Cost effective ways to promote your business locally
We believe that in order to be able to promote a business, you must know it’s location and the people within it.
At BrandNuCreative, we have that knowledge and the technical ability to promote local businesses and to ensure that their online presence is as good as it possibly can be.
Get your business listed on Google+ Business.
Make sure that you claim your free listing for your business on Google+. By doing this, and optimising your listing for specific keywords, your business can feature on the Google maps function and can be viewable to people searching for your services. Another benefit of being listed is that you can also allow your customers to leave reviews on your listing. If you have more reviews for your business than your competitors then whos going to look better? Positive reviews are already beginning to have an impact on a business’s visibility in search engines, especially local search. It is becoming more likely to see positive brand mentions become a ranking signal. Does your brand get mentioned in a positive context?
Optimise your website for key phrases.
If you have a website and the local area is your target market, then make sure it’s optimised with local keywords and phrases. If it’s optimised properly then you are more likely to feature highly in regular search results. If you’ve set up you Google+ business page at the same time, you could end up with multiple search results too – i.e in the maps results and the regular search results.
Create your email database.
E-mail marketing is an effective, cost-efficient way to keep in contact with customers and generate new business. Share your business news by creating a mailing list for sending out newsletters, special offers and announcements of new products and services. Make sure each one is relevant and of some potential interest. A simple way of building your email database is to create a sign up form on your facebook page and website. You could even offer something in return for their information, such as a discount voucher or free consultation. Another benefit of a sign up form is that you can ask for specific information, such as mobile phone number, date of birth, insurance renewal date etc.
Get your website listed in specialty and business directories.
Many business and industry associations allow you to list your business on their website. In addition, there are companies who maintain popular lists of resources; use web search engines to find these lists, and then create an entry for your business. Good examples of free directories are Yell.com, Thomson Local, Free Index, Yelp and 192.com. Make sure you list your business fully (using the free listing option) and give good descriptions of your products and services.
Social media marketing.
When setting up a Facebook page, make sure it’s set up as a local business page. Having a well designed, content rich Facebook page is great for local businesses, especially if your service is B2C (Business to Consumer). Don’t ignore setting up your local presence on Facebook, promote the page to your customers when they visit you, encourage them to like it. Most importantly, update it regularly with photos, videos, news and offers, much like you can with your Google+ Local page. But remember, a Facebook page is not a substitute for having your own website!
Twitter can also be very useful for local business owners to connect with other local businesses, organisations and customers. If you create concise, meaningful content then it is much more likely to be shared with your followers. Content such as offers, discounts and positive reviews can easily be distributed to a large network of followers which can build brand exposure.
Get creative with new technology.
QR (quick response) technology has been around for a while now but not many SMEs seem to be using it (or using it properly anyway!). QR codes are a fun way to interact with your brand, if used creatively.
QR codes are simple to set up and can be printed on pretty much anything: business cards, receipts, signage, print advertising and brochures, product packaging and so on. To maximise the value of the experience, make sure your QR code links to something of value to your customers, such as assembly instructions, videos suggesting how to best use the product, or coupons with discounts on future purchases.
Everybody likes a Freebie!
Give a free trial or sample. People like getting something for nothing, and are usually more comfortable purchasing something they’ve been able to experience first, at little or no cost to themselves.
Encourage happy customers to do the talking.
There’s no greater free marketing than that of word of mouth praise from existing customers. Create loyalty and reward word of mouth by giving something back. Loyalty cards, money off vouchers and small freebies all add to the customer experience. After all, your customers are king and it’s a lot easier to look after existing ones than to find new ones to replace them!
Above are just some examples of how you can market your business to the local audience on a relatively low budget. Make sure that any marketing campaigns whether online or offline are creative, engaging and interesting so that you capture the attention of your prospective customers!