8 stellar marketing and advertising examples to inspire you

Editorial Team

7 min read
Flower shop employees looking at laptop

It’s not always easy to come up with new ways to advertise your small business. If your marketing could use a refresh, here are some examples of advertising from Clover merchants to help spark your creativity.

Examples of ads from restaurants

Restaurants have plenty of content to work with—all it takes is a few high-quality images and videos of your menu to get customers salivating. Here are some advertising examples from Clover merchants in the food and beverage industry to help get the creative juices flowing. 

TikTok content from Jaide & Joel’s Baking Co.  

Video: https://www.tiktok.com/@jaidejoelsbakingco/video/7309157994036464901

Jaide and Joel’s Baking Company is a vegan, gluten-free bakery and café in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. They’re making the most of their social media by posting thirst (hunger?) traps of their delicious desserts. Jaide and Joel’s TikToks are a good example of how to use this platform to be more visual—something that is especially appealing to Gen Z customers. Videos, like the one posted above, show close-up shots of the bakery’s sweet treats coming together. Plus, their account makes smart use of hashtags to tap into conversations already happening on the platform.  

Out the Dough and Sweetberry Bowls highlight their earned media

Of paid, earned, and owned media, earned is the hardest to achieve. Earned media refers to unpaid publicity that a business gains through media coverage, independent endorsements, and organic sharing. Out the Dough and Sweetberry are two Clover merchants that capitalized on their earned media in their advertising. 

Out the Dough co-founder Angelo Lonardo got a huge boost when his family business was featured on Good Morning America. Sales went up 400% that year, nearly more than the company could handle. Now, any time Out the Dough gets a media mention, they make sure to feature it on their social media to double the impact. 

Sweetberry also makes sure media mentions are proudly displayed and linked on their home page. What better way to let your product shine than to let others brag on your behalf?

The Walk-In sells merch

The Walk-In is a restaurant based in Livingston Manor, New York, that went beyond the plate in marketing their establishment. In addition to posting pictures of their delicious dishes, co-owner Erin Ellis decided to launch some limited-edition merchandise with a local hat retailer.

This is one of those advertisement examples that works on a few different levels. First, The Walk-In benefits from the free advertising of people walking around wearing their promotional slogan. Second, it allows The Walk-In to solicit user-generated content to use on their own feed (like the image above). And finally, it gives The Walk-In another type of content to share other than food pics–helping them stand out from other restaurants in the area. 

Advertising examples for retail businesses

If the hats from The Walk-In didn’t whet your appetite, take inspiration from these retail advertising campaigns. 

AK Cycle Chic takes it offline

AK Cycle Chic offers not only inclusive mountain biking clothing, accessories, and gear, but also a community. From the headline on the retailer’s website (“You’re Invited”) to the focus on events across their social media profiles, AK Cycle Chic has learned the best way to increase sales is to focus on people, not products. 

Events are a great way to start forming deeper relationships with customers. You could host an event in your store, or join existing events in your community as a low-cost way to advertise your business. There may also be sponsorship opportunities to explore. Look for more meaningful ways to engage with customers than simply spending money on a flyer or billboard.  

Host a giveaway like the Curious Plantaholic

Contests, including sweepstakes and giveaways, are one of the best-performing advertising examples with a conversion rate of almost 35%. Compare this to email marketing, for instance, which has an average email open rate of 21.33% and even lower click-through rates. 

The Curious Plantaholic is one merchant that has started experimenting with giveaways on social media.  

There are dozens of ways to run a giveaway, and it should be noted that different social media platforms have different rules governing contests that could include giveaways. However, these promotions can help achieve several different marketing results, such as increasing brand awareness or engagement. 

Masami leans on partner networks 

It may sound counterintuitive, but one great example of advertising is to let others do it for you. 

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyLeE1Avfw8

Masami is a clean haircare brand launched by Lynn Power and James Hammett. Not only does Masami rely on salon owners, but it also works with other entrepreneurs. Power brings together small independent brands in a series of pop-ups to share products in a farmer’s market-like setting. Working with other small business owners allows Masami to tap into other people’s networks and reach consumers their marketing may not have influenced. 

Plus, Power’s pop-ups are all “values based” — brands must value “giving back to the community, sustainability, fair trade, cruelty free, vegan, those kinds of things,” according to Power. That means any person who visits her brand’s pop-up is likely primed to buy into Masami’s mission and have a higher likelihood to convert. 

Marketing and advertising examples for service businesses

Services professionals have a slightly different challenge compared to restaurants and retailers. It’s not possible to take glossy images of your latest product or menu item. Here’s how some service professionals have leveraged their marketing channels to draw in new customers. 

The Pupper Club built their SEO

Eileen Colavita, founder of The Pupper Club dog care center, knows that not all advertising is glamorous. She spent a lot of time on the nitty gritty parts of marketing. 

“Understanding how SEO works — and it’s not just about putting up a website — but really about engaging with your community in the digital space, is something we were able to do on our own,” said Colavita. 

Not all advertising is beautiful imagery and talking to customers. It’s worthwhile to invest time and effort into learning the technical side of marketing, too. Boosting your website’s SEO results can have a big impact on your overall marketing plan

Boardroom Hairstylists links to reviews

Great feedback should be displayed anywhere and everywhere your brand can do so. Boardroom Hairstylists puts links to their Google reviews and Yelp reviews right in the header of their website. 

This kind of word-of-mouth marketing is invaluable for service businesses. Encourage customers to write reviews by mentioning your review sites when customers express happiness about your brand. Try Clover Feedback to get first-hand feedback from your clients after you’ve had a positive appointment with them. 

Clover merchants have found success by experimenting with all types of marketing. From loyalty programs to pop-up events, PR campaigns to social media, there are dozens of ways to revamp your advertising and improve how you reach your audience.

Check out the Clover App Market for more marketing tools and ideas. And, a Clover Business Consultant is ready to help with any questions you have.

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