Most small business owners already know the basics of local marketing, both online and off. It’s good to be active and have a vibrant social media presence. You can keep your local customers updated by maintaining an active blog, or a mailing list for a newsletter. And, of course, you want to encourage business through sales, signage at your storefront or office, and word of mouth. But are the basics enough?
There are plenty of simple ways to ramp up your local marketing efforts, helping you build both your reputation and your customer base. Here are four ways to make some neighborhood noise and boost business on your home turf.
Yes; Facebook is the undisputed king of social media, with more than one billion users and connections galore. The problem is, there are one billion users on Facebook, and it’s really hard to stand out.
Google Plus (also called Google+ or G+), has built-in tools for locally optimizing your business. The detailed Google+ Places for Business feature includes addresses, maps, photos, user reviews, and space for your profile, along with easy-share social media tools. Plus, it’s backed by the power of Google—the search engines that hosts 66% of searches worldwide.
This may be the digital age, but media outlets still rely on press releases to find interesting local news. If you get picked up by a hometown newspaper, blogger, or other media source, it’s free publicity for your business.
And remember, not all PR is created equal. The key to a successful press release is to make it newsworthy. Don’t just announce the existence of your business—unless it’s your grand opening. You can write a press release whenever you’re having a special event, making interesting changes to your business, or tying in a holiday or local event.
Of course, you need to get eyeballs on your press releases. You can post them to your website, and use either a free service like PR.com or Express-Press-Release.net, or paid services like PRNewswire.com, to get the releases in front of media outlets.
QR codes are specialized type of barcodes that can be scanned with smartphones. You can create QR codes that advertise a link, website, or landing page; show a map with your location and phone number with Click to Call option; offer exclusive discounts or coupons; and more.
There are many free QR code generator programs online. Once you’ve created a few, you can start getting them in front of potential customers by printing them on business cards, postcards, or flyers, placing them in your storefront windows, or—if you’re feeling bold—having them printed on staff shirts.
While this marketing option isn’t exactly free, it’s often one of the most fruitful investments. As advocates for entrepreneurs and small businesses within their communities, the Chamber of Commerce often provides free promotion and marketing, along with opportunities to participate in local events, trade shows, and sponsorships. In addition, joining the Chamber of Commerce gives you an instant credibility boost, and lets local customers know that they can trust you and your business.
No matter what type of business you run, you can benefit from strengthening your local marketing tactics. These tips will help get you started!
Mosaic Printing, Signage and Marketing Services,
250 West Main St, Branford, CT