 

Should you text your customers? | Star Creative Weekly

Local business owners in West Cork have so many opportunities to get in touch with their customers - the local newspaper, email marketing, social media and word-of-mouth among others. But have you ever thought about texted your customers?

One of the main benefits of text message marketing is that SMS open rates are exceptionally high - a recent report showed them to be 98%, while the conversion rate skews towards 45%. This ensures a much higher return on investment than more traditional online marketing strategies. 

However, there are limitations on SMS marketing - space and cost being just a couple. But if you have a reader database, here are some ideas of ways you can use text messaging to reach your customers:

1. Sales Campaigns

Having a sale or hosting a big event? If used sparingly, text messaging can have huge impact in letting your customers know about your latest offer or campaign. The direct contact tends to grab attention and if timed wisely, you could tap into a huge market you would otherwise have missed. 

2. Order confirmation

Let your customers know that you're on top of their order by sending them a confirmation text message with an update on when it will be ready for pick up/delivery. 

3. Coupon

Why not run a special offer over text message? Let you customers have a special discount if they present the message on their phone in store on a particular day. Not only are you getting people into your store, you're also rewarding engagement. 

4. Appointment reminder

If you're in a business that involves appointments with customers, text messaging is a great way to send appointment reminders, which in turn minimise no shows.

5. Surveys

Ask your customers to complete a survey after they make a purchase with you via text message. Not only will you get their feedback, they're also more likely to engage with your survey if you prompt them over text. 

Need help with marketing?

Star Creative can help with all your marketing needs, including text messaging and other communications. We understand local businesses because we are a local business, so get in touch by calling 028-21200 or emailing to see how we can help you.

How to design the perfect business card | Star Creative Weekly

As business begins to move more towards digital, business cards have managed to retain their importance in the business world, and having a well-designed cards are very effective for making contacts and attracting new customers. 

Below are some tips for getting the most from your business cards:

1. Contact information

It should be a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised how often people forget to add their contact details to their cards. Make sure to include full phone number (and mobile if applicable) as well as an email address, website URL and social media information. If your business has a physical storefront, add the address and think about including a map. 

2. Branding

Make sure your cards reproduce your logo and branding. Your business cards should act as a gateway to your website and so you should see the same design elements in both. Use the same colour schemes and typeface where possible.

3. Clear

Not everyone has good eyesight, so make sure the text is easy to read at a glance. All the important information should be presented concisely and attractively, with plenty of white space to prevent it looking cluttered.

Need help designing your business cards?

We can design and print your cards for you. Give us a call on 028.21200 or email info@starcreative for a quote.



Is email marketing right for my local business?

Are you afraid of email? Email marketing has been a topic on lots of local business owners' minds recently, in West Cork and beyond, but many people find it intimidating and wonder if it's worth the effort. 

In reality, email marketing has a massive return on investment, and if you're going to allocate some of your marketing budget to digital, it's a great place to begin. Below we've outlined some of the main reasons why email marketing could be perfect for your local business:

1. Email isn't going anywhere

It's safe to say that email is going to retain its popularity. While social media sites tend to peak in popularity and decline over time, email has stood the test of time and is an integral part of most people's day. Investing in email is a long-term strategy that will pay off for your local business. 

2. Email has the best conversion rate

Email has an excellent click-through rate compared to other marketing mediums, and the return on investment for email tends to be much higher than with any other marketing endeavours. So if you want a big bang for your buck, email is the way to go. 

3. Email has the biggest 'audience' 

Although Facebook and Twitter boast huge numbers of active users, this figure still pales in comparison to email (a recent study showed there are 3 times more active email addresses than members of Facebook and Twitter combined). In fact, most people have at least one email address that they check regularly, so it's an obvious place to begin when building up your audience.

Want to learn more?

Wondering how to get email marketing off the ground for your business? We can help with that. Get in touch today and we'll talk you through the basics of email marketing and help you decide if it's right for your business. You can email or give us a call on 028-21200.

