How To Advertise Your Business Locally

 

This how to advertise your business post is geared at local businesses more than either global or online businesses but some tips will apply to any business.

Create A Good Web Presence

There are many ways you can build your web presence on the Internet but the obvious starting point is to have a professional looking website that is mobile friendly and easy to navigate. To maximize the benefits a good site will provide you, it is best to know what function you want this site to serve. Will it be:

  • an online catalog?
  • an informational site that is used to inform your customers?
  • a lead generation site?
  • an e-commerce site that will be used to generate additional revenue for your off-line business?

The type of site that you create may vary greatly in the look and feel that is needed for each of the functions listed above.

Once you have your website set up, it is time to start using other web properties to drive highly targeted visitors to your website. Some of these web properties may generate phone calls or bring prospects into your store without your website ever being visited.

The number of additional web properties that you will need to use will depend upon how much of a web presence your local competition has and how well they have optimized their presence.

Even if your competition is weak, there are certain web properties that you should claim and optimize for your business and these are:

You can create free accounts with each of the properties I just listed and some of them will let you add up to 10 images, 5 videos and up to 5 coupons while others will just let you list your business name, address, phone number and website URL.

Since the search engines consider the sites authority sites, the links coming to your main site will carry more weight than other links that you may spread throughout the Internet.

YouTube and Facebook, when used properly, can be great sources of prequalified prospects. The other directories that are listed above each allow consumers to leave reviews of your business on them which can either help you grow your business or they can greatly hurt your business if negative reviews get posted by unhappy customers.

Give Back To Your Community

As a business owner, you should be an active part of your local community. When you become part of your community by giving back, you will generate goodwill from the people you helped, you will be recognized for your contribution and you can broadcast your participation in some local events through press releases.

If you have a family member or an employee that is good with a video camera or a digital camera, you can use the video or pictures as content on your website.

Never underestimate the value of the goodwill and positive word-of-mouth exposure that you will gain by giving back.

You may also be surprised at how good giving back will make you feel and feeling good about yourself priceless.

Use The Media

The media is always looking for something newsworthy to fill their time in there are many ways that you can use this to benefit your business. Press releases are the easiest way to let the media know that something new or exciting is happening within your business. Some of the times that you can use press releases are:

  • when you at our new product or service to your business.
  • when you hire a new employee.
  • when you are having a special promotion.
  • when you hire an outside contractor or consultant.
  • when you redo your website.
  • when you sponsor a local event.

If you see something newsworthy happening within your community and you have knowledge on the subject that the media is already interested in, try to find out which reporter is covering the event and either call them or email them information that they can use in their story.

By stepping forward and offering your expert advice, that reporter will remember you. When a similar story comes up, you will probably be the first call they make when they seek an expert’s opinion.

Build Connections

There are many ways you can build priceless connections within your community and some of these are:

  • Donate your time to charitable organizations. Habitat for Humanity and the United Way are just two good organizations but I’m sure that your community has many more that could use your time or money.
  • Host seminars or educational events that will benefit both your customers and the community as a whole. Even if people don’t have a use for your product or service at the present time, they may be interested in learning about it and this can only help you in the future.
  • Create alliances with complementary businesses within your community. Almost every business has one specialty and there is usually another business within the community that specializes in another type of service or product that would complement what you offer. When you create a strategic alliance with these complementary businesses, you can share advertising costs or offer discounted services to customers that utilize both of your businesses.

    A good example of a strategic alliance that could work well would be a florist and a wedding planner.

  • Put a system in place that will encourage your customers to leave reviews about your business online at one of the major directory sites that you have claimed. These honest customer reviews will help presell visitors that visit your directory listing. If you set up your system correctly, you will also be able to use these customer reviews and testimonials in your marketing materials. Each positive review is a very effective piece of word-of-mouth advertising for your business.

All of the above can be done without any out-of-pocket expense. The question is whether your time is best spent doing what you do best which is running your business or learning how to optimize and use all of the above to help grow your business.

Give me a call at (863) 274-1859 if you believe having a professional implement the above is better than doing it yourself.

How To Advertise Your Business Locally

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