Want to make your marketing easier? Go with what works, and resist the rest. Occasionally experimenting with new types of marketing for local businesses is a good idea, but don’t let experimentation take the place of consistency and focus. It’s easiest when it’s simple.
Keep it simple – and easy – by:
- Getting professional help.
To successfully grow your business and reduce stress, you should focus on what you do best and teaming up with other business people to help you with the rest. You can’t be an expert on everything, and why would you want to be? Your marketing will be easier if you consult a professional.
Take postcard marketing, for example. Thousands of local businesses all across the country rely on postcard mailings to generate new business and build loyalty among existing customers. You can too, but you’ll get the fastest, most exciting results by working with a full-service direct mail company. While they’re handling the details from design to printing to mailing, you haven’t missed a beat in daily management and customer interaction.
Apply what you learn from experts in as many ways as possible. The great advice you get about creating the perfect headline, offer, and call to action for your postcard marketing applies nicely to other forms of marketing for local businesses, too.
You can ask your business-owner friends what they think about marketing for local businesses – what’s working for them – but remember that what works best for you may be different.
- Spending more time analyzing your audience.
Every business has sub-groups within their target audience. The more you know about your various segments – how they search for local businesses online and via word of mouth – the better you can target your marketing.
Determine what marketing details are performing best for you, keep doing more of that, and keep doing it better. Repeating what has proven to be effective makes the best use of your budget and brings the highest return on your investment. It’s easier and less time-consuming when you aren’t creating every marketing campaign from scratch. Besides, repetition is crucial for successful marketing.
Trying ideas once then dumping them because they didn’t work wastes resources, confuses prospects, and confuses your existing customers as well. Marketing for local businesses is a building process – your name, brand, trust and confidence. You have to sell those traits as well as your products or services. It gets easier over time if you’re consistent.
- Sharing your expertise.
Offer free in-store lessons, tax-prep services at the local senior center, dental checkups for low-income kids. Periodically post one of your restaurant’s most popular appetizer recipes on your website. Speak at a brown bag workshop or a local Rotary meeting.
- Attending local trade shows, health fairs, etc.
This isn’t easy in the sense that it takes time and you need a display of some type, but portable display units can be used in your place of business and for other purposes, too. Trade shows are a great way to broaden your reach and meet new prospects.
- Asking your customers to help promote your business.
They won’t see this as an imposition, they’ll see it as an invitation. You’ve just singled them out as a special part of your team. Create a postcard or social media campaign to generate referrals. Put a sign next to your cash register or on your reception desk asking patrons to post an online review about your business.
Are you a veterinarian? Ask clients to “like” you on Facebook and you’ll donate $1 to the local animal shelter. That builds your online reputation and also your reputation as a caring business neighbor.
Use reviews, testimonials and customer experience stories to tell your business story. They’re real, they’re objective and they personalize your business — something that’s especially important when your audience is local.