1- Update your business cards to bring them into 2018. Consider doubling-up to include a loyalty program (e.g Buy 9, get your 10th free) or small discount on the back.
2- Meet other local business owners and find out if there are any opportunities to cross-promote your products and services. For example, if you are a nail salon, can you refer people to the waxing salon around the corner or vice versa? If so, link to each other’s websites too! This is great for being listed higher on search engines.
3- If you sell a larger or more expensive product (e.g. furniture, sports equipment etc), keep a record of all past sales, and check in with clients every couple of years to see how the product is working out for them, and if they are in the market for anything new. Mattresses, for example, should be replaced every 10 or so years, so getting in front of the audience before they start shopping might be a quick win.
4- Depending on your target audience, think about doing a direct mail campaign through Canada Post.
5- Start using GetintheLoop to inform customers, old and new, about unique experiences and exclusive offers at your location.
6- Send past customers, who haven’t visited in a while, some sort of incentive to return. E.g. a small free sample, a discount coupon etc.
7- Advertise on your local radio.
8- If you do not have a website – get one. If you have a website, is it updated? Do you have the key information people want to find front and centre e.g. opening hours, address, phone number etc.
9- Rent space on a static billboard or digital sign.
10- Use stickers or magnets to advertise on your car. They’re fairly inexpensive from Vistaprint or StickerYou. If you’re really feeling that this is a good advertising option for you, consider a full-body wrap on your vehicle. You can get quite creative and eye-catching!
11- Take out an ad in your local newspaper.
12- Buy ad space on a relevant website that complements your business.
13- Use a sandwich board outside your business to promote your specials and drive foot traffic through the door. Be creative to catch people’s attention.
14- Use a variety of social media platforms to reach your target audience – depending on where they spend their time.
15- Get listed Google My Business – it’s free! This is a no-brainer as it ensures your business is visible in local listings when people conduct a Google search.
16- If you have the time and ability, start a business blog write blog posts on a regular basis. It doesn’t have to be anything too crazy – just talk about your business, what you do, expand posts on various elements. This is a great example from a pool company showing how you can literally write anything when it comes to your business: https://www.riverpoolsandspas.com/blog
17- Start a Google Adwords pay-per-click campaign. This is something that you can do yourself, but if the concept seems daunting but there are usually plenty of independent contractors in your area that can help you get set up for a small fee.
18- Record a video blog post – this isn’t as difficult as it may seem and can be done quickly and easily from your own smartphone. If you aren’t sure how to add to your website, simply share on social media, or upload to YouTube and share the link.
19- Advertise on the back of a bus in your local town or city.
20- Run a contest a share on social media. Most people love getting something for nothing, so a contest can drive more traffic to your social media pages, you website or into your location. Make the prize something of value to customers – ideally something that will get them into your location (free dinner, gift card etc). If it’s on social media, make sharing/liking/commenting part of the entry requirements as this will ensure more people see it.
21- Get listed in lots on local, and industry relevant directly listings. Directory listings are one of the best ways to rank more highly on a Google search as it links back to your website, which tells Google that you are a reputable, genuine business. Note: Your business name, address and phone number should be exactly the same across every directory you post on.
22- Start an email newsletter. This is easy to do with MailChimp and free to get started! You can either add a form to your website asking for people to join your mailing list, or have a drop-box/list in your business where people can add their email – this works well when combined with an incentive to sign-up (e.g. monthly gift-card draw). Be aware that there are strict laws in Canada that means you can only email people who have actually signed up to be emailed.
23- Sponsor a local sports team or donate branded prizes for local fundraisers.Your business name and/or logo will be visible to many many people and some of the cost is tax deductible as an advertising expense.
24- Plan your next seasonal promotion. There are a few big events of the year that most businesses can tie in some sort or promotion to. Think Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Back-to-School, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas. Plan out your promotions for each of these times of year well in advance.
25- Send holiday cards/birthday cards/incentives/gifts to your most loyal/valuable customers.
GetintheLoop for Business makes local marketing easier. Attract and retain more customers with mobile offers, delivered directly to their phones. Keep 100% of your revenue. Get started today!