Promoting Your E-business Locally
Marketers have been loudly banging the Social Media drum for years. Seth Godin even went as far as to say that "Content marketing is the only marketing left." And while the pundits' tend to ring true, they've got a lot of people looking for customers all over the web without ever checking out the gold-mine that is their own backyard.
In this sense, local promotion is one of the most overlooked growth hacks available to entrepreneurs. And while local promotion might conjure up seemingly medieval marketing tactics—what many business owners don't realize is that promoting your business locally should include a hybrid-strategy of both physical and digital marketing tactics.
To help you out, we've created a simple 5 step guide to help your business carve out its share of the local promotion space.
1. Have a Physical Presence
One of the best ways to promote yourself locally is by having a physical presence. We’re not talking about expensive billboards or flyers that will most likely get tossed. We’re talking about collaborating with strategic business partners and retailers in your area.
Make a list of local businesses that might be interested in carrying your product. If you’re a service-based business, think of ways you can collaborate with other brands. Giveaways can be an effective way to garner other businesses' interest.
2. Attend Business Events
By attending business events you can help form strategic partnerships and network with local businesses. Anytime you can integrate your service or product with another business, you have a chance to tap into their consumer base and reach a new audience.
3. Repurpose Your Inventory
You’ve heard of repurposing your content, but what about repurposing your inventory? Taking a product you normally sell online and presenting it in a new way to unique customers can be a huge boost. After all, foot traffic and web traffic aren’t so different. Think of each walk-in or passerby as a “unique visitor.”
Pop up shops and farmers markets are great ways to repurpose your inventory. When people go to farmers markets, they go with the intention of making a purchase. Capitalize on that emotion by presenting your product in an appetizing way.
Pop up shops have been an especially trendy businesses tactic these past few years. For the uninitiated, pop up shops are well, exactly what they sound like. They pop up out of nowhere and are only open for a limited time. The temporality of their nature is a built-in sales tactic, forcing the consumer to make quick decisions; knowing that your shop will only be open for a short period of time.
4. Share Your Expertise
Look for opportunities to share your expertise in a local forum. Find a topic that your company’s an expert at and attend a business conference or host a training session. A food blogger for example, could hold a cooking class to teach people how to make a killer Chicken Pot Pie. This personal interaction provides value, builds trust, and creates an emotional bond. It also gives you a chance to make an organic sales pitch.
Even if you don’t think your industry has mass appeal, consider teaching general business principles. You can host classes on sales, marketing, and investment. Providing value to your audience will build trust which will make it easier for you to convert them into leads.
5. Exploit the Local Digital Space
When you hear the word “local,” the digital space might not be the first thing to come to mind. But just as people are walking through local shopping centers, they’re also searching for local outlets like restaurants, concerts, events, and services (plumbing, electric etc.). Here are some practical tactics:
- Create content tailored to local searches. (Google has started to reward locally focused SEO.)
- Make sure you’re store is registered on Google Maps.
- Create Facebook ads targeted at consumers within a 10-20 mile radius.