Gearing up for local marketing
Gearing up for local marketing takes a multifaceted plan, and with this plan hopefully comes new business and more repeat customers. It may not always be easy but it can be fun, and when broken down logically, piece by piece, it can take your small business to new heights. In this article, we will be discussing, in-depth, the use of print marketing for your local area. However, the first few paragraphs will go over the essential aspects of digital marketing needed for your overall plan.
Optimizing your website
Part of building your local presence relies on digital marketing. I saw an article recently that actually stated, and I quote, “You’d be surprised how many people look for your goods and services online.” Is this a surprise to anyone anymore? If you’re a small business owner you likely already know the importance of a website and probably have one set up, but it’s important to ensure that it’s optimized for local content. One easy thing to remember is to include your name, address, and phone number on every page of your website, along with your hours of operation. Make sure your customers and all major search engines know where you are – list the areas you serve and go to Google My Business to ensure your visibility on Google Maps and Google search. It’s also good to claim your business with the correct NAP (name, address, and phone number) on multiple platforms that are helpful to your brand like Yelp!, Angie’s List, and so on. It may be good to additionally include photos, videos, and written content about your local community and things you have done in and for that community.
Social media marketing
Social media marketing can be quite effective too if you know what channels are best-suited for your brand, but that is based on a deep dive of your customers, which we will get to in a moment. While Instagram may be good for younger customers, as well as retail businesses looking to showcase their products, for a slightly older crowd Pinterest might be the better option. Consultancies and small businesses with a lot of information might do well on LinkedIn. Many small businesses may want to try Google+, as it could help to boost search results in other related aspects of Google. Facebook is widely used, and most small businesses that do social media marketing use it to connect with their customers on some level. But keep in mind that social media platforms can usually work for multiple markets, you just have to determine the most effective way to utilize them. Every company would also do well to have a blog, where they can consistently add relevant content. Establish yourself as an expert in your field through the information that you produce.
Knowing what types of customers your business targets and the specific niche you represent is vastly important. Who are your customers really? What are their demographics? Determine:
- Their types of businesses
- Their income range
- Their family type and size
- Religious affiliations
- Whether they own or rent a home
- Their interests
The more details you can discover about your customer base the better your chances are of making continual sales.
Local print marketing
Choosing, customizing, and presenting a business card is still very important. You want your business card to reflect your company’s personality. There are many different shapes and sizes for you to choose from. If you are a more traditional company, the American standard business card size is typically 3.5” x 2”. If you want to present outside the box, you can go with rounded corners, oblong shapes, a miniature or oversized business card. Though, it’s important to think about where your business card is going, because certain sizes will not fit in a wallet. Still, if you are looking to stand out, and not get lost amidst a stack of other cards, not fitting in a wallet may be a good thing.
Choose a business card with a relatively sturdy paper; a flimsy business card will give a bad impression. When designing your business card, choose a font that is easy to read. Avoid text next to the edges of your business card, as it could be cut away during the printing and trimming process. If you are including graphics on your business card pick something that will stand out as unique to your industry and brand. For more information on how to design the perfect business card, take a look at this article: If You Think You Don’t Need a Business Card…You’re Wrong.
Add postcards to your local marketing campaign; you can hand them out at tradeshows, nearby storefronts, and all across town. Include a special offer and get right to the point – the benefit of a postcard over something like a catalog is that customers get the information they really need from a single sheet. You can even include a promo code to be used on your website to track the success of these postcards; the use of a promo code can be applied to multiple types of print collateral. If you are sending postcards in the mail, the ability to captivate and present your company is even quicker than with a letter of some kind, as it travels without an envelope and your business name is the first thing recipients see.
If you are sending out direct mail pieces that require an envelope use personalized envelopes. Personalized envelopes with return address labels, custom stamps, and mailing labels are an effective and professional way to showcase your brand. Fill them with letterhead that includes your company name or logo, or send out custom greeting cards to customers and prospects.
If you want to go a little more into detail with your local marketing campaign, create brochures. Brochures allow you to add more information with both visual and written content, but at a lower cost than creating a whole catalog. If you are a small business that is just starting out and don’t have enough products or services to fill a whole catalog a brochure is the way to go. Plus, catalogs are typically geared toward retail-based businesses. There are several different types of brochures with the most common being bi-fold, tri-fold, and gate-fold brochures. To learn more about the different types of brochures and about print marketing in gen eral you can check out this article here: Everything You Need to Run a Successful Direct Mail Campaign.
Rack cards are another great tool carry with you to local hotspots. You can hand them out or leave them at popular locations like restaurants, storefronts, and any other high-traffic areas. Rack cards act as no-fold brochures. You can captivate potential customers by showcasing your small business perks and deals on the front and back through written and visual content. They make a great addition to any local marketing campaign.
Flyers tend to be created on lighter-weight paper, but not always. They are also typically larger, usually spanning the entire surface area of an 8 ½” by 11” sheet. Though, smaller and larger sizes do exist. Flyers are intended for wide distribution, and therefore less expensive than other types of print collateral. Whether you send them in the mail, hand them out in person, or leave them in high-trafficked areas, they are an excellent tool for showcasing your small business.
Door hangers are a great stand-out local marketing piece. And with a fresh design, you can paint the town with your small business. Bring them to industry events, canvass the establishments of your city, and leave them throughout local neighborhoods. Door hangers are hard to miss and will be one of the first things your potential customers see. If your small business is new to the area, you are trying to remind customers what you have to offer, or you want to showcase a unique deal, new good or service, door hangers are an excellent option for your local marketing campaign.
When handing out flyers around your area, it’s great to have another marketing component that will always travel with you. Car magnets will provide free advertising every time you hit the road; they are a zero-effort way of showcasing your brand – give them to all your employees and happy customers to spread the word about your small business.
Yard signs are another great local marketing component. Yard signs give you the ability to set up billboard-like ads in multiple locations without the expensive price tag. They can also act as a show of support, a way for customers to approve your brand by showcasing them in their yard or at their place of business. Create an eye-catching design and get posting! Place one out in front of your brick-and-mortar store, add one in front of your home, use them at outdoor tradeshows and community events.
Banners are great for local events! Post one above your booth at a tradeshow. Showcase your grand-opening. Advertise for a summer sale. Display them at community gatherings. If you are looking to make a significant impression, banners should be an integral part of your local campaign.
If you are going to a networking event or tradeshow, hosting a meeting, or out and about showcasing your small business, personalized presentation folders keep everything together with a professionally- branded touch. They can ensure that employees, customers, prospects, and colleagues will hold onto your marketing materials longer, giving them enough time to make educated decisions about your brand.
Put your local marketing to the test
When you have the tools you need it’s time to get out on the streets, but not without a strategy. Based on your customer demographics, where do your prospects hang out, where do they shop, what are their local hobbies? If you have a website where customers shop, make sure you include the URL on all your print marketing collateral to ensure they visit. You can measure the effectiveness of each print marketing piece by offering a promo code or special web address that allows you to track the number of visits based on the information provided on the specific piece. Ingrain yourself in the community you serve and host events of your own to create a buzz, but always make sure you have your marketing tools on hand because you are going to need them.