Inexpensive Local Marketing Ideas
If you are looking for a way to market your business locally, but you don’t have the money to dip your toe into every pool, you aren’t alone. There are many ways to make an impact on the local area without spending much, or any, of your precious capital on it. Some of these ideas are likely old hat, but you may find that some of them you have not considered. We hope at least one or two of them spark something and give you a way to further market your business without dipping into the bank.
Research the Market
This is an option that costs nothing, at least in terms of money. It may take some time, but it can certainly be worth it in the end. By researching your target market and the characteristics that are shared by them, you can even save money in other ways.
Are you curious how?
Focus your marketing efforts on the people who are most likely to be a customer to begin with. You can also change the way you write messages to make them more likely to pull in those who may be customers down the line.
You can also study your competition and determine what their strengths and weaknesses are. From there you can capitalize on their weaknesses instead of going toe-to-toe in an area where they have an advantage. Turn those weaknesses for them into benefits for your company.
Use Business Cards
Sure, this might seem old-school, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. Meeting people face to face is a great way to get your name out there. Introduce yourself to new people you encounter, whether that happens to be someone in line behind you at the grocery store or the person behind the counter at the gas station. Pull out a card, jot down a freebie code, and sign it with a date. Many will use that business card coupon, and that can lead to returning customers.
Turn to Email
Email marketing is an inexpensive way to get the word out to people. A bare-bones marketing company may cost you only a few dollars a month, yet allow you thousands of contacts and more than enough space and span for a local business to do well. But what makes email stand out is that it is known for having a huge return on marketing dollars.
There are dozens of studies that show consumers prefer email communication. So, give the people what they want and save a bundle while you do it. It’s a situation that’s perfect for you and excellent for your customers, as well.
You want to engage and convert as fast as possible in the modern, digital world we live in. Most people look for a service or product online. In fact, studies show that many people use online research so much that they no longer need to ask questions of a sales person. They show up wanting what they want and knowing exactly what they expect.
One means of increased engagement comes through being aware of the device someone uses to browse your site. There are inexpensive methods to offer different iterations of the same site, so it looks great, no matter how a customer chooses to navigate. This can lead to someone who sticks around longer and gives you a sale.
Optimize for Crowds
Most consumers visit the web before making a purchase, and they often do this weeks or months before a decision. People are interested in having all the information they need to make the best choices. This applies whether the item in question is something expensive like a car or something low-budget that may not seem worthy of research. The starting point for buying is searching on the Internet.
Build your sites using best practices of search engine optimization to give yourself a leg up in rankings. Your business will be more prominently displayed and in turn get more traffic as people see you before other offerings.
Consider Cross Promotion
If you know another business that needs some marketing help, think about joining up with them. You could offer them a flyer for their store to pass out with a discount code. You could even offer to do the same back for them. You end up advertising to people out and about who may not know you exist and customers may stop in due to the discount code or other perks you offer them.
There are tons of other ways to market inexpensively if you get creative. Here are some ideas that you could consider implementing. Each of them is inexpensive, and most won’t take up too much time, either.
· Place a magnet on your company car with your business’ name on it. You could also use a window decal or bumper sticker if preferred.
· Hold a business card drawing. Take visitors cards and then offer a prize to one lucky person at the end of the month based on who is randomly picked.
· Have an event or offer a class. You can often post a flyer with your company name, plus you get to help the community with something.
· Apply online for awards in your industry. Having badges from awards makes your website look more credible and reputable, leading to more sales.
· Offer a small online contest with a prize to the winner. This will pull people in, some of whom will stick around after the competition is over.
· Implement a customer referral program where an existing customer receives a free product or a discount when they refer a new customer.
· Recycle your content by turning a blog post into an eBook or a video into a webinar.
No matter what kind of business you are and what kind of services or products you provide, there are ways to get new customers without spending a ton of money. This list above should be a good basis for finding a few marketing ideas that work for you. Good luck!