Promoting a local business is your opportunity to establish yourself as a pillar of the local community and build your reputation from scratch. At the same time, you want to make a business that looks like it has deep roots in the community but you also want to set yourself up for future expansion. Other than this, in 2021, it is quite hard to stay competitive, seeing as how even the smallest enterprises are fully committing to their marketing. So, how do you do this cost-effectively? How do you stay competitive on a budget? Let’s find out!
1. Register on Google My Business
This is really the simplest way to get the word of your business out there. Namely, it is completely free of charge and the algorithm is bound to recommend you to a potential audience based on their location. A lot of people trust the algorithm so much that they use the keyword “near me” as a part of the keyword phrase. This combines their search with their Google Account and their current location in order to present the best answers. All you need to do here is provide some basic company information and there you have it.
2. Real-life advertising
The next thing you need to think about is adding some real-life advertisements like billboards, signs, posters, etc. This helps you create the psychological effect of “marking your territory”. Custom banners displayed on strategic locations can create invisible borders around your domain. You can further enhance this by distributing printed materials within the confines of these borders. Flyers, brochures and leaflets are perfect examples of this. Those who want to get outside of the box and be a bit more creative can resort to guerilla marketing.
3. Social media
Why is social media so great for local businesses when it’s clearly a worldwide phenomenon? Well, it does have a local algorithm as well and, as such, it will increase your reach amongst the local demographic. First of all, once people start adding/following you, their own followers/friends become your potential audience. If they share your content, these are the people that will see it. In other words, social media can be used quite effectively for the promotion of local businesses. Now, while you can start completely free of charge, it’s better to invest a bit in social media advertising. This brings the cost of this marketing effort into the free-to-low radius.
4. Mobile SEO
Focusing on local mobile SEO is one of the best things you could ever do. The thing is that the majority of people use their phones for business research. So, if you want to check the offer of a local business, confirm its location or just see what it’s all about, you’re bound to use your phone. If you can’t find it, you can’t do business with it. Also, remember that about 78% of local mobile searches end up being offline purchases. This means that even if you’re primarily a brick-and-mortar retail place and don’t dabble in e-commerce, your local mobile SEO is incredibly important.
5. Email and direct mail
Seeing as how you’re a local business with a direct local presence, you can use this opportunity to send direct mail, on top of your email marketing. Email marketing, on its own, has an ROI of 4400%. This means that every single dollar you invest in digital marketing returns $44, which is more than amazing. With direct mail, things are, more or less the same. The problem, however, lies in the fact that since there’s no digital footprint, it’s nearly impossible to do accurate analytics. This, however, doesn’t mean that there’s no effect.
You can also invest in business cards, pay local influencers for endorsement and support local organizations. The truth is that you have so many options to choose from and that this is an opportunity you need to take full advantage of. Remember also that COVID-19 changed quite a bit. A lot of small local businesses had to switch to digital or contactless models. However, this won’t last forever and you need to have an elaborate recovery plan in order to get to the bottom of things. Promoting a business is difficult but it can be handled properly with the right plan.
Harrison Buckley is a business consultant. He has a deep passion for technology and on days when he is not busy at the office, he writes to share his knowledge with the world.