4 Simple and Smart Local Business Marketing Ideas

If you’re ready to take the next step in the growth of your business, check out the four simple and smart local business marketing ideas below.

cafe shop owners

1. Try A New Type of Advertising

If you’re looking to bring new customers into your location, try a new form of advertising.

You have low cost options at your fingertips such as Facebook Ads and Google Ads, and more expensive options like TV commercials and radio ads.

Example of a Facebook Offer
Facebook Offers is a type of Facebook ad for local businesses.

Thinking about your target demographic will help you select which type of advertising is right for you.

For example, if your audience is of an age that is Internet savvy, online ads like Facebook and Google may be perfect for you. However, if your customer base skews a little bit older it may make the most sense to invest in traditional advertising.

When putting together your advertisement, regardless of which platform you use, consider what value the ad has for the consumer. In many cases it will make sense to offer a discount in your ad to drive new customers into your location.

Remember that once you get new customers in the door, the next goal will be to turn those customers into repeat business. It’s important to have a plan in place for this.

Perhaps you can offer a loyalty card to all new customers which will encourage them to keep coming back. If you have a Facebook Page or other social media profile, you could also ask them to join your online community where you can re-market to them daily with pictures, educational information and promotions.

2. Set up a Referral Partnership with Complimentary Businesses

casual business partners
Setting up a referral program with complimentary businesses is mutually beneficial.

Many local businesses compliment each other. For example, if you own a salon you might share similar clientele with a message therapy business in the area.

Take a moment today to consider which companies in the area compliment your business.

Consider reaching out to the owners of those complimentary businesses to set up a referral service/partnership between your two companies. This is mutually beneficial for both of you (as long as you don’t offer any competing services/products) and should be fairly easy to set up.

It can be as informal as making verbal recommendations for each other’s businesses, or more formal by including brochures or other collateral at each other’s locations. You might even go so far as to pay a small commission for each new customer you receive from the other company and vice versa.

3. Run a Contest / Giveaway

Big giveaways can result in big revenue for you.

Running an exciting contest or giveaway can be a great way to increase your brand awareness and bring in new customers.

Keep in mind that many contests fall short of reaching new business goals because they are not grand enough to garner the attention needed to reach or excite new people.

For example, if you run a giveaway for a free meal at your restaurant not many people outside of your normal customer base will be interested.

However, if you run a giveaway for a free cruise vacation to one person who dines at your restaurant in a particular given month you can accomplish multiple goals:

  1. You give your current customers a good reason to come back often
  2. You give new customers a reason to come try you out
  3. You give the local press a reason to write about you, thus increasing your reach for no additional cost

When it comes to running a contest or giveaway as part of a campaign to drive more sales – go big or go home!

4. Send Out an Email

Example of a promotional email used to increase sales.
Example of a promotional email used to increase sales.

One excellent way to increase sales at your business quickly is by sending out an email to everyone already on your email list. Remind them about your business and what makes it better than your competitors. Perhaps offer a small discount to encourage people to come back.

Wondering if this will really work? It will.

  • 82% of consumers open emails from companies (Source: Litmus)
  • 7 in 10 people say they made use of a coupon or discount from a marketing email (Source: Blue Kangaroo Shopping)
  • For every $1 spent, $44.25 is the average return on investment from email marketing (Source: Experian)

When you send out your email, use software that can track your open rate so you know how many people you actually reached with your email. You can use a low cost solution like MailChimp or Constant Contact to set up a simple email and track opens.

If you are planning to offer a discount, you can require that the recipients print the email and bring it in to redeem the offer. This will help you track the actual amount of revenue brought in by the email.

Don’t have a list that you can email yet? Start building one today!

Example of email signup on a restaurant website.

If you have a website, include a sign up form where customers can enter their email addresses to join your list. Have an iPad available at your location where you can encourage visitors to sign up for your emails when they are in your store.

You can offer a one-time immediate discount to encourage email sign-ups, or you can offer a birthday discount as an incentive. Both work well for local businesses.

Email won’t help you bring in a lot of new customers the way the other three options in this post will; however, it will help you get repeat business out of your existing customers for a very minimal cost.

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