Local businesses are an important part of any community but they are also notoriously difficult to sustain. To help your small business thrive, you need to bring in a healthy amount of customers. However, marketing has always been a challenge for entrepreneurs, from the expenses associated with traditional advertising to the simple lack of know-how.
Fortunately, marketing has come a long way from the days where you had to shell out large amounts of cash for TV spots, radio, or billboards. There are plenty of cost-effective and unique methods to promote your brand.
To ensure that your business is able to prosper, let’s take a look at these 3 ways to promote your business:
1. Get Your Business Online
It’s no secret that the Internet is the first place most people go to find out about a business. So, if you’re not easily found for your service area, or your primary good or service, then how will they find you?
You’ve likely heard the term “local SEO”, which stands for local search engine optimization. Local SEO is critical to small businesses because it helps you come up in the top results when people are searching for something relevant to what your business offers.
To help with your local SEO, the first thing you need to do is get online with three primary goals:
- Build a website that’s easy to use and mobile-friendly.
- Set up your business’s Google and Yelp listings.
- Create social media profiles on at least one or two platforms.
Making sure that potential customers can not only find your business, but get the right info (your hours, contact information, and website), is critical so that they are more likely to become actual patrons. Most importantly, you can do all of this for free.
But, if you’re not Internet savvy, there are plenty of affordable freelance experts online who can assist you.
2. Attend Community Events
As a local business, you need to make yourself known in the community. An easy way to do that is by attending community events such as street fairs, celebratory festivals, or other opportunities where you can rent space as a vendor. When you do attend these events, don’t forget to bring branded promotional items like custom USB drives, water bottles, backpacks, or pens. Just make sure to put your logo front and center and to keep your target audience mind by choosing something they’ll actually use. That way, the more they use it, the more likely they are to remember your business when making a purchase. Plus, other people will be exposed to your brand.
In addition to setting up a booth at community events, you could also sponsor local organizations. Not only is a great way to show that you care about your local neighborhood, but sponsors usually get some kind of advertising in exchange for their donation. Whether it be on their website, a banner, or a mention during a ceremony, it’s exposure you can feel good about.
3. Partner with Other Businesses
Sometimes it can be difficult to see other local businesses as anything but the competition. However, they are actually valuable allies that you’ll likely need for your company to survive. Whether you and another shop in your center decide to let each other put business flyers near the register or work together to offer a special that includes purchases from both locations, it’s an easy way to boost your business.
Usually this strategy is most successful when you collaborate with a business that compliments your offerings but doesn’t directly compete with you. For instance, if you have a coffee shop, you could partner with a bookstore to offer a discount for a percent off of a purchase at your shop if they head over after buying their book, and vice versa. Or, if you have a plumbing company, partner with a realtor who can include your business cards in the paperwork they give to new homeowners. In return, you could recommend them to customers who are fed up with having plumbing troubles at their rental and are ready to buy a home.
Either way, it’s a win-win. Plus, building relationships with other businesses will likely open doors to other opportunities. And, they might even become some of your best customers.
As you can see, there are many ways to promote your local business without having to strain your company’s finances. Using these strategies, and other marketing methods, you can build a business that’s not only lucrative, but a beloved part of the community.