As a small business owner, you’re probably interested in expanding your local customer base. To accomplish this objective, more than general advertising efforts are needed. Your strategy needs to be locally-focused. What kinds of things can you do to attract people in the area to your business? You’ll be happy to know that there are several things you can do…without breaking the bank.
1. Claim, Verify & Create Local Listings
The internet is one of the first places people turn when searching for a local business that offers what they need. Therefore, local listings are a great way to advertise your small business. Of course, a Google My Business Listing is essential. Yet, you should also have completed listings on local directories.
Related: Business Listings eBook (free download)
2. Run a Referral Promotion
Give your current customers an incentive and you’ll be surprised how many will refer you to friends and family. Word of mouth is one of the most powerful forms of advertising you can leverage since most people trust personal recommendations. Use that knowledge to your advantage and ask for referrals.
3. Distribute Printables
You can have business cards, flyers, or brochures printed in bulk for a relatively low price. Of course, you can offer them to customers in your own location. However, you might also place a few in other businesses that allow it (e.g. coffee shops).
4. Wear Branded Swag
It’s relatively inexpensive to get branded swag for your team and possibly even family or friends. You can advertise your business by sporting branded t-shirts, jackets, hats, bracelets, lanyards and more. It’s an investment that doesn’t stop giving until you stop wearing!
5. Make Use of the Local Newspaper
The local newspaper provides various opportunities for advertising. You can place an ad or get a listing in the appropriate section (whether that be in the classifieds or elsewhere). Plus, you may even be able to submit educational content that people will benefit from. As a result, they may be inclined to make contact with your business.
6. Do a Radio Contest or Giveaway
If you can think up a fun contest idea or are willing to give away a desirable gift, you can use that to your advantage. You can enlist a nearby radio station to spread the news about your contest or giveaway. This will likely generate a lot of excitement. All the while, your business will be getting tons of exposure.
Related: Examples of Facebook Contests and Instagram Giveaways (free download)
7. Host an Event
Your event can be pretty much anything you want it to be. It could be a party, demo, festival, workshop, anniversary sale, charity event, or a webinar. The options are endless and don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Of course, you could go for fancy and formal if you’d like but, for the most part, it doesn’t take a lot for people to enjoy themselves. You just have to get them to come…
So spread the word far and wide about your event. Use bold signage to let people know. If possible, hold your event out in the open where you can attract more attention on the day of.
8. Send Direct Mail
Sending printed advertisements to potential customers can be a great way to create awareness of your business. Not only that but doing so repeatedly will keep your business top of mind, increasing the chances that people will come to you when in need of what you offer.
With programs such as Every Door Direct, offered by the United States Post Office, you can target your efforts, get help with printing, and have your mailpieces delivered at a reasonable price.
9. Try Paid Local Ads
Paid local ads give you an advantage in that they’re often placed in prominent, noticeable places on web pages and in search results. For example, search engine ads appear above even the top websites in organic search results. You can’t help but see them.
Therefore, if you carefully target your ads to appear in the most relevant search results and to those most likely to become your customers, you can attract many to your business. When creating your ads, focus your efforts on your local area, your target demographic, and search terms consumers will use to find you.
10. Try Vehicle Wraps
Do you have company cars? If so—or if you wouldn’t mind using your own car—vehicle wraps might be a good option for you. Car wraps will attract attention, while also giving people valuable information about your business such as an idea of your services and your contact info. And the great thing is, they never stop working. Even when parked, your vehicle(s) will be advertising for you!
Advertise Your Business Locally
Whether you’re already doing some local advertising or not, it wouldn’t hurt to try out a few other methods as well. The more you advertise, the more exposure your business gets. And the higher the quality of your efforts, the more sales you get. No doubt, that’s exactly what you want. So take some time to think about what methods of advertising might help you to reach a good portion of your target demographic and appeal to them most. Then, take action!