When it comes to advertising and promotion, many small businesses have a very small budget, and this can be restrictive. In an ideal world, every business would be able to hire a specialized and experienced advertising agency to help them, but it isn’t something that is feasible for most, especially in the early days.
It is not impossible to do it all yourself on a smaller budget, but it takes significantly more thought as to where and how you spend your marketing budget to get the best out of it in terms of exposure. Before the internet, traditional methods of advertising such as posters and flyers, as well as adverts in the local phone book or newspaper paved the way.
These days, the focus is on digital marketing and small businesses are generally aware of how important it is to optimise content for search engine purposes and to rank highly on Google, but as well as that, there is still a pressing need to focus on more local, small scale forms of advertising. Here, we look at some of those hyper-local methods that are often overlooked.
Social media is now one of the most obvious ways of marketing a small business but is still rarely used to gain maximum benefit. Facebook and Instagram are low-cost ways of reaching huge swathes of people quickly. You can also take advantage of targeted ads and really hone in on your demographic. There are also networking groups, local business groups and community groups which are all great ways to get your business name out there.
User-generated content, or UGC, is still not used as often as it could be, and it is a superb way of getting advertising for little effort or money. Just think about some of the most popular UGC campaigns – Netflix, and their Stranger Things campaign, where users were encouraged to upload pictures of stranger things with the hashtag. It gained worldwide transaction and bought in a million new customers in two weeks, who wanted to see what the fuss was about.
There are plenty of ways you could go about doing this – finding something, sharing photos and using a hashtag, even something really outside the box using a drone from https://www.drdrone.ca/.
Get Involved With Your Local Community
Community spirit is big at the moment, especially given the ongoing pandemic. Businesses have been stepping up and helping those in need in their local communities, which as well as showing their trustworthiness and authenticity, it is an excellent marketing tool if you want to be a little cynical. Libraries, for example, were looking at the older people they had on their books and calling them to see if they needed help getting grocery shopping and so on. Of course, this has raised the profile of the library and now things are returning to normality, their membership has really increased thanks to their community work.
Traditional Print Advertising
Although this method has decreased in recent years because of the rise in digital media, conventional print advertisement and its efficacy should not be dismissed. Regional newspapers typically deliver a range of advertisement types, from box ads and covers to interviews and small business articles. This can be especially helpful, as it helps you to go into a lot more detail about the service or the products you sell and offers potential customers a chance to get to know you a little better.
Some other forms of printed marketing that you may want to think about are direct mail or flyers posted through doors and mailboxes. While some would throw them away without looking, there would be those who would take note of them.
Sign Write Your Car
You drive your car everywhere – to take your kids to school and after school activities, to the grocery store and various other errands. What better way of getting your business noticed by the local community than by having it on your car or the vehicle that you drive? Ok, so having big vinyl stickers might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it is a sure-fire way of people seeing you!
Consider Having Products or Promotional Merchandise Made
Almost everyone loves a freebie – pens, post-it notes, mugs and keyrings are always popular, and they are a fun and effective way of getting your name out there. If you visit a trade show or exhibition, have plenty of these ready to hand out to passers-by – the perfect promotional gimmick could be the difference between sticking in someone’s mind and not.