When it comes to marketing your business, local marketing is an area that’s often overlooked in the quest for finding customers out there online in your own country or indeed, further afield. In reality, you’ve probably got lots of potential customers quite close to home that are just waiting for your products or services.
In this post, we’re covering a couple of tips for local marketing that you can implement over those times that might be a little quieter than normal.
Promote Your Business Through Social Media
You should make regular plans to review everything on your social media. Ensure you’ve optimised each and every one of your channels and taken advantage of every opportunity it presents. When you’re trading locally ensure that if customers visit your premises that opening hours and contact information are correct and that your listing on a map is accurate.
You can also if you’re a little quieter, use your social media to network within your community. Have a chat in community forums, jump on a phone or zoom call, and have a chat where you’ve got an audience and somebody needs the help don’t be shy about sharing. Better still, meet them for coffee as you can’t beat face-to-face meetings for building relationships.
Social media is more effective when you’ve got a plan and even more so if there’s a budget to make the most of it. However, the various networks also like you to update regularly too so even if it’s just jumping into a chat as your business or sharing an appeal for a local cause there’s no harm done where your audience sees an update or somebody who isn’t yet aware of you in the community spots you.
Look For Local Listings For Your Business
Previously I mentioned community groups, there is however another type of group you should look into and that’s the likes of local chambers of commerce or other business organisations operating in your area. Whilst it’s always important to network and in an era where we’re doing more of this than ever online, there’s a lot of activity in every location with local groups who have might operate a hybrid model of both online and offline events that you might consider joining.
In many cases, you may pay a small fee for an annual membership but choose carefully and it’ll pay for itself in no time. And, if it’s an organisation that allows you to list your details you can benefit from it in terms of search optimisation too – search engines such as Google like links back to the site but ONLY where they’re implemented for the right reasons.
One of our favourite sites here in Ireland for local listings is WhatsWhat.ie which also comes with a super supportive online community.
Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) Is For Every Business
If you’re not yet familiar with it, this is a free tool from Google and all you need to sign up is a gmail address. With location information, links to your web presence, contact numbers, the option to collect reviews and a place to share updates along with your business information, time spent here is time well spent. When it comes to local marketing as you’ve got a map listing and opening hours when somebody is searching for your service or product in the area there are huge benefits for search too.
Run An Event Related To Your Business For Your Audience
You might not be in a position to invite people into your premises but as we’ve all become accustomed to online events that might be the option that’s right (and relatively inexpensive) for you. If you’re in hospitality you might do a cooking demo, if you’re a VA you might run a class on how to keep your inbox organized, if you’re in fitness you might do some classes at a local venue or online for the local community. Think about the business you’ve got and about your ideal customer, that’s who the event should be designed for.
Offer Complimentary Consultations
In line with the previous point, this is a giveaway of sorts but something that many of us do in the course of business anyway. How about over quieter times you run a trial programme or complementary consultation using the options that are available through the online tools we’re all using just for your local community. Depending on what’s involved it might be worth spending even a little on social media ads to generate traffic locally so that it truly is a focus on getting to know who and what’s around you.
Sponsorship Is Always An Effective Local Marketing Strategy
Every community group or sports club that relies on fund-raising in any way has felt the impact of the past few years. Not every business has the budget for it but if you were to fund the cost of jerseys at the local football club for the year it would certainly be a big help for them that gets your brand name exposure over a set timeframe. And of course, your business is out there for training and matches right in front of a very local audience if that’s your target market of course.
Outdoor Marketing Campaigns
We’ve all seen an ad and thought somebody was clever to find that spot near the busy junction or on the side of a house, look for something that might work for you. Outdoor advertising can be very effective but for many small business owners, the cost can be prohibitive too. However, if you’re out and about and spot somewhere that might make for an ideal location for an ad for your business why not ask about it?
Get The Camera Out, Photos Will Always Be Needed For Marketing
Websites should never be ‘finished’ so use a quieter time to get new photos ready. Your priority will of course be your own photos but a little creative thinking can work wonders in different marketplaces too. Lots of businesses here in Ireland use photos such as the Ha’penny Bridge to highlight they’re Dublin-based, if you’ve got a particular highlight in your area why not get out with the camera and get some new snaps that can be used on your site and in your social media that will draw attention from your local market? Photos that people recognise are great for sharing too.
Radio Advertising / Newspaper Or Magazine Ads
Most areas have a local radio station or newspaper and in a world where everybody can be a creator, the people behind these businesses still have to come up with content that keeps listeners tuned in or keeps readers happy. In many cases, there might be a local or business show you can apply for but if not how about approaching them? Your quiet time might help them fill a gap and you just never know who is listening – I’ve personally had a customer mention they first heard my name on a radio show I was part of six months previously.
Run A Competition With Your Product Or Service As A Prize
While it’s nice to give away an iPad you will attract a large number of people who won’t even pay attention to what you have to offer as the prize is the main interest. Think about what you can offer for your community, if you’re a restaurant a meal is always an idea – if you’re an IT provider you could offer advice on office set-up (equipment excluded!). Promotion doesn’t have to cost a whole lot, even where you decide to run ads to generate activity it doesn’t have to become an expensive investment.
Shop Local – Support Local Business
The final tip we’re including is for everybody, not just the business owners. We all want to see our towns and villages prosper. In your business where you can support others trading locally, they will appreciate it, maybe even reciprocate it or send referrals your way. It’s not directly ‘marketing’ but if you invest in businesses within your community where possible for supplies or services you’re also investing in your own business by creating a better environment for all of us.
Today’s post has focused on things you can to do market your business in quieter times.
We’ve also got an ebook that you might find useful with tips and tricks that cost little or nothing too, grab a copy at this link.
If there’s something you’d like us to cover at some point pop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be happy to discuss it with you.
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Debbie Ringwood is a Marketing Specialist with over 20 years of experience in B2B and B2C Marketing. She is a Graduate of the Marketing Institute of Ireland and the Digital Marketing Institute. She is a Linkedin Certified Marketing Insider, META Certified Community Manager, and Canva Champion.
Debbie supports, coaches, and trains businesses in Marketing, Social Media, Canva & WordPress along with her team, working with businesses at different stages of their journey.