Marketing consultants will often tell their clients that word of mouth is the best form of business advertising. While this is usually true, a successful word-of-mouth marketing campaign is incredibly hard to pull off with new businesses. Word of mouth is only effective once you have built yourself a loyal mass of customers capable of spreading the word. In order to get people talking about your new business, you need to advertise until the local public is aware of your products.
Depending on where you do your research, you might be torn between hundreds of ways to promote your small business. But keep in mind that no marketing tactic is guaranteed to work. The good news is, we only showcased tips that we personally used when tasked with the quest of advertising a small business locally. Here we go!
1. Cultivate a memorable brand
Everything else is a whole lot easier if your brand is consistent and easy to remember. Think of all the big brands out there. They all have a few things in common: simple logo, timeless font, a catchy tagline, and a recognizable identity – these should be your priorities too.
Your brand personality is very important, so consider collaborating with a branding agency if you don’t have the means to create a business identity all by yourself. Once your branding game is solid, make sure you put your company’s visual queues in all the right places: your website, store sign, all over social media, email signature, ads, packaging, etc.
2. List your business on local online directories
If your business is located in a fairly large city, chances are you’ll find quite a few local business directories. These are online places where you can get register your business and attract more visibility.
Take the time to study your niche exposure and see what your options are. There’s no need to list your business in an online directory that is not popular in your area. You can start by listing your small business on large directories like Merchant Circle, YellowPages or CitySearch.
3. Embrace Yelp
We talked to a lot of small business owners that were absolutely terrified of Yelp. The honest truth – when used correctly, Yelp is a formidable tool for getting new customers.
Yelp allows you to easily claim your business and add contact details, office address, a short description, a business logo, as well as a few pictures. You can use the picture slots to add discount codes and other exclusive offers – this will save you from a few bad reviews. With this in mind, claim your Yelp! business page and make it as hospitable as possible for all your future reviewers.
4. Keep an email list
Keeping an email list should be a priority for every small business owner. It enables your business to continue the conversation with local customers after they finished making their first purchase.
Expand your email list by creating a call-to-action subscription newsletter on your website and encourage your local costumes to provide their email addresses – don’t be afraid to ask your in-store customers to subscribe. The bigger your email list, the more people will show up at your upcoming sales and new product releases.
5. Collaborate with local influencers
The right local influencer can go a long way into steering new customers into your way – especially if your business is new. You don’t need to sign the biggest star in town. Instead, look for a micro influencer with real ties to your niche that has a semi-large audience – they are way cheaper and their audiences are usually very loyal.
If you have the means, look for Instagram influencers or Youtube vloggers that have active audiences. But whatever you end up doing, don’t make it seem forced and please choose the influencer carefully.
6. Run a Facebook ad campaign
Facebook has one of the most advanced ad-targeting algorithms currently employed. Facebook’s algorithm will help you immensely in pinpointing your local audience based on their zip code, town name and other more advanced demographic options (age, gender, interests, and much more).
An efficient Facebook ad campaign will only showcase your ad to the best-suited audience. If you decide to do it, start on a small budget and only increase it if you see that the campaign is really bringing in more customers.