In this post I’m going to look at those things you can do that won’t cost you AWGs, but might consume your time. I’ve included a time rating system so you can get an idea of how much of an investment you need to make. 1/5 = not time-consuming, 5/5 is a full-time job!
ONLINE LOCAL ADVERTISING IDEAS
Reaching a local audience doesn’t mean you have to go out onto the streets of your neighborhood with a sandwich board, you can do plenty of marketing from your laptop.
Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, wherever your target customers hang out you’ll want to be there too. We’ve covered the ins and outs of using social media in this post 5 Ways To Use Social Media For Local Marketing; the key to success is to provide your customers with engaging, relevant and regular content. Get a social media strategy in place and make sure you keep updating your profiles regularly, listen to your customer’s needs and interests, and provide them with what they want. Time rating: 4/5
Google My Business: Ensure your business gets found on local online searches by verifying your listing on Google. Claiming your Google listing is quick and easy to do, but you’ll want to make your listing look attractive, so you’ll need to spend a bit of time completing it and adding photos, links etc. Subscribe to receive next week’s blog The Importance Of Google My Business. After all, Google far outperforms every other search engine, logging an average 7.8 billion searches per day last year. Time rating: 1/5 for verifying your listing, 3/5 for enhancing your listing
Local Directories: There are numerous local and national online directories you can list your business on. Most allow a free basic entry; although the details you can include may vary. It’s also worth considering listings on specialist local sites, especially if they are proactive in marketing their directories. Here are a few places to list your business:
- International / National Directories – Bing Places for Business, Find yellow, Tripadvisor, Aruba Blue Pages.
- Regional business directories – worth looking into although it’s important to see what kind of marketing these sites do. Some are founded on the principal of promoting B2B and may also run networking events too. Aruba Business Directory
Time rating: 2/5
Guest Blog Posts: Using someone else’s effective content marketing strategy by contributing a guest post for their blog. Look for opportunities with influencers or businesses that have a similar audience to yours, and provide value-added, relevant and engaging content. Time rating: 4/5
Perhaps you fancy donning that sandwich board after all? Sometimes it’s not such a bad idea:
Street promotions: If you’ve got a product you want to share or a special offer you wish to promote, hitting the streets could be the answer. If you plan to hand out samples of your products, just make sure that you back them up with information about your business. Flyers promoting a special offer can be handed out on the street, or left in high traffic areas of your locality. Please be aware that you may need permit or license: Click here for Aruba’s Kamer van Koophandel ( Chamber of Commerce) website for permits and procedures. Time rating: 3/5
Referrals: Use your existing customers to advertise your business to a wider audience. Give them an incentive such as a discount when they refer their friends. You may also find opportunities to team up with other complementary businesses and refer customers to each other. Time rating: 1/5
Networking: Read our blog post with top tips for networking, Using Local Business Networking Events To Promote Your Biz. You may need to try a variety of local network events to find the right ones for you. Time rating: 4/5
Local press: Even if taking advertising out in local media is not an option, there may still be opportunities to promote your business by providing editorial content. Time rating: 3/5
Promotional offers: While these will eat into your profits, a special offer can be a great way of getting new customers. For example, local pizza shop gives out a free birthday cake with every child’s birthday party reservation. Be prepared to upsell your products or services when customers take advantage of promotions like this. Time rating: 1/5
Invest in your community: For some businesses, there are great opportunities to promote your offering by volunteering or supporting your local community. Ideas might include: offering services in kind rather than cash up front, people power to help a local project, sponsorship, prizes etc. Although it is nice to support all kinds of ventures, for the maximum promotional effect you should look at those with the right demographic, enabling you to reach your target audience. Time rating: ?/5 (depending on contribution)
As you can see all these ideas will cost you in time, and some will require additional funding. Whatever you do it’s important that you communicate your message effectively and address your customers in a way they will respond to.
If you’re not sure about how to do this please leave a comment below with your marketing challenge, or email us – firstname.lastname@example.org