Without a way to rein in customers, you will not have much of a business. A successful marketing strategy is crucial and must contain varied elements for optimal effectiveness. While it seems that the internet dominates the world, there is still plenty of business to be gained from offline efforts, especially for businesses with a local market. Here are some ideas for effective offline marketing for your small business.
When it comes to marketing, it is important to employ strategies where you can leverage your efforts and get the highest return on your investment. Trade shows are a great strategy; along with being in a sea of highly qualified prospects, the single location and short duration of the event can really make things happen and allow you to make some great contacts. Sponsoring charity events or other types of events is another great way to get the most bang for your marketing buck—lots of exposure and good karma to boot.
Carefully tracking your marketing efforts helps you see what is working and what is not. This will help you focus your strategy more effectively by putting the most money towards what is working best. For example, if you use fliers to advertise your business, use a different phone number, promotional code or website address for each of the different areas so you can see where you are getting the most business from.
If your business primarily serves your local community, the local media is a great tool for expanding your reach. Hosting community events, expanding a current product or launching a new one may be all you need to get some coverage. You can also submit press releases announcing a new product or a business milestone, such as your 10th year in operation.
Providing content to journals and trade magazines in your niche is not only a great way to reach highly desirable customers, it helps establish authority and credibility. Someone reading an actual magazine will likely focus more on the article than if they were just breezing through something online.
Establishing a personal connection with existing customers and potential ones is a very powerful strategy for a business. Send personalized cards to current and potential customers for every holiday on the calendar. The next time they need your product or services, it is highly likely you are going to be the first person that comes to mind.
Speaking at events and conferences is a great way to get your business out there. Not only will you be surrounded by potential prospects, you will establish authority and credibility in your field, and maybe make some important professional connections that can be mutually beneficial.
Provided you are not in direct competition with a business, establishing a network with businesses that offer services that are complementary to yours in some way is a great way to get your business in front of new customers without having to do a thing. Perhaps you could engage in a cross-promotion where each business offers a special discount to customers of the other if they buy a certain product or make a purchase by a certain date.
A newsletter is a great way to provide customers with valuable information that is interesting and useful; it is also an effective way to stay in front of their minds, get referrals and keep them abreast of sales, promotions and new products and services.
Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who covers a range of business topics. Check out Blue Bee Printing if you need a custom sticker for your business marketing needs.