How to make the most out of your flyers

Flyers are a tried and tested way of attracting new customers, promoting your services and advertising your business. Even in the age of online and social media marketing, the demand for flyers hasn't waned, because they simply work

The beauty of flyers is that it can be kept and read at the audience's leisure - we've all seen them stuck on fridges or kept beside the phone. With that in mind, you'll want to put in the effort to make sure your flyers really work for your business. Below we've outlined some things to bear in mind while producing your next batch of flyers:

1. Attractive design

Your flyer should be well-designed using eye-catching details to ensures it gets noticed. A graphic designer will be able to incorporate your branding into the initial design to ensure your flyer is instantly recognisable.

2. dynamic content

Customers could easily forget the name of your business or what you're trying to sell them, but they will likely pay more attention to what your flyer is offering them. Make sure to include interesting content that illustrates why your business is different from others and how it can fulfil a need for your customer. 

3. Distribution

It's all very well and good having excellent flyers if nobody sees them. Get the word out about your business by displaying your flyers in your place of business and distributing them around the town. Ask other businesses if they will display your flyer at their counter and drop some off at the tourist office too. You could also think about organising a door-to-door drop, or inserting your flyer into a local newspaper or other publication.

PS: Don't forget to add contact details! 

A very common mistake that gets made is when businesses forget to add contact details on their flyer. You should make it very easy for customers to find your business, whether it's by adding a phone number, website URL or even a map. 

Need some help?

We're experts in designing effective flyers for a host of local businesses and we'd love to help you get the most out of your marketing budget. We can also help with distribution and inserts into The Southern Star. Get in touch today for a quote on your next project. 

4 ways to market your business to overseas visitors this summer

As the days get longer and we approach tourist season in West Cork, it's a good time to rethink your marketing strategy for the coming months and consider the fact that visitors to the area could be converted into customers over the summer period. 

Here are some ideas we've thought of to make sure tourists and visitors know exactly what products and services you're offering:

1. Flyers

An old reliable, flyers work particularly well with overseas visitors who are looking for ideas of where to eat/shop/stay in the local area. We recommend designing a batch of simple flyers that illustrate exactly what your business offers and distribute them at tourist centres, hotel lobbies and other tourist hotspots. It's a good idea to include a picture of your shop front or map, so that people unfamiliar with the local area will still be able to find you. 

2. First impressions

Sure, every local knows where your business is and what it does, but what about visitors to the area? Take a walk across the road and look at your business from the outside. Could you do with a sandwich board outside to promote a particular product or service? Or could you benefit from an eye-catching window design or posters? These things are relatively inexpensive but could help travellers to the area notice your business. 

3. Be social 

...both in person and online. Make sure your brand has a presence at all local events and always present a cheerful and pleasant face to customers. Furthermore, make sure you have social media set up and update it regularly. More and more tourists are researching businesses in the area they plan to visit BEFORE they ever get on a plane, so make it easy for them to find you by maintaining an active social media account.

4. Advertise wisely

Advertising your business is essential, but make sure you're doing it in the right way. Think about the publications tourists are bound to pick up - maps, local attraction guides and event listings - and make sure your company has an suitable advert in each. These types of ads typically see high conversion rates leading to more sales.

Need help with marketing? 

Just contact us for a no-hassle quote - call us on 028-21200 or email

4 low-cost ways to market your local business

We often get approached by small local businesses who are looking for low cost ways to market their services. The fact is that small businesses often don't have the marketing budget to spend on big campaigns, and need plenty of bang for their buck from every cent they spend. 

Below we're sharing our top five low-cost ways to market your business:

1. Get Social

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past decade, you'll know that social media marketing is essential for any small business. Whether you're a coffee shop or a hairdressers, gardener or accountant, Facebook is a great place to start getting your name out there. Not sure where to start with social media? Read our recent blog post 5 ways to grow your Facebook followers.

2. Flyers

Flyers are a cheap but extremely effective way of marketing your business. Although digital is becoming big news, we find that people still love to have a tangible product that they can browse at their leisure or refer back to. A well-designed flyer can do wonders for your business and attract new customers.

PS: We're running a great flyer promotion on our email newsletter at the moment. Make sure you're signed up to take advantage! 

3. Get involved

Get your name out in your target audience by getting involved in the local community. Host a coffee morning, sponsor a local event or donate a prize in a fundraiser to get your brand out there and introduce yourself to potential customers.

4. Special offer

Consider running an eye-catching promotion or special offer to bring people in to your business. Offering a product at a ground-breaking price for a limited time could attract lifelong customers who otherwise wouldn't have found you. 

