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Many local businesses, unfortunately, fail due to marketing mishaps, ranging from financial to a lack of customer knowledge. While startups can research their target audience for free, it’s a lot harder to advertise without any money. Fortunately, there are cheap alternatives you can try.
How to Market Your Local Business With Little Money
- 1. Print Posters and Tack Them on Community Boards
- 2. Leverage Social Media and a Business Profile
- 3. Collaborate With Other Local Businesses or Startups
- 4. Use Email Marketing to Connect With Local Audiences
- 5. Join Local Groups on Social Media or in Person
- 6. Offer Discounts, Promotions, and Loyalty Rewards
- 7. Utilize General Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- 8. Optimize Local SEO by Using Google My Business
- 9. Create Content Specifically For Your Community
- 10. Ask for Customer Reviews, References, or Testimonials
How to Market Your Local Business With Little Money
You’ll need to leverage online and offline marketing sources to find and connect with local customers.
Here are 10 cheap advertising options you can use to advertise your business.
1. Print Posters and Tack Them on Community Boards
Coffee shops and grocery stores often have community cork boards businesses can use to advertise themselves. You can use them to bring in more local customers. With tools like BeFunky, any company can make stunning posters for free and print them at a lost cost. Alternatively, using overlay images can make the image even more stunning.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are free to use and can be a great way to reach potential customers in your local area. Make sure to create a business profile (especially on sites like LinkedIn) and regularly post updates about your products or services.
3. Collaborate With Other Local Businesses or Startups
Partnering with other local businesses can help you reach new customers. You could even attend local events to get your products and services in front of potential customers. Only collaborate with people who fit in with your niche and aren’t considered your direct competitors.
4. Use Email Marketing to Connect With Local Audiences
Email marketing allows you to send promotional messages directly to your customers’ inboxes. Use an email marketing tool like Mailchimp to create and send newsletters or promotional emails to your subscribers. If you’re tech-savvy, you can run email campaigns online for free.
The key to promoting your small business locally is focusing on the community. Join a local group, either on social media or in person, to create that sense of community in your city. You could also join your local Chamber of Commerce, which offers benefits like health coverage.
6. Offer Discounts, Promotions, and Loyalty Rewards
Offering discounts or promotions can help attract new customers and encourage existing buyers to make a purchase. Consider offering a discount to first-timers or running a promotion on a popular product. You could create a loyalty club that’s exclusive to online orders or shoppers.
7. Utilize General Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is the process of improving the visibility of your website in search engine results pages (SERPs). By optimizing your website for relevant keywords, you can improve your chances of being found instead of your competitors. SEO can be cheap if you implement it yourself.
8. Optimize Local SEO by Using Google My Business
Local SEO uses the same techniques as general SEO, except it focuses on a local audience. For example, you need to optimize Google My Business and ensure your name, address, and phone number are consistent online for Google to rank you as a “local business” in your area.
9. Create Content Specifically For Your Community
Businesses only interested in advertising locally can create content, such as blog posts, videos, and podcasts, that are specifically relevant to their community. For example, if you’re a local flower shop, you can write about plants that grow naturally in your neighborhood, city, or state.
10. Ask for Customer Reviews, References, or Testimonials
Positive customer reviews can be a powerful marketing tool. Encourage your customers to leave reviews on your website or review platforms like Google or Yelp by asking them at the bottom of receipts or emails. Place positive video testimonials on your site’s homepage.
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