general business marketing
Digital marketing has become important to small businesses and how they reach new customers. Want proof? Go to any public place and look around. Inevitably you’ll see people (of all ages) checking their mobile devices. To reach people where they are, you need to think and act digitally. But a well rounded marketing strategy can involve offline marketing as well.
Below we list some marketing ideas that follow the more traditional path which may be helpful for your business.
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General Marketing Tips
While digital marketing is vital in today’s world, your business may benefit from offline or traditonal marketing methods too. Combining some of the strategies below with a solid digital marketing plan is the best way to reach new customers and grow your business.
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When it comes to connecting with other business owners and exchanging referrals there is no comparison to good old fashioned networking. Most small towns, suburbs and big cities have networking groups you can join. Some may have a membership fee and let you visit a few times before deciding whether to join. Others will be completely free to visit. Find a group that complements your business.
Word of Mouth
When your customers refer you to their friends and family you are getting new business without spending a single dime on advertising. It’s the ultimate compliment to know they were so happy with your work they will recommend you people in their life. When you complete a job or sell a product to a customer it’s always worth the small amount of time it takes to let that customer know you appreciate any referrals they may be able to offer you.
Ask For Reviews
Something else that is always worth the time is to ask your happy customers if they would be willing to give you a good review. These reviews can be on a general site like Google or Yelp, social media pages or industry specific websites like Angi.com (formerly Angie’s List) and TripAdvisor. More and more people are checking online reviews before choosing local businesses so having positive reviews for them to find is vital for any small business.
Sponsoring local community events can be beneficial. There any many ways to promote your business through these events. Some examples include signage at the event, an ad in their print materials, a booth onsite to meet potential customers, your logo with your website’s link posted on the event website and many others. If you’re considering buying a sponsorship don’t be afraid to ask about all the opportunities available.
Traditional, offline advertising is still a popular option for many types of businesses. Depending on what route you take it can be expensive and sometimes difficult to reach your specific target audience, but an ad in a local newspaper or outdoor signage like billboards or bus stops may be perfect for your business. And some media outlets like radio and TV will even include digital advertising elements in their packages.
Chamber of Commerce
Regardless of where you live there is probably a Chamber of Commerce nearby. They are excellent resources for local businesses looking to connect with consumers, other businesses, vendors and suppliers. And they often host their own networking events, fundraisers and social gatherings which are perfect for growing your business network and finding new customers. A quick internet search should bring up any Chambers in your area.