5 Small Business Marketing Mythbusters


5 Small Business Marketing Mythbusters

In many cases, marketing for a small business isn’t traditional, it’s anything but that. Limited funds and manpower force a level of creativity that larger companies don’t necessarily need. However, as 28 million small businesses across the United States know first hand (including us), without an effective marketing plan, regardless of what tactics are in it, your company will soon fizzle out in the competitive environment that is our society today. So it’s important for small businesses to understand that marketing themselves is imperative whether you “think” you have the resources or not. (Spoiler alert: You do.)

So let's do some myth-busting and get a little insight into the world of small business marketing, from one small business to another. Below are five statements that are either completely true, or as mythical as a unicorn.

(Mouse-over to reveal the answer!)


In fact, small businesses incorporate social media in their marketing strategy 96% of the time. Social media has become important for businesses to generate buzz and create a consistent voice to reach out to potential clients, customers or even partners. However, it’s important that your social media reflects the message the business intends to convey, and it's certainly important to avoid posting biased remarks, retweeting politically fueled posts or anything that could come back to bite you in the ass.



When you work for a small business, you may find yourself working longer hours than you think. There is a common misconception that small business owners have more leisure time, and are able to sometimes put their work to the side for other things. This is often, if not always, not the case. Small businesses require a strong commitment due to the fact that they are competing against larger, established companies equipped with more staff, more capital and higher budgets.

Marketing for a small business never takes a day off, and neither will you. If you’re in a company of 10 employees, you can’t delegate work downward. You’ll be posting on your social media Monday-Sunday, and should be responding to clients or customers always and forever. But it isn’t all doom and gloom! There are magical tools out there that will allow you to schedule your posts in advance, so you can enjoy your nights and weekends without forgetting to post about that sale happening throughout the weekend.

Our favorites: Hootsuite is a great cross-platform scheduling tool. Or you can do it the old-fashioned way and schedule the posts directly from the social platform itself. (Just remember to keep your alerts on your phone so you don’t miss an opportunity to engage with someone who interacts with those posts!)


This isn’t an either/or scenario. It’s definitely an “and.”  You need a great website AND traffic to the site. You might be thinking, “Well, obviously!” But these two are mutually exclusive. If you have a great site, that doesn’t mean people will be flocking to it in droves. And if you have a crappy site, and people are somehow finding it, that’s not the best representation of your business and it might be better if they aren’t finding you that way. A great website is important, there’s no denying that. However, without traffic, your website will sit on a dusted metaphorical shelf waiting for clicks. Now, an element of your site that will make it great is content. If your content is robust and optimized for the keywords your audience is searching for, you’re off to a great start. Build a content strategy, whether it’s in the form of blogs or newsletters, etc., beef up your social presence to gain a following and integrate keywords into your site to improve your organic search results. Doing so will lay some serious groundwork for your paid advertising plan.


Whether or not you agree with the amount of stars given, the ratings are a direct critique from your customers’ experience with your company. As a small business, it’s crucial that whatever people are saying about you, is positive. Word-of-mouth is one of the most effective forms of advertising your business (not to mention it’s free). If a small business is able to generate those five star reviews on Facebook or their Google Business listing, any potential clients or customers will see that immediately... and first impressions are extremely important.

The facts back this statement up as well. Research from BrightLocal showed that “going from a 3-star rating to a 5-star rating gets a business 25% more clicks from the Google Local Pack.” Basically, don’t accept mediocrity, because just as it can be a positive experience, it can be negative as well. So, in order to properly get the most out of your reviews, remember to keep a client-first mindset, and don’t disregard your marketing strategy.


Your marketing budget, regardless how big or little it is, can work for you, if you keep a few things in mind. Before you even begin, you need to know what a customer is worth to you and then how many customers you need to earn the profit you want. If that number seems scary, just start chipping away. Maybe you can’t invest all of that up front. Start by creating different initiatives and developing a timeframe to execute them. Multi-channel marketing, in our opinion, is the way to go for most businesses. However, if you are working with a limited budget, maybe start small and grow as your revenue does.

