Many small, local businesses often feel like the underdog when it comes to advertising because of their limited budgets. But local businesses can absolutely have an advantage over regional or national brands because their market area is A) clearly defined and B) manageable.
Here are 10 proven local advertising ideas for businesses that will help widen your market reach no matter what your budget.
1. Newspaper Advertising
Newspapers, particularly local newspapers, remain the most trusted source of information among consumers. Your local paper is a cost-effective channel for you to reach your audience. Many local papers offer special advertising features beyond box ads and inserts that showcase particular businesses. This is a powerful advertising opportunity. Find out if your local area has special interest newspapers as these may be delivered to the exact audience your trying to reach.
2. Local Magazine Advertising
Local magazines are available in every state across the country, as are niche magazines, and these channels have the ability to target a very specific population, namely, locals and hobby enthusiasts. These dedicated consumers are passionate, and if you can get your ad in front of them, you have an excellent chance at creating brand awareness and loyalty.
3. Cable TV Advertising
You may not have the budget to advertise your business during the Super Bowl, but so what? You can still reach your local market while they’re watching their favorite programs. Cable TV companies offer advertising rates that most small businesses can afford. Your ad may run on the TV guide listings or a real estate channel or anywhere in between. There are a variety of cost-effective options depending on your industry and market so speak to a sales rep and see what they can do for you.
4. Local Radio Advertising
Broadcast radio continues to be a leading source of entertainment and information across demographics in this country. This highly-targeted media channel drives engagement and action, and costs less to advertise on than you may think.
5. Local Website Advertising
One simple way to ensure all your advertising bases are covered is to list your company on all the websites that provide business information for your local area. Think Chamber of Commerce and your various municipalities.
6. Attend a Trade Show
You may be assuming trade shows are too expensive for you to attend. While the big trade shows can be quite pricey, there are plenty of smaller shows – hosted by a business association or particular industry - that are affordable and can help you get your name and products out there.
7. Claim Your Local Digital Assets
Online guides such as Yelp and Yahoo! Local help consumers find local businesses, restaurants, and retailers. If you haven’t claimed your listing on these sites, you’re turning business away. Most basic listings with these sites are free and you can always upgrade or create sponsored ads.
8. Submit Press Releases
It’s surprising how few local businesses submit press releases to their local newspapers and business magazines because it can be incredibly effective. The key is to make sure you submit a story and not a blatant advertisement. You may want to announce that you have won an award, hired new staff members, are hosting an open house, or are expanding your business somehow. Just remember share don’t sell.
9. Joining Professional or Business Organizations
Every professional or business organization offers its members exclusive advertising deals. This could be free advertising on their website or advertising in a special section of the newspaper. Plus, being a member is a good reflection on your business – a win/win.
10. Email Newsletters
Did you know 80% of your future profits will most likely come from 20% of your existing customers? Isn’t this a staggering realization? Like most small, local business owners, you may be spending most of your time and ad budget on trying to acquire new customers when you should be spending time treating your current customers like kings and queens.
One cost-effective way to engage current customers is through email newsletters. If you own a gardening supply store, you could send a newsletter once or twice a month to your customers offering garden tips and information they would find helpful and relevant. Then, every once in a while, you can send a promotion, say a printable coupon they can bring into the store to receive 30% off.
These 10 advertising ideas are easy and affordable ways you can promote your business. The best thing to do is choose several of these and start experimenting. Remember, like any kind of advertising you do, these ideas will be most effective if you plan your advertising campaign first and then track your results.
- 5 Steps to Creating a Winning Digital Media Plan for Local Businesses
- Best Practices for Local Digital Advertising
- 7 Benefits of Local Magazine Advertising