If you run a small business, it’s important to build your reputation and brands visibility within your local community to enable your business to grow.
Don’t know where to start? Here are some ideas to promote your business locally.
When you run a small business, your time is spent juggling so many responsibilities that marketing gets put on the back burner.
You may also have minimal marketing experience and are unsure about what to do, when to do it and how to go about it.
Do any of these statements sound familiar?
- “I don’t have the budget for marketing.”
- “I can’t possibly compete with big businesses.”
- “I don’t feel confident pursuing different marketing strategies.”
- “I don’t know if my marketing efforts are working.”
- “I just don’t know where to start.”
Relax. Marketing doesn’t have to be scary.
The best marketing strategy should be sustainable to your business and one that you feel comfortable with. If that means starting small, that’s great!
The best place to start promoting your business is within your local community, giving you the advantage that your big business competitors don’t have – relatability.
Big companies spend millions of dollars every year trying to come across as familiar and relatable, but you don’t need that; you’re a local business, that’s what you’re all about!
So, when you start your marketing campaign, give your local customers a reason to remember you and your services. Here are easy ways to get started.
Get your staff into uniform
Branding is such an important part of running a business. When people see a uniform, they remember it.
When you and your staff travel to and from work wearing an eye-catching or memorable uniform, you’re helping to build your brand and make your business well known in your local community.
It’s a subtle but effective way to promote your business.
Try and choose a uniform that reflects the personality of the business and the services you provide and try getting creative with a signature colour or statement garment that can be recognised anywhere.
Jim’s Uniforms offers a great range of customisable branded garments and promotional items to get your business noticed.
Put up signs
If your business has a building or factory with street exposure, you have a huge potential for brand promotion.
Get signs printed with your business name and logo for the front of your shop, making sure you advertise what services you provide.
Does your business provide staff with company cars?
If you want to go a little further with signage, you could also have signs printed for the side of your car, turning your vehicle into a mobile billboard.
If you have a team driving around all day, you’re wasting a branding opportunity if you don’t have your company cars branded.
And remember, those vehicles are your company’s best promotional tool, so make sure they are adequately insured to save you from missing advertising opportunities in the case of an accident.
Host a class or demo
People these days can be hardened against aggressive advertising methods, meaning that your marketing strategies may need to be subtle to be effective.
You could invite people to your premises to teach a class or host a demonstration depending on your business.
If your business is service-based, such as repairs, installations or maintenance, you could invite your clients in for an in-depth demonstration relating to the services you provide (how to clean your lawnmower, fix your sewing machine, keep on top of your accounts etc.), giving attendees the chance to ask as many questions as they like.
Your focus for this kind of event is about how you can help them, not about selling your goods or services.
The most successful demonstrations/classes are those where people don’t feel obligated to buy anything.
But it’s still a marketing event, however subtle, so make sure you get email addresses to continue your promotions and consider offering a discount to attendees!
Build an email list
Everybody has a short attention span these days because there is just so much to do.
Even though customers may love your business, if you aren’t on their mind, they might not consider using you when they need your services.
Stay in contact with a regular email, letting them know about promotions, news and customer satisfaction stories.
The thing with emailing customers is that you don’t want to do it too often – but you don’t want to do it too infrequently, either.
It’s a bit of a Goldilocks situation; you need to find a frequency that is just right.
Between once per week and once per fortnight is a great place to start.
Improve your website keywords
Even when promoting to a local business, you need an online presence.
Customers will often look you up online before coming in for a visit, looking for what you can offer and reviews from past clients.
Your online presence needs to be backed up with online marketing strategies such as good keywords for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
If you are unfamiliar with how online marketing works, hiring a local IT specialist, such as Jim’s I.T may be an excellent investment to help bring more traffic to your website.
They can identify keywords to insert into your web copy that will help you to boost your search engine rankings.
Ask for online reviews
While we’re on the subject of your online presence, great reviews work wonders for your image.
It’s much like word-of-mouth for the digital community because an ordinary person’s review has far more meaning than an advertising campaign.
Ask your customers to review your store – most will be happy to oblige.
You don’t need to beat around the bush with this one; it’s perfectly respectable to ask people for an honest review.
Often simply asking is enough to motivate customers to write a glowing review.
In the future, you should encourage new customers to write a review as soon as they purchase so that the experience is fresh in their minds.
Who knows, one of your customers might have a large following on review sites, and their praise could send lots of business your way.
Host a pop-up event
You might do this alone, or you could join together with other local businesses to host an event.
If you’re planning on a big clear-out sale, hire a balloon artist or a catering truck to bring in crowds.
If your target market is tradespeople, host a sausage sizzle breakfast (and, again, the catering truck… coffee and tea will always draw a crowd!) in the early morning to talk to them about tools and services before they start their day.
The idea is the same as hosting a class; it’s a subtle, non-confrontational marketing strategy that leaves potential new customers feeling happy about your business.
Next time they need your services, chances are that they’ll think of you.
Are you running a small business and looking for new marketing strategies to promote in your local community?
Contact Jim’s Group on 13 15 46 for a free quote on any of the services listed above.
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