These days, businesses can sell services online or ship to anywhere across the globe- meaning their marketing strategy has to account for this. I you want your store to be found in all of these different countries, not only do you need to advertise in them but in the correct language, make sure the culture referencing is correct and everything else. This is a huge job, and so it is no wonder that marketing takes up such a large portion of the budget in the average company. However, if you’re a local business that sells products or services from a home or store in your community, you don’t need to worry about this. Sure, online presence is important and is something every business needs to get right, but you don’t need to worry about getting your message far and wide across the world. Instead, focus on being seen by local people, and this is something that older marketing techniques (before the internet was so accessible) was focused on. Here are some of the older marketing methods you can use, that actually work brilliantly for local businesses.
Flyers and Business Cards
While printing costs aren’t exactly cheap, in general fleering isn’t too expensive and are often well worth the money for local businesses. The trick is to put them in the right place. If for example your business is a launderette, internet cafe or bar, putting flyers in and around student halls and university buildings could be a good choice. If your business is a local takeaway or food establishment, popping flyers through the doors of streets nearby could drum up some good custom. Asking other non- competing businesses if you could put a flyer in their window could help too. For example, if you sell carpets and they sell curtains, you could each agree to display each other’s flyers. You’re not competing for the same customers but they will benefit from both of your services. When you attend things like expos or just network for your business in general, hand out business cards. It prevents people from forgetting about you and again is a good way for local businesses to generate custom.
Many of the ads we see actually work on a subconscious level. We don’t see an ad for a company and spring right into action and give them a call, however after seeing it repeatedly it builds familiarity in our mind. If and when the time comes when a customer needs a business like yours, chances are it will be you that springs to mind. Billboards can be great for this, people walk and drive past them all the time and that’s potentially thousands of people who are seeing your company. Over time it can really help to cement your brand and business in people’s minds, which is a great way to advertise. This of course wouldn’t be any good for businesses that mainly sell globally since only people in a concentrated area will see it- but it’s ideal for your local business.
Think how many people you pass on the roads on a day to day basis? By advertising on your car, you again reach loads of potential customers and can help people to recognize your company as well. There are companies out there that offer full fleet and transit graphics which is useful if you have lots of mobile workers, but this is something worth doing even if it’s just you. Whether you’re a mobile beautician or hairdresser, dog groomer etc or even if your business isn’t mobile (a florist, for instance) it’s worth using your vehicle to advertise. Next time someone is stuck behind you in traffic, or if you’re at a customer’s address or if you’re just driving around, people will see your company ad.
Even if you’re a local business, it’s still important to have online presence and you will still need to adopt newer marketing methods too. Building backlinks, social media marketing and SEO techniques will make your company more visible online which is useful even if you don’t sell online. There will always be people searching for local businesses and their details, so being online means you’re not solely relying on foot traffic. However these older techniques will work like a charm if your marketing strategy is to target local customers.
Local businesses, what do you find are the best marketing techniques for you? What has and hasn’t worked based on your experience?
Featured Image - Shutterstock / By Mathias Rosenthal