How do you reach individual communities with specialized messages?
Ask their advice and opinions of your operation, such as how you might improve it to better meet their needs. Create a good understanding of what your business is.
The issue is capturing the customers who are already looking for the brand’s products in the local marketplace but instead buying from a competitor.
- Direct Mail – Think inside the box — in this case, the mailbox! Direct mail is still one of the most effective ways to reach your targeted audience and programs like the U.S. Post Office’s Every Door Direct Mail are making it easier and more affordable than ever to target local customers using direct mail.
- Business Cards — We are living in an age where we bump smart phones and exchange QR codes, but nothing beats the simplicity of a business card and a handshake. One of my favorite – and perhaps easiest — local marketing tactics is a business card drawing. Essentially, it involves setting out a fishbowl to collect business cards for a free drawing of a prize. Not only is it an opportunity to promote your services, it’s a great way to gather information about your customers.
- Loyalty Cards — Show your customers the benefits of being local by creating a loyalty incentive program. Whether your selling coffee and cupcakes or graphic design, loyalty programs are a great way to encourage —and reward—repeat business and regular customers.
- Posters — Versatile, simple and attractive, posters are perhaps one of the most tried and true tactics for getting the word out around town. Plus, when they are truly eye-catching and creative it becomes not only a tool for promoting an event, idea, or product, it can also become a coveted collectible in itself!
- T-Shirts — Custom-printed t-shirts are a great way to promote your company locally. Whether used as a giveaway item at a trade show or worn by an employee at a community event, t-shirts are fun, functional and unique.
- Sponsored Events — A company’s involvement or sponsorship of a local eventis a great way to promote your business (wear your t-shirt!) and communicate your company’s interests or values — not to mention it can be a lot of fun. Whether it’s sponsoring a concert in the park or a local sports team, participating in a coat drive or a community clean-up day, there are hundred of ways to get involved and show that your company cares! Custom printed napkins, balloons, pens, or coasters are all unique ways to make your mark and leave a lasting impression.
- Stickers. It’s a stick up! Whether placed on a product or part of your packaging, the uses for personalized stickers are countless. One example I love? Coffee lid stickers! A small town coffee shop offers stickers to local businesses that fit on top of their “to-go” coffee cups to help prevent spills. They can be designed to feature a company’s logo or promo information. It’s a cute, clever way to get your message seen.
- Signage. Also known as the “silent salesman,” high-quality, attractive store signage — be it on a physical space, the door of your car, or a banner at a farmer’s market — can be critical to communicating the value of your company. Functional and informative, they can provide your customers with everything they need to know — from where to go and what hours you operate, to where to find you online.
- Awards. Go for the gold! One cost-effective way for small business to increase awareness is through business awards. Whether its for an ad campaign or a public service, earning recognition from an independent organization can help you gain credibility and also generate more attention for your business as a result of its publicity.
- Thank You Notes. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever gotten from a successful small business owner is to “Always follow up with a thank you note.” Whether it’s to say “Thanks for your time,” “It was great meeting you,” or thatI’m looking forward to working together,” sending a potential customer or prospect a handwritten thank you note after meeting them can have a profound impact on whether or not you hear from them again in the future.