8. Engage In A Conversation With Local Contacts Using Social Media
It seems that no conversation about marketing these days can be complete without the discussion of social media. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Gowalla, FourSquare… the list of tools seems endless.
While there is simply not enough room in this short article to explain everything about how to use social media, here are some useful rules to remember:
- It’s all about opening relationships, not about closing sales. Engage in conversations and try to really get to know the people you’ve met through social media.
- Each tool gives you access to a different slice of the population. Make sure it is the (“slice”) you’re going after as your customers.
- Master one tool at a time. Once that one is working, delegate /outsource it and add the next one. Rinse and repeat. Trying to get all of them going at once will kill you. Besides, mastering just one tool may be enough for you to create a comfortable inflow of prospects for your business.
- First and foremost, figure out how you can target new contacts / friends / fans / followers based on their geographical location. It can be done. However, each tool is different and most of the training out there doesn’t pay much credence to this very important issue.
- Budget your “social media” time. Set that kitchen timer to 30 minutes, and when it goes off, you’re going to send out that last chat, close that website and get on with your “normal” work.
9. Create an Advertising Co-op With Other Local Businesses
Befriend a few local businesses that target the wallet of the same customers as you do and come up with a way to advertise all of them together while sharing the cost of advertising. Say, you go ahead and buy a larger ad in the newspaper than you normally would and then use that space to run several smaller ads: One for yourself, one for the butcher, another one for the bakers, and a yet another one for the candlestick maker. Or consider your own in-house version of Val-Packs that you manage and hence don’t have to pay a premium on (in fact, your ad could be free because you put in the sweat equity into managing the co-op).
10. Offer a Daily Deal
Now that Groupon has become so big and powerful that they can turn down two multi-billion-dollar buy-out bids from Google, not a day goes by that we don’t hear about a new “daily deal” site trying to carve out a piece of that pie. With daily deal sites mushrooming around the Internet, you have a variety of options available to you and, with some of them, certain negotiation power. Only do a daily deal on the terms that will allow you to provide good service and maintain your brand’s reputation. Create a mechanism of capturing the contact details of your first-time guests and have a “bounce-back” offer ready to bring them back the second time. Remember: You don’t have a customer until they’ve bought from you twice.
11. Develop a Network of Local Centres of Influence
Somewhat similar to #9, this tactic allows you to leverage the client / customer base of other local businesses. However, in this case you are going to sit down with a few friendly businesses and create a formalized referral agreement between all of you. A good example would be a real estate agent, a mortgage broker, a lawyer, and an interior designer, etc creating a “team” that takes care of all aspects related to a real estate transaction. A marketing consultant could work with an accountant, a graphics designer, and a computer technology person. A restaurant, a local baker, a “loot bag” store and a wine-making place could provide a complete “birthday package”. I could continue but I’m sure you have a few ideas by now that you can start implementing in your business.
Now that you have read these 11 Easy Local Marketing Idea, which ones are you going to implement this week?