As a small business, you cannot model your marketing plan after that of larger organizations. But you also have the benefit of proximity. Clients live close enough that they walk into your premises or you visit them at theirs. And depending on the service you provide, you might visit their homes, which creates an even closer buyer-seller relationship. Therefore, your marketing methods must factor in this closeness if it’s to succeed. Here are a few local marketing tips any small business can implement.
Follow Up with Clients
When clients leave your premises, don’t leave it at that. Email them to thank them, and politely ask for their feedback. And if they love your service, encourage them to make positive reviews on your website, but never pay a client for a testimonial. With that said, use all negative reviews to improve your service delivery.
Also, encourage satisfied clients to refer their families and friends, and then offer both them and the referred clients a discount. To kick-start this referral program, print many business cards and hand them to clients, in a more advanced stage you can start with an advocacy program for your best clients.
Sponsor Charitable Events
By sponsoring local events, you achieve two goals. One, you give back to the community in which your clients live, which in turn improves your relationship with them. And two, you create a platform with which to advertise your products and services. Remember to sponsor only events that align with your business. For instance, sponsor children’s events if you run a toy store.
List Your Business in Local Business Directories
Regardless of where they live, people use classified ads when looking for particular products, services, or professionals. For that reason, list your business in local directories such as Craigslist. But before you do, it would be wise to see what others are doing in your field.
For instance, if you live in Florence, Oregon, run a Craigslist Florence Oregon search for your product or service and see what pops up. Are they offering a free consultation? Or some sort of special promotion? What does their ad look like? If they’re using pictures, what type of pictures are they using? Try to look at everything, from the headline to the call to action. This will allow you to pattern your listing after theirs.
Advertise on Local Media
Never underestimate the reach and effectiveness of magazine, radio, and television advertisements, even in the internet age that we live in. But when using them, note that each platform is best suited for a specific market. For instance, to reach a general audience, advertise on either radio or television.
But to market specialized products, advertise in magazines, as different publications are tailored for different audiences. In addition, magazines allow you to include redeemable coupons or discounts. These, in turn, allow you to estimate products marketability and an advertisement’s effectiveness.
Advertise on Social Media
As more people use social media, they turn to the platform when looking for products. And in response, businesses now establish a presence on the platform, hoping to better market their products and engage their clients. Your business should do so, too. Start by opening an account on popular platforms and post news and tips about your services. Always include contact information, such as an address, phone number, or website.
When marketing a local business, seek to be as personal as possible with your clients and the community in which you’ve located the business. After all, relationships are at the heart of any local business.