With so much competition around, it can be hard to cut through the noise and find a way to effectively promote your local business.
To survive, local businesses have to be creative in their marketing efforts and constantly reinvent their approach.
Many people think that elaborate marketing strategies are reserved for big businesses only, and that they cost quite a bit of money. But nothing can be further from the truth. Here are a few affordable techniques you can use to attract new customers and keep them coming back.
1. Get a Free Listing on Google
We live in a digital age. When people are looking for something, whether it’s a local grocery shop or a hair salon, Google is their first stop. That’s why you should make sure to have your local business listed on Google. Here you can add a bunch of information like your business address, phone number, business hours and links to your website to help potential customers find you easily.
Additionally, you can add photos to better promote your business. But the best part of a Google listing is the review section. When a customer uses your goods and services, they can leave a review about your business for everyone else to see.
People trust Google reviews more than paid advertising, because they are more sincere and come from regular people just like them. Having a good rating on Google will likely attract new clients, and the entire listing process requires almost no effort at all.
2. Utilize Social Media
Every business, no matter how big or small, needs one or several social media pages. Instagram, Twitter and Facebook seem to be the most popular social networks at the moment for business purposes, but you can opt to use YouTube, Pinterest or even Snapchat as well. Social media pages can help you build your brand, and communicate with your audience by replying to comments, messages or inquiries.
Select the right social network for your needs and make sure to post regularly. Post pictures of your products, services or your achievements, but don’t focus on promotion only.
The aim of social media is to connect with people, and that’s what you should be doing too. Social networks are a great way to promote your business especially among millennials who spend an abundance of time online.
3. Organize a Flash Mob
There are plenty of ways to promote your business offline as well. A flash mob, for instance, is an unusual but effective way to raise interest in your company. Gathering a group of people to perform a pre-determined routine will bring some excitement to your local community.
If performed well, a flash mob will become the talk of the town, which will help you spread the word about your business in an affordable and entertaining way.
And if you want to reach a crowd that spreads far beyond your immediate surroundings, just film you flesh mob in action and upload the video to YouTube. Flash mob videos are hugely popular and easily shareable, which will enable you to reach a larger audience and build connections online as well.
4. Set up an Open Day
Bring your business closer to the community by organizing an open day. Invite community members, customers and partners to your space to meet you and your employees.
This will give them a closer look into your product and services and the opportunity to chat with your employees and find out more about what your business has to offer. Open days are a great way to create a bond with the community and establish your firm as an inseparable part of the neighborhood.
5. Support Charities
Many people are willing to change the business and products they use if they find a company that supports the same charities and causes they do. For better results, choose one of the charitable organizations in your local environment.
That way, consumers can see how your donations are helping shape the community they live in. If you can’t afford to donate money you can donate your products or services, or simply your time. A local restaurant or a fast food place, for example, can donate food to the homeless or a local school.
6. Host a Local Event
Putting together an event in the local community can also be a great way to know your neighbours. It doesn’t have to be a lavish spread – you can easily organize something small where people can drop in, have a nibble and a drink, and get to know what you are all about.
If you do your business locally, you will want your community to recommend you and accept you. Getting to know each other is the first step in building that bond. If you are too swamped with your regular work to focus on the event too, you can enlist the help of an event management company like Kevin Rowe, who will do all the planning for you.
7. Sponsor a Competition
Another way to draw attention to your business, while simultaneously doing something good for the community, is to sponsor competitions and similar events. You can sponsor a local school football team or a cooking event. Pick events that gather large crowds of potential customers. Have your business name printed on the uniforms of the participants or scattered on billboards nearby. That will definitely get everyone’s attention.
8. Offer Coupons
Many people will go out of their way to save some money. That’s why offering discounts to selected individuals is a great way to attract new customers. Sharing coupons to passers-by will help you get new clients and spread the word about your business. And giving coupons to your existing customers can lead to a return visit, and increase the loyalty of your clientele.
If you are looking for ways to stir up your marketing efforts, consider some of these tactics and choose the right one for your business. Remember, a good marketing strategy can make or break a business, so it’s wise to make that extra effort and show everyone what you have to offer.