Need help?

Looking for someone to help with your marketing? Get in touch to see what we can do for your business.

5 ways to use Twitter to grow your small business

Although Facebook is seen as the main social network to get involved in, many local businesses find they hit a different, yet still valuable, demographic by joining Twitter. As the Star Creative team are the same people behind The Southern Star's social media, we've learned a thing or two about using Twitter for business. So if you're thinking about launching a Twitter account, read on below for our top tips. 

1. Be consistent

The most important thing to bear in mind when launching any new social media account is to be patient and consistent with your posting. It may take a while to see any benefit of using Twitter, so you need to be prepared to put some time in initially.

2. Get involved with the community

Find out if there is a hashtag for your local area - for example, #WestCork - and use it when relevant. This allows people to find you more easily. 

3. Keep an eye on mentions

Whenever a Twitter user tags you, you should get a notification which can be viewed by clicking the bell symbol in the top navigation bar. Keeping an eye on this tab allows you to keep track of what people are saying about you, and gives you the opportunity to join the conversation where appropriate. 

4. Don't be afraid to ask

Want more followers? Ask for them. Want people to retweet your latest offer? Ask them. A recent study by Salesforce showed that you were 12 times more likely to get a retweet just by asking. 

5. Be yourself...

... And talk to people. Allow people to get to know your brand by engaging in conversations and showing your company's personality. 

Need help with your social media?

Star Creative offers a number of services to help you get more customers and sales from your social media. Call us on 028-21200 or email to learn more. 

3 steps to building a digital strategy for your local business | Star Creative

3 steps to building a digital strategy for your local business | Star Creative

More and more, local business around West Cork are learning that they can't ignore digital, and that every business needs an online strategy, however basic. Many small business owners get intimidated by the thought of building a new strategy from scratch, but in reality the process can be boiled down to the following three steps:

How to create a sales folder | Star Creative

How do you present your marketing materials to clients in a professional and concise way without overwhelming them? That's a question many local business owners have asked us, and it's a problem our own sales team had encountered. So we came up with a simple but hugely effective solution and we're so happy with the result that we want to share it with other local businesses. 

The solution was easy - we created a sales presentation folder that our sales team can take to client meetings or hand out to potential customers at events or presentations. Inside the attractive folder, there are a selection of marketing materials such as flyers, price lists and brochures that our customers can review at their leisure. 

We've found that these folders help our team make a polished and professional first impression, and as each one includes a business card with the contact details of the relevant salesperson, there's a clear point of contact for the client should they wish to pursue our services.

You can see an example of a folder we designed for a client below, and we've also shared some tips for making the most out of your new folders.

3 Tips for Building Your Sales Folder

1. Bear in mind that you may have all the required elements at hand already. Think about the flyers you use to promote your services at present, and the marketing materials like price lists that you share with customers. Could they be slotted into a folder to build up a marketing kit? If so, you're halfway there. 

2. Be brand aware. A professional folder is a great opportunity to present your brand name and logo in an impactful way. It's also a good idea to choose colours that complement your branding for a cohesive effect.

3. Identify the main issues that would cause someone to need your services, and address these clearly in your folder. Think about the top 3 to 5 frustrations or problems customers may have and how your product or service will solve their frustrations.

Case Study: Celtic Ross Hotel

The client wanted a clean and contemporary way of presenting marketing materials that set them apart from the crowd and impressed their target demographic. We designed a classic folder which incorporated their branding and used discreet but effective printing methods to convey professionalism and sophistication.

Want One For Your Business?

We can design an effective sales folder for your business. For a quote, call us on 028-21200 or email

You can also use the form below to request a quote for design and printing of a sales folder, or any other Star Creative services:

Name *

Does my local business need a website? | Star Creative

Many local business owners wonder if they need a website to promote their products or services. While building a website initially can seem like a time-consuming task, in reality the time and energy you spend setting up an online home for your business is well spent and can help you find and retain new customers. Below we've outlined four reasons why every local business should have their own website:

1. Build Authority

Having a dedicated website gives your business authority. First impressions count, and because so many customers now do their preliminary research online, it's important to have a professional looking site to encourage people to visit your business offline and potentially make a purchase with you. 

