Small businesses with a physical brick-and-mortar presence have a unique opportunity to promote their goods and services while leveraging their reach in the local community. These 13 local marketing ideas will get you more involved in your town and gain more visibility for your small business.
Form Alliances with Neighborhood Businesses
Consider teaming up with a neighbor business to cross-promote and maximize your reach. Create partnerships with multiple businesses that offer customers incentives for shopping at each of your alliance businesses.
Join Your Local Chamber of Commerce
Local Chambers of Commerce provide a number of benefits for small business owners, including providing networking opportunities, giving businesses visibility in the community, and bringing credibility to your business and your expertise in your industry.
Send Press Releases to Local Media
Local newspaper reporters are always looking for newsworthy items to feature in articles. Use press releases to notify the media about new and interesting things happening in your business.
Use Social Media
Social media sites can give local businesses an extended reach to the local market. Take time to create and update business profiles on Facebook, Google+ and Google Places, Foursquare, and Yelp so customers can find your business when searching online.
Leverage Online Review Sites
Customers share their shopping experiences — positive and negative — on various online review sites. You can maximize exposure on these sites and manage any less-than-great reviews by creating official profiles and checking for feedback on a regular basis.
Provide Freebies or Giveaways
Regardless of what type of business you have, there are “freebies” you can offer to draw in new customers. You don’t have to give away the store or even anything with a high cash value, but small things like coupons, samples, and free consultations can attract the interest of customers looking for a deal.
Advertise Where It Counts
Local businesses have several options when it comes to advertising — newspapers or town newsletters, radio, billboards, in-store ads, even online advertising works for some local businesses. Before investing in any advertising, though, take time to determine which option will reach the largest portion of your target audience.
Host an Event
Get your name in front of potential customers in the community by offering free events such as workshops, classes, or networking events.
Use Printed Marketing Collateral
Small business owners can get customers to think about their businesses repeatedly by strategically using business cards, postcards, flyers, brochures, and other printed marketing materials.
Sponsor Local Youth Sports Teams
Donate to a local youth sports team or charity event to get your name included in the program, on apparel, and other places where it will lend visibility in the community.
Optimize for Mobile Shoppers
Many people shop locally with their mobile devices in-hand to find stores, check deals, and compare prices. Don’t miss out on an opportunity by neglecting your mobile presence.
Encourage Shoppers to Join Your Email List
Email marketing is a great way to stay in touch with customers long after they have left your store. Make it easy for customers to sign up for your email list while they’re in your store. Consider offering an incentive such as a discount or a special offer upon sign up to generate interest.
Use Your Website Wisely
You may have a small-town business, but there are still many ways to leverage a strong web presence. At a minimum, make sure your website is updated frequently, includes your address and hours, and provides multiple ways for customers to contact you. If you have a service-based business, you may even consider incorporating an online booking tool into your website to make it easy for customers to schedule appointments.
Pick one or two of the marketing ideas above to get started, give them a try, and see what impact it has on your business.
Guest Post: About the Author
Alana D. Frazier is a copywriter at paper writing service. She is fond of learning something new so that she tries to keep up with advancing technologies. Additionally, she attends different conferences and presentations to improve her skills.