Nothing about running a local business is easy, but local business marketing doesn’t have to be overly complicated, either. Here are some easy ways to promote your local business from the Cactus Mailing handbook.
The vast majority of people now use the internet to find basic information about businesses – hours, location and directions, etc. Your website undoubtedly includes those details, but a Google+ presence gives you more.
It can boost your search display ranking, and – here’s the best part – customers can post reviews about your business. Those reviews and your overall star rating appear as part of your search results. See what ours looks like here.
Good reviews give you a significant competitive advantage. Not having a Google+ presence can be a significant disadvantage for your local business.
Postcard marketing is hotter than ever for local businesses, because it’s a perfect match with your marketing goals. Postcards are amazingly effective whether you serve a come-one-come-all audience or a niche clientele.
You can conduct an “every door” campaign to introduce your business and continue to generate traffic on an ongoing basis. Or you can use postcards to reach specific types of households or parts of the community. Postcards nicely complement multi-channel marketing campaigns, too.
Here are a few facts:
- Direct mail generates a higher ROI than any other marketing medium.
- 89% of recipients say they read postcard advertising.
- Half of them purchase as a result, multiple times per year.
- Postcards offer easy and affordable marketing for local businesses.
- When you team up with expert direct mailers, you get professional-looking postcards and superior results without having to do the work yourself.
Online searchers expect to find a website for your business that offers more than a static brochure. For effective business marketing, your website should link to your social media pages and make it easy for people to sign up to receive your newsletter or email specials.
Responsive website design is also becoming a necessity, because so many people now use their phone or tablet to search, especially when they’re looking for local businesses. If you’ve ever done this yourself, you know just how frustrating it is when the site is not mobile-friendly. You will definitely lose prospective customers if you don’t update your website.
Also make sure you market your website for what you ACTUALLY are- for example we are a direct mail marketing company. You’d be surprised how difficult websites can make it for a user to figure out what they ACTUALLY do!
If you’re a new local business, just opened your practice or your store, volunteering is a great way to introduce yourself to lots of people quickly. They’ll get to know you as a person — an important factor when people choose which businesses to frequent — they’ll see your business in an even more positive light.
If you have employees, pick a project together and devote a special day to it. Be sure to wear T-shirts or caps with your company logo on them, to subtly reinforce your branding. If you get your picture in the local paper, you’ll get valuable free advertising, too. Take pictures, and post them on your website, in your office or store, and share them via social media.
Create something just for locals.
Repeat business is the long-term lifeblood of any business. Especially if you’re in a community with a lot of tourists or other transient shoppers, emphasizing your love of locals can make your business stand out and boost that all-important repeat business.
Offer an exclusive discount or product. Or designate “Locals Tuesday” with a special menu. And use your postcard mailing to promote your locals-only program.
Promote jointly with neighboring businesses.
Hold a sidewalk sale, or host a music event for your customers and nearby residents. (Here are 5 events to draw in new business). A growing number of people prefer to shop locally, and getting to know your neighbors socially encourages them to shop with you.
Marketing for local businesses is really nothing more than making yourself a visible part of the community. And that’s easy.