Offline Marketing for Your Local Business
Now you’ve got your new website up and running (or even if you haven’t) it’s important not to forget that there are some quick and easy, cost effective ways to promote your business with offline marketing too.
These tactics are often free (depending on how cheeky or persuasive you can be!) or very low cost. Consequently, they can really help to put your new venture on the map. So, shout it loud and be proud.
Friends and Family
Word of mouth marketing is perhaps the most cost-efficient way to get the news of your new business out there. Don’t be shy about asking friends and family to spread the word as they can be the biggest (and cheapest) promoters and advocates of your brand.
They may even become frequent users of your products or services. If they add positive comments on review sites too, the circle of influence just keeps on growing. This is how social media worked before the media bit!
Business cards have stood the test of time as a quick and effective way to advertise. Modern day design and printing is much more competitive and has seen the costs come right down – which is great for small businesses.
Always check your spelling, then check it again, then ask someone else to check it too!
A lot of printing companies use business card incentive deals to introduce you to their other services too so take advantage of these great offers where you can.
Promotional products are a great way to get your brand in front of potential customers. This can take the form of anything from branded t-shirts through to promotional pens and stationery and are a long-lasting reminder of your business.
Local newspapers are always looking for new and fresh content. Reach out to your local paper and let them know about your business launch event or special introductory offers.
Advertorials are often a great (and potentially free!) way to get yourself in front of thousands of new, local customers. Forming positive relationships with local journalists can have significant short and long-term benefits for your business. Always be polite, but be persistent!
Endorsements and Sponsorship
Sponsoring a local event or possibly a sports team can get your message in front of thousands of people in the surrounding community. It has the added incentive of providing you with a wealth of opportunities to benefit online too.
Local events will no doubt reach out with promotions on their own websites and social media accounts and you can piggy back on this. Links to your website, before, during and after events are great for local SEO so don’t be afraid to make the most of your investment.
Trade shows are a great way to position yourself in front of your target market and advertise to your customers directly. They are also an ideal way to connect with other businesses, suppliers and innovators in your industry.
Don’t feel like you have to dive straight in with a stall at the NEC there are plenty of local shows to cut your teeth with first. Always remember to take your new business cards with you!
Local networking events and groups can be a perfect way to promote and enhance your brand through offline marketing. These events are a low-cost way to discover new business connections and create long lasting relationships with like-minded individuals.
Local groups often have a strong online presence so don’t be shy at reaching out to find more information and get involved. Depending on what your business goals are there are plenty of national groups out there too, such as BNI that provide positive support structures for your long term business success.
If you’ve got a sought after or unique skill, then don’t be afraid to showcase it. Running a free event or educational workshop is a brilliant way to introduce people to your brand by offering them value in a relaxed environment. For example, if you provide SEO services, run a free ‘Intro to SEO’ session and attendees may need your paid services in the future.
Printed advertising is making a comeback. Did it ever really go away? Businesses are realising that email inboxes are becoming swamped and marketing messages can often be deleted without being read.
Direct mail puts your product and services directly in front of potential customers. A leaflet may not provoke immediate action, but it can become a valuable reminder of your services in the future. Local business directories are great for this and reinforce the ‘shop local’ community message that is becoming more popular.
Much more affordable design and printing costs make this an extremely viable way to connect with your local audience. Leaflet design and distribution companies have also grown in popularity if you’re not keen to pound the pavements yourself.
This is more of a tactic within a tactic. Being an active part of the community that your business is located in is extremely important. If you are a visible and vocal member of your locality then your potential customers will be much more trusting of the brand and services that you offer.
So those are 10 quick, actionable ideas for how to promote your new business with offline marketing. When they are used in conjunction with local SEO and other online techniques, you’ll be able to build a strong, long term and effective marketing message.
They all help you to be able to express the human face and personality of your brand and this is ultimately what people, your customers, will connect with.