No matter the size of your business, marketing can take a chunk from your budget. Some resources are larger, but maybe yours isn’t or is almost non-existent. Finding a low-cost solution suitable for your business is a snap if you know where to look, what’s helped in the past, and if you’ve kept records of past marketing campaigns.
How does the past help now? While there is nothing wrong with repeating a method that didn’t perform well before, you do want clear records of your campaign for comparison and to change your strategy.
Sometimes an approach simply doesn’t do well because you’ve chosen to reach too narrow of a market or vice versa. Identifying, learning from our past mistakes and then applying them to future campaigns might make all the difference by discovering a method that will truly perform for your business and budget.
Low-Cost Local Marketing Ideas
Upsell Your Products
Upselling customers costs you nothing but a few extra seconds. As your customer is checking out, you or your staff can upsell a product related to what the customer has already purchased. For example, if a customer buys a new phone, you can upsell accessories and chargers.
The method works well with product warranties and does exceptionally well in the restaurant industry too. Why else do fast food employees ask if you would like to try certain items or if you want fries with that? If you have ever stopped and pondered why, you have your answer. Businesses are upselling you, so why can’t you do it too?
It can be as simple as sharing the specials, announcing what’s on sale, or asking the customer if they’re aware of your current deals. You can take the idea of upselling a step further and collect their email addresses and mailing addresses to build a list simply by asking if they subscribe or receive your mailer.
The worst your customer can say is no.
Do you have an upcoming sale you would like the local area to know about? Did your business just open or recently move? Perhaps you simply want potential customers and your existing customer base to know more about your business and services. Using direct mail is a low-cost approach to reaching between 200 and 5,000 customers.
If you’ve been collecting physical addresses from your customers, you already have a good idea of what areas to target first. According to Carlos de Santos of EDDM USPS, “Postcards are an ideal way to attract new business, stay in touch with existing clients, thank and reward loyal customers.” While a customer might not keep every postcard they receive, if it’s designed well, provides information, and/or offering something they can use, they’re more likely to recall it.
Brand (Or Rebrand) Your Business
Every business needs a brand from major corporations to single-handedly run small businesses. If you haven’t thought ahead and branded your company, you should invest marketing dollars here first.
Your logo should be seamless across every platform and piece of advertising you create (digital and print). Another option is to update or add to your brand with a slogan or catchy saying that grabs the customer’s attention.
Alternatively, a form of double-duty marketing is to involve your customer base in either redesigning or designing your brand or slogan. You can offer small prizes, coupons, or incentives to encourage participation too, and depending on your business, you can host the contest on-site or online.
Marketing is a lot of trial and error. It can seem daunting and an endless headache, but if you start with a solid plan and budget, you will find creative solutions to grow. Remember to learn from your failed and successful campaigns too. Apply what you learned works, but you shouldn’t be afraid to retry a method that has previously failed as long as you make some changes.