How does your small business get the word out to your local community about your great products/services? For those of us who don’t have a big corporation’s advertising budget, it can be hard to keep coming up with new ideas to get customers in the door. If you don’t have experience with small business marketing, it can be disheartening to keep throwing your money at marketing tactics that don’t produce returns. Here are some simple small business marketing ideas that actually work!
Complete Listings on Online Directories
Did you know that a large majority of consumers search for local businesses online? When you enter something like “landscapers near me” or “lawyers in Cincinnati” into a search engine, the top results typically come from directories. At the very top of the page will be Google My Business listings. It is essential for local small businesses to complete their Google My Business listing with all contact information, website, address, professional photos, and a well-written description. You should also list on other well-known directories like Yelp, Angie’s List, etc.
Send Direct Mail Flyers, Postcards, Letters, etc.
Direct mail is a great small business marketing tactic used to reach out to your local community and spread brand awareness and get new customers in the door. Flyers, postcards, brochures, letters, etc. all have unique benefits and which you choose to send will depend on your specific goals. If you’re looking for new customers, a postcard with physical coupons included is a great way to get people in the door and introduced to your business.
Sponsor Community Events
You can sponsor local community events like charity races as well as local sports teams or theatre groups to get your name out there. You could also get a booth or table at a local event to show people who you are and what you do.
Run Radio Ads
If your community has a local radio station, try running advertisements on there. Contests make for great radio ad content because they give listeners a reason to want to call or visit your website immediately.
Create and Share Local-Centric Content
Content marketing refers to the small business marketing practice of producing content like written articles, videos, and infographics that aren’t inherently sales-material, but rather educational material that helps potential customers solve a problem. Producing great content gets your brand name in front of more eyes and it makes you look like the local expert on whatever subject your content touches on. If you want to get more people from your local community to become customers, create content that is specific to your local area and post it to Facebook. Then, use Facebook’s advertising platform to boost the post to accounts within your local radius to get community members who don’t follow your Facebook page to see your post. Some ideas to consider: “Summer Family Events Calendar” “10 Great Nature Walks to Take in (your town name)” “5 Cheap Dates In (your town name)” or “Hidden Gem Restaurants in (your town name).
Cross-Promote With Other Local Businesses
You should always be looking for mutually-beneficial relationships with other non-competing local businesses. Look for businesses who could refer their customers to you for complementary services and come up with a plan to help each other. Social media cross-promotions are also a great way to share customers with other local businesses, and it can be as simple as, “For our local followers, if you like a good (product/service), follow our friends (other business’ account). They have the best (product/service) in town!”
Do Local PPC Advertising with Google AdWords
Google AdWords allows you to display ads at the top of search results for relevant keyword phrases. You can target your AdWords campaign to a specific geographic area so that people in your community who search for certain terms will see your ad before they see organic results.
Run Locally-Targeted Facebook Promotions
Facebook is one of the best small business marketing platforms because you can target a highly-specific audience based on location, age, gender, interests, and more. A rule of thumb for Facebook advertising; advertise a specific product or service that is already inexpensive compared to your other products/services and give a special discount offer. Although you won’t make much profit when people start redeeming the offer, you’ll be drawing in new customers who will hopefully get hooked and become lifetime customers.
Create a Referral-Rewards Program
Almost always, the best source of new customers for small local businesses is referrals. You should come up with an incentive for referrals that your customers will realistically take advantage of. The greater the value of your incentive, the more likely you will get referrals, so shy away from 10% discounts on your own services and go for something like a $10 giftcard to the local coffee shop.
Thanks for reading, we hope this article was useful and informative. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for more updates and marketing tips! If you ever have a marketing-related question or want a comprehensive analysis of your small business’ marketing strategy, feel free to give us a call at 1-800-992-9663. You can also find more information about our services on our website.