For those with a limited budget, and even those with larger budgets, grab the low hanging fruit where you can. Content development, social media and digital advertising are all very cost effective and can work with literally any budget you have. There are tons of resources on the world wide web that can shed a little light to how to get started. Or, hire someone to do it. A freelancer, an agency, a part-time employee/intern— they’re all feasible options. It is 2018. It’s time to stop saying you can’t afford marketing, when you definitely can! You just need to think beyond traditional TV and print.

Revel specializes in developing marketing strategies for companies of all sizes. Have any questions on how we can help you develop your business’ marketing plan? Give us a call or shoot us an email, we’re ready to help! hello@reveladvertising.com



The Power of Personal Testimony In Video


The Power of Personal Testimony In Video


The power of a personal testimony comes second to none when important decisions are a factor. Whether we care to admit it or not,  humans rely heavily on others opinions in order to make their own decisions, and that’s not meant to be taken negatively. The proof behind this logic is everywhere. Take a look at the online company Yelp for example. The literal purpose of this website is to see what other people thought about something you are thinking of trying out. And these are complete strangers to you! So why not take this notion and use it in your marketing? Enter the testimonial. 

Video Testimony

The power of personal testimony can be ramped up to a new degree when video becomes the method of delivery. One thing that is hard to portray over a text review is the emotional aspect of that person’s experience. It’s easy to read the words of disdain or respect that someone types behind their glowing blue screen, however, it is much more impactful to see how someone reacts physically to their encounter with a business. From a simple smile to a moving real-life story, watching someone relive their experience will have a much greater pull on your target audience. If the testimony comes from someone whose message has a deep rooted personal connection behind it, the outcome will be much more powerful on the consumers that are watching.

Video is moving. (Quite literally, actually.) It’s powerful, personal and practical. We have seen this time and again with our own clients who have utilized video to provide personal testimonials for their business or organization. 


The GLO Center is an organization that provides a community for those who identify as LGBTQ+ in the greater Springfield/Southwest Missouri Area. We had the privilege of assisting them with a community awareness campaign that would spread the message that GLO is everyone and for everyone.

In a series of video testimonials, we created a campaign for them called “I Am GLO.” Real people who have had real experiences with GLO were given a platform to tell their stories to a greater audience than they have been previously able to reach. As a team, we were moved by their testimonials and by the feedback they received from this campaign, so were those who watched.

Below is the compilation video that was used as the center of this testimonial campaign. In addition to this video, several videos featuring in-depth individual stories were created and distributed on the GLO website to further showcase the impact of the center on the lives of those involved. GLO continues to use these videos in their recruitment efforts and general awareness of the organization so people can better understand who they are. 



Based out of Ozark, MO, Excel Dental takes pride in setting a standard for dental care excellence and providing leading technology which enables their clients to receive top-notch, professional dental work. Now, Excel isn’t the only dental office in town. (If they were, that would make our job way easier.) So why choose them? What makes them different? Who better to tell you than the people who already use them? 

With Excel, the power of video testimonial comes from the genuine display of clients who have experienced their services and leave more than satisfied. 

For consumers who are shopping around for a service such as dental care, seeing the positive results from real people, putting a face with a name, is very helpful when pulling the trigger on which dentist to try. These videos are also subtle ways to showcase the services they offer in the form of a rave review. Win-win. 

A video testimonial also addresses any “unknowns” that people were worried about. “If I choose this dentist, what will my experience look like?” These videos can actually show people what to expect and ease any uncertainties or, in a dentists case, fears one might have. Excel is able to really showcase their entire practice, all while showing off the happy, shining smiles they had a hand in creating.  


Bye, Yelp.

It’s no secret, word of mouth is the one of the most effective ways for your company, service or product to be advertised. However, word of mouth is also volatile in the sense that it can either be a gleaming promotion, or a lackluster review.  With the viral trend of videos, video testimonials are a great way to start the conversation in a positive way. 

Looking for a way to spread the good things you have going on at your business or organization? Give us a call and let’s see if we can help.







