How to promote your business locally: 10 simple tactics

How to promote your business locally: farmer welcoming a customer

Top 60 ways to promote your business

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Finding a product or service to sell is only half the story. Now you have to get out there and tell people about it. In the days before the internet and social media, promoting your business meant spending a fortune on advertising or PR services, a high cost for a small business trying to get off the ground. Not anymore.

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There is a variety of online and offline mechanisms to market your business, such as social networking, advertisements, word of mouth and outdoor advertising, some pricier than others. Here are 60 ways you can promote whatever business, product or service you have, whether it’s offline or online.

Create a brand & logo

Don’t be fooled by how simplistic this first tip may seem. Widespread brand recognition is your ultimate goal, and your business needs to inspire credibility and persuade others to spread the word about your work.

You need to create a brand you can build on from the start. Start by taking inventory of your business’ unique value proposition, its personality, and the values that define it. Then you can start to think about your visual brand.

Hiring a design firm may be costly, but there are popular design services on the web, that can provide a selection of custom logo designs for your brand, and at an affordable price. You can even create a logo using an online logo maker if you’re on a very tight budget. Your visual brand may evolve with your business, but you need to start with something on which you can build your business’ reputation.

How to promote your business locally

Customer paying using her credit card

There isn’t one definitive marketing effort that will win over local customers . Connecting with potential customers requires a combination of digital marketing tactics and in-person marketing initiatives.

1. Write a blog

Blogging is a free and effective marketing tool to drive traffic to your site. It can bring in visitors from all over the world, and more importantly, you can use it to promote your business locally, whether you’re selling products via e-commerce or in-store only.

Effective blogging is more than just writing about topics you think people are searching for. You must have a search engine optimization ( SEO ) strategy supported by a thoroughly researched keyword strategy to see measurable results from your blog.

For example, a law firm in Austin, Texas, might wonder how it can get more clients who have had workplace injuries. By researching locally searched terms, it determines that many people in Austin have questions about “work injury laws in Austin.” This becomes a blog topic and, with SEO optimization , helps the business’s website see an uptick in local SEO performance .

Use free keyword research tools to plan out your strategy and choose the most relevant and popular search terms in your area. Knowing what your audience is searching for is the first step in creating content that will drive traffic and results.

2. Master social media marketing

Consumers often use social media platforms to research local businesses and interact with them. As such, you should be active on your channels and ready to respond to any comments or questions they have.

You can use your Facebook page for promoting sales events, seasonal offers, or contests. Part of knowing how to promote your business locally means keeping your posts relevant to your local market —tap into what makes your community unique and use messaging that is relatable to your local audience.

LinkedIn is a platform you can use to network with other small business owners and entrepreneurs . Doing so can open doors to potential partnerships, collaborations, or events with other local businesses .

3. Sign up for a local directory or local listings

You can submit your business profile and contact details to industry-specific local listings —usually run by professional organizations—or to your local Chamber of Commerce . Review sites and local directories like Yelp put your business on the radar of local consumers and let potential customers research your company before deciding to make a purchase.

4. Use locally targeted ads

Including local digital ads in your marketing campaign gives you access to an audience you might not otherwise reach. The power of online ads lies in the ability to target specific local audiences .

Your first option is search engine marketing (SEM). These are the advertisements that show up at the top of local search engine results. You can choose a target audience and specific terms for your ads so your business shows up at the top of the list when locals search for your goods or services.

Let’s say you run a salon in Detroit, Michigan. You might want to pay for ads that show up every time someone searches “best salon in Detroit.” This way, you appear at the top of the page before all your competitors.

You can also consider cost-per-click (CPC) or pay-per-click (PPC) ads on popular platforms like Yelp . For example, Yelp Ads work to promote your business in key areas across the Yelp site and mobile app—including above search results and on competitors’ business pages . You’re in control of your budget and can pause your ads at any time. Additionally, you’ll only pay when someone clicks on your ad, ensuring your investment is going toward customers who are more likely to spend.

5. Set up a direct mail campaign

When you’re considering how to promote your business locally, don’t rule out traditional marketing strategies . Direct mail campaigns have been around for a while but they’re still highly effective , especially if your target market includes people who don’t often use email or social media .

When designing your brochures, include your business name and contact details, plus a coupon or discount voucher. Also, issue a call to action to tell prospective customers what steps to take next. For example, perhaps they need to present the brochure at your business by a certain date to receive the discount.

6. Grow your email list

Email marketing isn’t a new idea, but it’s still a powerful way to help convert leads into customers, drive brand awareness, and increase customer acquisition and retention. In fact, 91% of companies report that email marketing is critical to the success of their businesses.

Hold a customer contest

People love a challenge — whether it’s guessing how many marbles are in the jar or submitting a photo of themselves using your product. Fostering a little friendly competition is a great way to connect with current customers and potential new ones.

Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Snapchat are all popular platforms for hosting contests, and they work for both brick-and-mortar and e-commerce businesses. For inspiration, read the blogs of marketing experts and spend time on the social sites themselves.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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