Friday, January 11, 2013

Are you a "local" business? -- Local Marketing Tips

When people buy locally, the money spent in the community stays in the community to sustain local jobs, pay local tax dollars, and support local schools and organizations. It also promotes a family and community atmosphere. Here are a few creative ways to promote your business locally:
  • Distribute promotional pieces to spread the word. Consider mailing postcards to recipients in a particular zip code, distributing door hangers in local neighborhoods, posting flyers or posters at local businesses, and so on. Offer an enticing discount or coupon to encourage people to visit your location.

  • Focus on networking with other area businesses, schools, churches, and civic organizations. Consider cross promotions to increase local traffic, such as distributing coupons or brochures for each others' businesses or causes.

  • Create a loyalty program to reward customers and encourage repeat business. Use punch cards or stamp cards, recognize customer birthdays, provide exclusive coupons or upgrades, and consider a customer review panel that receives free products or services in exchange for their valuable feedback and input on how to improve your business.
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  • Introduce yourself and spread the word about your business throughout your community. For example, you could strike up a conversation with someone while waiting in line at a post office or attending a community event. Break the ice with something like this: "I'm Bob, the owner of Bob's Bagels down the street. If you haven't tried us out yet, here's a freebie!" Then pass them a business card and/or coupon.

  • Support local fundraisers. For example, a restaurant could donate 50% of profits for guests who have a voucher for John Doe's Cancer Benefit on April 5th. This would not only increase restaurant traffic, but also support a good cause.

  • When marketing locally, always use your full street address, rather than a PO box, which doesn't indicate your physical location. Also provide a local phone number in addition to a toll-free option.

  • Ensure your business is listed on major local search platforms, including Google Maps, Google+ Local, Yahoo! Local, Bing Local, and similar websites.

  • Promote the advantages of purchasing locally, including personalized attention, convenience, and the ability to stop by anytime to see products, ask questions, or get ideas.

  • Promote ways your business gives back to your community and supports area organizations. Be an example and make sure you're supporting other local businesses as well.
Peter "The Printer" Lineal
Plum Grove
2160 Stonington Avenue
Hoffman Estates, IL 60169
Ph: 847.882.4020 Ext: 133

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