Local Small Business Marketing can be tricky. You often find yourself competing with large national companies. Whether initiating a new business or upscaling an established one, having a solid footprint for your trademark is crucial. Your sales, your profit, and the full scale of your business depends on whether your audience knows you or not. Small companies sometimes have a limited marketing budget, making promotion difficult. The great news is that several free (or low-cost) local small business marketing ideas help you target your potential clients.
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Here are some low-cost marketing techniques to help you save money and get your small business’s word out in the local community.
1. Google My Business
Google is the world’s most important search engine. Google gets more than 8 billion searches per day, and “near me” searches have doubled in the last year.
A Google Business Profile is now one of the most efficient local small business marketing techniques. This vital marketing idea lets your company appear on Google Maps, Google Search’s nearby panel, and the Knowledge Panel. It increases the chances of your business being discovered significantly.
For your Company Profile to be prominent on Google Maps or in regional searches to target potential customers, you will need to optimize it. Be sure your profile includes all your relevant contact info, plus your business hours and address if you have physical location.
2. Use Social Media For Local Small Business Marketing
You’ve probably read articles or heard experts tell you that your business should be using social media regularly. But just establishing multiple social media accounts and posting may not always get the results you are looking for. But local small business marketing concepts implemented on social media can pay off, when done the right way.
For instance, it’s always best to choose one social media marketing platform that fits your business and learn how to use it effectively before moving on to a second platform. Depending on your business you may find Facebook, Instagram or YouTube to be the best place to market your business. Or maybe LinkedIn or TikTok are better suited for you.
Get to know the social platform where your target audience will most likely hang out. Concentrate your efforts on this platform and produce meaningful content that connects with your followers. It’s estimated that 91% of businesses with at least 100 employees use social media for marketing purposes. If it’s working so well for the bigger companies, it will work for you too!
3. Sponsor a Contest
One of the most effective ways to widen exposure and secure customers is by sponsoring or running a contest. People adore free things. So, in return for social media participation, offer something for free, such as a product package or gift certificate. To increase reach, have your followers like and comment on your post.
4. Interact with Customers
Another clever approach to utilize social media for small company marketing is to leverage user-generated content or UGC. 79 percent of customers think UGC has an influence their shopping choices, possibly because it is coming from other consumers so will be less biased than sponsored material.
Your current customers can upload their pictures, reviews, and testimonials on your virtual platform. Potential buyers will have the opportunity to observe how someone in their shoes feels about the product.
A simple example of this would be the Starbucks White Cup Contest. The coffee brand asked its customers to doodle on their Starbucks cups. The winning entry would become the new template for a limited-series Starbucks cup. By doing so, they developed a meaningful interaction with their customers country-wide and increased their exposure significantly.
5. Networking in Real Life
Networking is one of the most inexpensive yet brilliant local small business marketing concepts, so you should consider incorporating networking into your marketing strategy, even if your company plans on running all its operations virtually. Remember that company success is all about connections, and networking helps you form the relationships that drive sales, recommendations, and other forms of substantial business development.
Trade shows aren’t only for huge companies with a lot of money to spend; smaller firms may also benefit. Keep an eye on what’s going on in your neighborhood, and if you can afford it, attempt to obtain a table or exhibition space at one to show off your items. Local exhibits and fairs will be far less expensive to exhibit at than the ones on a bigger scale and maybe a better fit for your company.
If money is a concern, you may be able to find lower exhibitor prices if you wait until the last minute, or you might link up with a complimentary partner firm and divide the costs. Even if your business can’t afford to present, you may still benefit from attending these events to take advantage of the excellent networking opportunities. Just sure to bring plenty of business cards!
6. Email Marketing Campaigns
Email advertising is a compelling small business marketing strategy to reach your designated audience, grow your customer foundation, and build a reputation. Best of all, maintaining an email marketing strategy is more accessible than most people think.
There are many advantages to email marketing for small companies. An email marketing plan may help you locate new consumers, keep them, and remain in contact with them while staying within your budget. There are a number of excellent email marketing companies that can help you build attractive and effective emails to send to your email database.
Cooperation enables you to join forces with companies when you don’t have much money to spend on marketing. If there are businesses you work closely with, you can write blog posts for each other’s websites or do cross promotions on social media. Even just simply sharing each other’s social media posts can improve your following. Collaborating with a complimentary business is one local small business marketing strategy that can improve your presence quickly.
This also enables you to benefit from the skills and experience of other companies to highlight new trends in your industry and uncover development opportunities. By exposing you to new consumers and connections, collaborating with another firm expedites the process.
You have many options for inexpensive and free business marketing strategies to help your company expand. These local small business marketing methods range from online marketing and ensuring your website is search engine optimized to developing your referral network and utilizing competitions to improve brand awareness.
Not only is digital marketing important for advertising your goods or services, but managing your online presence is also vital to the overall success of your company. Even if you don’t have an online presence at all, just establishing a website and starting a social media strategy will get you headed in the right direction.