2. Consumer Research

You can use analytics to discover who is visiting your site, which can be an invaluable marketing asset that informs your marketing strategy. For example, if your website analytics tell you that 80% of your customers are female, it will make it easier for you to know which products to stock and how to advertise your services.

3. Give Information

It's good to make information like opening hours, phone number and location details easy for your customers to find. Customers appreciate having a way of getting in touch with you easily and because your website is accessible 24/7, you don't have to worry about being out of touch.

4. Window Shopping

Gone are the days when the only way window shopping happened was by strolling down main street and taking in the window displays as you passed. Recent research shows that a whopping 81% of customers do online research before visiting a shop to make a purchase. Let your customers know about the products you have available and they could be much more likely to visit your business. 

Need help setting up your website?

We offer website design and maintenance services to get you online in no time. Give us a call on 028-21200 or email for a quote.

Using video to promote your local business | Star Creative

As online marketing continues to adapt and develop with changing digital trends, video is emerging as a growing marketing tool. And with relatively low overhead costs, it can be a perfect fit for most local businesses. 

By 2017, video will account for 69% of all consumer traffic, according to Cisco. Many social media platforms (including Facebook) have introduced autoplaying videos, and video playback quality and load time has improved massively with an increase in Internet speeds.

As a result, more and more local business owners are asking themselves "How can video help my small business?"

Whether you're shooting a promo yourself with a selfie stick and an iPhone, or getting help from professionals to create a more polished product, the beauty of video marketing is that it allows your customers to get to see your products/services up close, and also get to know the people involved with your business. 

Below we've outlined some popular ways of approaching video marketing, but there's an unlimited amount you can do with the medium of video. If you need any help, why not get in touch with us so we can make your video idea a reality?

1. Video Portfolio

Create a video that outlines very clearly what you're offering customers. Use this as an opportunity to show the variety of the services you can offer. In the below example, Star Creative using a mixture of examples from marketing and testimonial videos and events and sports coverage to show the technical range of our video team. 

2. Comedy

Show your personality by adding a little fun to your video promotion. This types of videos work particularly well on social media and our certain to get people talking about the offer you're promoting. In the below example, a local business owner puts on a different hat (literally!) as a French artist to hilarious effect. 

3. Event coverage

If your business is involved with a local event, why not use it as an opportunity to create a promotional video? Not only are you appealing to an audience who already have an interest in your sector, you're also highlighting your support of local events. The below example from the West Cork Sports Awards was particularly effective.

What next? 

Decided it's time to make a video for your business? Take a look at some of our other video examples, and get in touch with our team to organise a consultation.

5 ways to grow your Facebook followers

Blog post: 5 Ways to Grow your Facebook followers

Facebook can be a wonderful tool for small and medium businesses. Not only does it allow you to connect directly with your customers, it also gives your business credibility and lets you reach potential new customers both organically and with paid promotions.  

If your page is still in its early days, or you'd simply like to grow your audience, there is lots you can do to improve your presence on Facebook. This post explains 5 easy ways to increase the amount of likes on your business page.

1. Consistency

The biggest mistake small businesses make is to launch into a new marketing strategy without forward planning, only to run out of steam after a few weeks. Choose a schedule that works for you - perhaps you only have time to post once a day or set amount of times per week.

2. Optimise

Use the scheduling tool to set up posts in advance (this technique works best with content that isn't time sensitive). Utilise Facebook Insights to find out when your audience is most engaged and set your posts within that timeframe for maximum impact. 

3. Collaboration

Tap into a larger audience by collaborating with a business with a wider reach. Not only will you be tapping into a new market, you'll also build a relationship with a fellow local business. Approach a company that complements your offering and organise a giveaway or special offer.

4. Social

When using social media for business, it's important to remember the key word - "Social". Remember to keep your feed friendly and allow it to show the personality of your business. You'll get much better engagement if you mix promotional material with genuinely engaging content.

5. Budget

Consider your social media marketing budget in advance. Using Facebook's "Boost" tool is particularly useful for smaller business to ensure their posts get seen by their target audience. You can winnow your selected audience by age, location and interest to ensure the people who would most about your business are seeing your content. 

Need help with online marketing?

We can help. Get in touch to find out about how our digital team can transform your online presence and take your business to new heights.