Revel’s Gift Guide


Revel’s Gift Guide


Nothing can ruin someone’s holiday cheer like the stress of gift giving…and let’s be honest, we all have those few people that are impossible to shop for. That’s why this Christmas, we bring to… drum roll, please… our Revel Gift Guide! If you have a relative, friend, coworker or significant other that works in the advertising/marketing industry, you will thank us later after reading through these suggestions. As for the nurses, teachers, engineers and plumbers in your life—you’re on your own. Kidding, sort of. While not everyone in your life works for an advertising agency, these ideas were crafted with the creative-inclined in mind but could apply to the multiple personalities you’re shopping for this holiday season.  

Account Executives

We’ll begin with the organized and detail-oriented type, your Account Executives. If there is anyone that has planned ahead for the holiday season, it is the AE in your life. They probably ordered your gift this summer to allow plenty of time for shipping, wrapped it before Thanksgiving with coordinating wrapping paper and ribbon, and had it perfectly arranged under their Christmas tree come December 1.  Keep up with these proactive planners by looking at some gifts they might like: 

  1. Bullet Journal     
  2. Business Card Holder 
  3. Office Inspiration 
  4. Stress Relief Lotion 
  5. Succulent (& make sure they know the rules so it doesn't die) 
  6. Pens 
  7. Desk Calendar
  8. File Holder 
  9. Monitor Stand 
  10. Slim Purse Organizer
  11. Wine Twirls

Marketing Directors

More than likely, the marketing guru in your life is always up on recent trends. This is probably the first person you knew who got an iPhone while you were still rocking your Blackberry and stylus. Out “cool” your coolest friend with these creative ideas. We’ll be the first to admit, it’s tricky to sell to a marketer, but anything that can save them time or that is just plain clever, never goes out of style. 

  1. May Designs Customizable Agenda
  2. Message Chair
  3. Relaxing Candle
  4. Funny Desk Decor
  5. Fashion Brief Case
  6. Amazon Echo
  7. Lunch Box
  8. Travel Coffee Cup
  9. Trendy Coasters
  10. Steve Madden Flats
  11. Practical Office Decor
  12. “Everybody Writes” by Ann Handley
image_preview (1).jpeg


Moving on to our creative minded friends. This is the person that will build and paint you gifts, make custom cards on Photoshop and ultimately, completely show you up with their 1. Thoughtfulness and 2. Talent. There are also those tech-y type creatives. These are the ones who spend their days coding the most intricate websites while you’re just trying to type in your garage code correctly. (7797 or 7977?) How do you even compete with these people? Honestly, they are actually pretty easy to please. Use this list to help you get creative with most creative person on your list.

  1. Field Notes
  2. Stickers
  3. Cork Back Rulers
  4. Leather Watch
  5. iPad Pro
  6. Apple Pencil
  7. Apple AirPods
  8. Moleskine Smart Notebook
  9. Spotify Subscription
  10. Burn Your Portfolio Book
  11. Glass Water Bottle
image_preview (2).jpeg



The interns in your life will probably be happy with whatever you get them. Left over change from your car? That works. Or possibly just a solid meal (that does not include Ramen or PB&J.) In all seriousness, a lot of interns you know are often times living the double life of school and work, and trying hard to juggle both. Here are some gift ideas that can help them out, both in and out of the office.

  1. Post-it Notes (In Bulk)  
  2. Hand Held Recorder (so we don't miss a single word)
  3. Sign for the Mess Up” moments
  4. Letter Board Office Decor
  5. K-Cups for the late nights of studying
  6. Trendy Graphic tees (suitable for office and class) 
  7. Planners
  8. To-Do List Pads
  9. Gift Cards for Lunch  
  10. Sneakers
  11. Portable Charger
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The gift for the CEO on your list is quite possibly the most important gift you’ll buy this season. (Especially if they’re actually your CEO.) Whether it’s boss of the home, boss of the office or just straight bossy, give them a gift that makes them feel like the top dog or help reduce the stress that this role can bring. Get on their good side this holiday and try some of our tips for your boss man/woman. Who knows? Maybe your paycheck will benefit from it…

  1. Classic Black Blazer 
  2. iPad Case with Bluetooth Keyboard
  3. Leather Brief Case
  4. Whiskey Stones
  5. Key/Wallet Tracker
  6. Apple Watch
  7. Noise Cancelling Headphones
  8. Travel Tie Holder
  9. Bag with Portable charger
  10. Travel Coffee/Water Bottle
  11. “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” by Ben Horowitz
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Do you have a gift to add to the list? Drop a comment below and let us know what your gift ideas is!


