No matter what you do, marketing locally with your business has several advantages. Not only do you get to know your neighbors better, you discover new ways to promote your business as well as brand new markets to move into. Even better, becoming better known in your community can instill trust in your company, bringing even more business.
So if you’ve never considered a local promotion before, try these tips on for size. You should find at least one of them helps you gain the trust of your friends and neighbors.
1. Go Outside
One of the first things to start doing to promote your business locally is to go outside and meet people! Many business owners, especially when first starting out, get stuck in the day-to-day and forget to live life. So go out and do some local activities or even just go to popular places and meet people. Ideas for promotions should present themselves in no time!
2. Support Local Charities
There’s no better way to show you support the community than by participating in some local charity events. You also get to know the movers and shakers in the community which can come in quite handy at times.
If you have a physical business then you should be taking advantage of Foursquare. You don’t even have to actually sell physical product – just let customers come by and say hi and check in! Figure out some cool stuff they can get for doing so, too; discounts, maybe, or even free swag.
4. Go to Events
There’s usually something going on in your town, whether it’s a fair or fundraiser. Head out to these events or even volunteer if you have the time. Anything that gets your name out there to the public is a good thing. For added effect, have some shirts made up with your company logo on them and wear them everywhere.
5. Sponsor Teams
Your customers love sports! Whether it’s baseball, soccer, hockey, or table tennis, there’s bound to be some team you can help out. Don’t have the funds for a professional team? Sponsor a little league team – they need shoes and equipment too!
6. Host an Event
Want people to come to your store or business? Why not just simply invite them there? Host an event at your place so everyone knows you exist. Give them incentive to come back, too, like discount offers or hidden items. You can even charge a minimal fee for the event and collect it on Wepay.
7. Alternative Reality
No, not like making the Matrix. Alternative reality games are little “worlds” you build for users that involve solving puzzles and scouring the web for clues. As a result, customers have lots of fun and you can build your company straight into this alternate world. This one is time consuming, but will be unlike anything else your local community has ever seen.
8. QR Codes
The usefulness of these little guys is in constant discussion, but many businesses have had success by posting them around their local communities. One tip: make sure you have some call to action (“visit our website,” “come to my shop,” etc.) or it could all be for naught.
9. Coupons in the Mail
This one can be a little hairy as people don’t like getting spam. However, there’s still something to be said about sending out coupons through the mail so customers can immediately use them. At the very least it alerts them to your presence. Plus, with so many companies moving to the relative cheapness and ease of email marketing, actually receiving something in the mail from a local company is becoming novel again!
10. Get the Media Involved
Instead of just taking out an ad or writing up a press release, talk to your local reporters and see how you can help them. Become a contact or source so when your own stories come up they’re more likely to run them!