Effective marketing is a necessity for many small business owners. Whether you’re starting a new business or adding a store, establishing your brand in the community is essential. People need to know that you #1: exist, and #2: have products and services that they need.
Location and visibility are important. Use signage strategically to enhance your store’s visibility. If you’re close to the highway, for example, your sign should be large enough to attract customers driving by. If you’re located in a strip mall make sure your name is displayed on the main entrance sign. Your sign should be easy to read and well-lit.
Establish co-marketing promotions with local businesses rather than compete with them. Look for businesses that complement yours so that your services or products go hand-in-hand. For example, if your business is selling cars, then build a partnership with the car wash down the road. Cross-promote by offering discounts to shared customers or advertise within each other’s stores.
Join local organizations
Get involved with the local Chamber of Commerce, service organizations, or similar networks for business owners. Joining these groups will expand your contact list and give you opportunities to promote your business through networking.
Participate in community events
Explore parades and festivals that take place in your town. Attend these events and promote your business. Give away free stuff and have attention grabbing anchor points such as free food or an exciting contest. To establish a touch point, have an incentivized signup sheet, requiring only an email address, and brand giveaways with your business logo and contact info.
Host a charitable event like a food or clothing drive and use your business space as a place to drop off donations. Volunteer your time by helping out at the local soup kitchen, recreation center, or at a cause-related event. Encourage all of your employees to join you and find volunteer opportunities that are meaningful to you and you company’s mission. Show the community that you are willing to give your time to be a part of something bigger than just your business.
Advertise in the local newspaper and contact the local radio station about sponsoring their traffic or weather reports. Check with local sports teams and see what advertising opportunities they have available, such as placing an ad in the stadium or passing out flyers or coupons at a game. Press releases are also a great way to publicize any upcoming events or fundraisers. If you’re new to the area, send a press release to the local newspaper announcing your business and the details of your grand opening.