Market Strategies

Part Two: Four more ways to market your small business.

by Emily Kowalenko

Part one, published two weeks ago in this space, discussed online marketing possibilities along with creative and unique traditional marketing. Part two of Ways to Market Your Small Business will focus on local awareness and promotions. Marketing your small business may sound tough on the outside, but technology allows small businesses to efficiently budget, advertise, create awareness, and network at a low cost.

Establish local awareness through events and freebies: Local awareness is a great start to generate word-of-mouth because your business can support or contribute to local events. You can effectively reach your audience by marketing your business through local events such as a county fair, college event, or trade show. Giving away freebies at events like pens, sticky notes, or stress balls with your company’s logo allows your audience to remember your company the next time they see or use your freebie. Guerilla marketing is another innovative tactic when giving away a free item like a business card. For example, if you are a furniture company, you can create a fun business card that can turn into an origami chair. Online events are another way for small businesses to bring the community together while following Covid-19 guidelines.

For example, your company can host an online raffle or bingo night where customers can win prizes such as gift cards they can use at your store or merchandise with your logo on it. Online raffles or bingo night can happen through a Facebook group or Zoom call where you can live stream the event and send contestants the bingo cards virtually. However, when hosting an online event, be sure to create rules and protocols.

Write a press release: Another one of the ways to market your small business is a press release. Never underestimate the power press releases have for attracting the attention of the media. Write a press release to a positive event or contribution your business made and send it to local media. The event should be significant such as donating a sum of money to help a local hospital or hosting a 5K run for a good cause. Press releases are a valuable tool to spread your news across various outlets and can be cost-efficient.

Network with other local businesses: Small businesses need to stick together and aid each other as part of a community. Find a local or online small business that meshes well with your own and ask to hold a combined event or contest. Two small businesses working together means more opportunities to share a larger table at a trade show or event, creating more opportunities to market your small business. In addition, both businesses can advertise a larger prize to attract more audiences for a contest and build word of mouth for your brand.

Customer rewards program: Show appreciation to your loyal customers by creating a customer rewards program. Rewards programs are a great marketing way to ensure your valued customers revisit your business instead of a competitor. For example, you can have customers enter their phone number, email, or give them a rewards card to enter each time during checkout. The rewards can be as large or as small as you want them to be. For example, after every 10 purchases, your customer can receive a $5 off coupon. Not only are customer rewards programs good for marketing to your audience but it also helps build brand loyalty.

Marketing ideas for your small business are achievable through technology and local events allowing small businesses to efficiently budget, advertise, create awareness, and network at a low cost. Remember, marketing locally can be a cost-efficient way to aid your business in ganging notice and recognition.

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