If you are a new business or an existing business that has recently moved to a new location it is critical to look at avenues available to promote your business locally. For most new businesses, budgets are tight so we have listed some of the top marketing tactics that can be leveraged for free to promote your business locally.
Google My Business and Bing Places
Google My Business and Bing Places are powerful tools to give you additional visual space within the search engine. This will help you stand out from competitors. Both require a verification process via a postcard . This process can take approximately a week from the time it was requested. Or, you can opt to start with Google and once verified you can automatically sync your profile to Bing. However, you do not have as much control over your Bing listing since each tool has unique features. It comes down to how much time you have to market your business. Both of these tools allow you to post promotional marketing messages, photos and other intriguing information that will highlight and promote your business. You definitely get out what you put in with each of these tools. The more you interact with Google and Bing by adding relevant content then the more your business listing will be shown to potential customers looking your services/products.
NextDoor Business Listing
NextDoor is both a business listing and social media app. It was specifically created for neighbors to communicate to other neighbors on what is going on nearby. But, importantly, NextDoor has become a hub where users recommend local companies to each other. The business listing is free; and with a few extra verification steps, you can also post content to your community. The more reviews your business gets on this app from different neighborhoods, the more your business is promoted to new audiences. At minimum, take advantage of NextDoor’s free business listings. Then, users can recommend and tag your business Let your customers work to promote your business!
Instagram with Localized Hashtags & Community Engagement
Social media can feel overwhelming, but Instagram is a unique social channel where you can leverage the use of localized hashtags. Then, potential customers near your business can see your promotions. As a first step, make sure you do the hashtag research. There are variations for these localized hashtags. You want to take advantage of these variations rather than just relying on the the town name. Don’t forget to look at County tags as well.
Partnerships with Neighboring Tenants
It is important to know your businesses neighbors, whether you at located in a separate building or in a multi-tenant building. There is much to be gained from establishing relationships, both in our personal and business lives. For example, your neighbors will be a very efficient route to learn the local area and clientele, and what other business are open to joint promotions. Complementary businesses drive business to each other.
Leverage Management Companies Marketing
Don’t let signing your lease be your last interaction with your landlord. Talk to them about how they market the shopping center and their management business. Do they have marketing channels where they can help announce your opening and/or post announcements for you on a regular basis? You won’t know if you don’t ask!
There can be so many different opportunities for signage and yes some may come with an added cost, but again talk to your landlord about what free options may be available. It could be a pylon sign, electronic signage, bulletin boards, etc. Make sure signage also reflects what you do or what you offer. If you have a unique name that doesn’t make your service obvious then it is very important to take advantage of adding a smaller tagline.
Take advantage of any and all free marketing and then look to local paid advertising such as local postcards, chamber of commerce, paid social ads using geo targeting, local newspapers, radio, and more. Create a budget and make sure your marketing can be measured so you can determine what is working. You need to optimize your efforts and budget long term. You need, to know what works for your business in your area. For more marketing tips please follow our partner Point of Action Marketing on your favorite social network (Instagram, facebook, linkedin) or visit their website for more information.