Snapchat's 3D Lenses Are Officially Open For Business


Snapchat's 3D Lenses Are Officially Open For Business

Snapchat — A former nonsensical word that has shifted into one of the most common additions to our day-to-day lives since 2011. Targeted primarily towards millennials, Snapchat has become a living, breathing network of ever changing, sporadic communication between people worldwide that acts as a prime vessel for constant disposable content—generating both intense FOMO and furthering our humanistic desire to peer into the lives of others…whether we actually know them or not.  

However, we should all know this by now. The digital marketing takeover has influenced a massive communication culture shift, and Snapchat seized the opportunity to dive headfirst into the pool of new age media. Snapchat currently sees  158+ million users in a single day, with an average user opening the app over 18 times in said day. It should be clear, and we mean crystal clear, that Snapchat is a dominant platform and one that brands should not overlook. Each year, the application finds a way to introduce a new, unique way to reach a wide range of impressions, from Snapchat Stories that remain for 24 hours, to unique facial recognition filters that can either turn you into a lovable strawberry or a demonic spawn of hellfire —to each their own, right?

The big question always remains—what will Snapchat come up with next?

The New snapchat lens

In April of 2017, Snapchat introduced 3D Lenses for the first time. The lens is essentially an object that is 3D and interacts with the environment around you. If you remember the iconic dancing hot dog craze of the summer, that was the source of the excitement. (Raise your hand if you too sneakily had that cute little hot dog dancing on your boss’s head in a meeting. No? Just us?)

via AdAge

via AdAge

It only took a headstrong, confident dancing creation to push the filter forward and really take off, gaining international popularity,  showing yet again the ability of Snapchat and their innovative, out-of-the box ideas (even if it’s just a dancing Weiner.)

Blade runner

It was only a matter of time before monetization, and on September 28th, 2017, Snapchat officially opened up their new augmented, 3D filters to be made and implemented by brands. Snapchat is a popular platform for advertisements as it is able to geo-target it’s consumers. Combine that with a fun, interesting visual effect and you have a powerhouse couple advertisers can only dream of. One of the first advertisements was based on the (then) upcoming Warner Brothers movie, Bladerunner. As you can see, the filter adds an important sense of intrigue, and alongside the ability to interact with the environment no matter where you point the camera, you can create a truly interesting, adaptive advertisement that people will want to actively interact with.

bud light

The second brand followed suit shortly after, and it was Bud Light who chose to create an interactive visual of a street vendor hollering out in Times Square. As you can see, the interaction is easily understood and the vendor serves as a figment of the users real world experience.

To the user, this is a very intriguing source of dynamic, interactive entertainment. To the brand, a very powerful form of advertising. 

For the onlookers watching this user circle around an empty sidewalk laughing—pretty weird.

via Mashable

The bottom lineSnapchat is doing it right.

They continue to serve as a digital media innovator and have crafted their platform in a way that allows for advertisers to easily execute their campaigns.

Don’t expect this to be the last thing to be brought to the table. As our technology advances steadily, augmented reality is becoming less and less like a movie idea and more like the lives we live each day. Companies are forced to adapt to the technology and keep up with the new ways to promote their product. The companies that are able to stay relevant with the major digital media trends are the companies that will find greater success. As our digital platform moguls press forward, brands must find ways to utilize new features, and implement their product any way they can. 

And just for the hell of it, here’s a breakdancing hot dog just one more time.


Want to talk more about utilizing social media advertising for your business? Lucky for you, Revel does that. Drop us a line and we’d love to chat with you about it.