Local Marketing is the process of branding and communicating messages about your business to your local community. Local Marketing does NOT include TV, Radio, or newspapers. Local Marketing does include events, direct mail, fliers, postcards, community sporting events, and several other locally targeted events. Local Marketing can include creative variations of Canvassing Programs, Event Marketing, Sponsorships, etc. AB Small Business Marketing offers solutions for local business owners, and in some cases, aspiring politicians to get their marketing materials in the hands of their community.
Why Should I Use Local Marketing?
It is estimated that nearly 90% of all your customers live, work, or play within 5 miles of your business’s location. More specifically, 70% of your customers are typically within 3 miles of your location. This means your local market is important and local marketing is essential. Today’s communities are demanding neighborhood first, a mantra repeated around the country as more people are focused on their local communities. Don’t let the word local fool you. Local Marketing delivers higher and more consistent sales volume to help you achieve your profitability goals and inventory turnaround. Not only that, local marketing is generally much less expensive and can significantly lower overhead costs. Shorter trips for representatives, more browsing, higher customer satisfaction and increased sales are the result of local marketing.
The Benefits of Local Marketing, Buying Local
People want to buy local! A benefit of local marketing is to draw business from your local community, thus maximizing the ability for your company to gain additional, future opportunities. If you obtain business from your locality, you may also enable that customer to use other local services and companies who offer complementary services. This, in turn, comes back to you with added benefits because other companies within your community may refer you to their customers because you offer complementary services that can be mutually beneficial. For many small to medium sized businesses, the ability to market locally is a paramount and should always be considered first. AB specializes in marketing local businesses to our community.
What Should My Local Marketing Plan Be?
There’s no limit as to the boundaries of your local marketing. You have the power to control the marketing, as you need to boost your business.
You should ensure that apart from local marketing press releases, your business is marketed by word-of-mouth, advertisements in local newspapers, and carefully placed signage. By using multiple mediums of advertising, you can reach the heart and mind of the consumers you wish to turn into customers.
Listing your business in a local business directory has many advantages in boosting lead potential and profits. Directories improve public relations ratings, enabling you to gain marketing without putting out a high number of marketing dollars. Online advertising will list your business without you spending a fortune. The latest SEO (Search Engine Optimization) friendly techniques offer businesses listings by category. The result is an effective yet inexpensive message.
What Should My Local Marketing Plan Be?
1. Social Media
Social media is a great, free medium, to spread the word about you and your business. Doing social media right is a great way to make connections, gain leads, and convert prospects to customers. At the very least consider getting an account on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
2. Free Classifieds
Use free classified ad services to promote your product or service. Aside from big online classified ads (for instance Craigslist), there may be other free options specific to your geographical area, maybe even some free inclusions in local print media. Do some Google searches and see what is available in your hometown.
3. Reciprocity Advertising
Talk to local business owners and explore cross promotions you may be able to do with them. They are probably in the same boat as you, and would be willing to work out a mutually beneficial marketing campaign.
You may think of bartering as particularly out of touch with modern business practice, but there is no reason you can’t trade a product or service with another business in exchange for marketing opportunities. Trading an hour of your consulting time, or a couple free products to a local business that is willing then to plug you in their newsletter or mailings could result in a better deal than paying out of pocket for the same marketing. Start with the barter directory, and go from there.
5. Write a Press Release
Write your own press release and submit it to the appropriate channels. If what you’re doing is particularly newsworthy, send it to local media. Also submit your press release to free services online.
Local community events are always occurring, especially here in South West Michigan. AB Small Business Marketing can help you not only find the best events, but get better pricing, and most importantly, to capitalize on the opportunity with professional coordination.
Scout out free networking events in your area; you’d be surprised how many “meet-ups” there are. Not only are they a great way to get out of the office, but think of every networking event as a mini-marketing campaign. Use entrepreneur groups or call AB to scan for opportunities near you.
8. Provide Above-and-Beyond Customer Service
Make sure your current customers know how important they are to you and your business. Make them feel good about what you do. They will sell for you!
9. Ask for More Business
Going along with point #8 above, don’t be shy about asking for referrals. Happy customers are the best piece of marketing you can hope for. Word of mouth marketing is powerful, and there is nothing wrong with asking them to spread the word for you.
10. Maximize Your Mailing List
Use a mailing list to push out information about new products or services, give a special deal to your mailing list, share information with them, etc. AB will not only develop a daily strategy for this, but we will come to your place of business to assist in implementing these new processes seamlessly into your current routines. AB is also a licensed direct mailer with the lowest rates in the Midwest.