Launching a new business is both exciting and difficult. But if you achieve success with your venture, there’s a tremendous amount of financial and personal reward to be gained. If you’re interested in opening up a business in your community, there are a number of routes you can take when it comes to your marketing strategy. Here are three tried and true strategies that can help get your business on the road to success.
Get involved with your community
The most effective way to market your local business is by getting involved with your community. Does your town host special events seasonally? Many towns offer fun events such as movie nights on the town common during the summer or winter festivals during the colder months. Connect with organizers to see how your business may be able to contribute to an upcoming community event. For example, if you’re opening a frozen yogurt shop in your town, you may want to participate in some of your community’s warm weather events. Consider selling your product or offering free samples to event attendees. This can help you build relationships with potential customers locally and get people interested in your products.
Take your business mobile
Did you know that over 50% of US adults have a smartphone? If you want to connect with customers, consider developing a mobile marketing strategy for your local business. If you’re just starting out, you may want to hold off on developing a branded mobile application. Branded apps tend to be expensive, and while they may be worth the investment over time it can be difficult to get a good return on your investment at the start.
As an alternative, think about working with a mobile developer to create a location-based effort for your business to connect with customers in designated areas. When a potential customer enters the area that you have specified, they receive an opt-in message on their mobile. The most effective location-based campaigns typically offer special incentives, such as a percentage off discount on a popular item or a freebie. This can be a good way to increase foot traffic to your store.
Get started with local search and consumer review sites
Many use their mobile devices to search for products locally before they even venture out the door. If you’re interested in grabbing the attention of potential customers, start by getting your business listed on popular consumer review sites such as Yelp and Google Places for Business. Mobile users often read reviews of nearby businesses and restaurants to help inform their decision about whether they are interested in stopping by. Although you may not have many reviews to start, you can encourage your customers to share their thoughts about your business after visiting. You can also use these platforms to respond to those who submit reviews. For positive reviews, a simple thank you will suffice. If you receive a negative review, it gives you the chance to try and rectify the situation. Consumer review sites are the new word-of-mouth in the digital age.
Launching a new business is no walk in the park. But proper positioning and a good understanding of your market will get you started on the right path. Consider adding these three strategies to your marketing toolkit when you’re starting up.
Author Bio: Carrie St. John has over a decade of experience in the marketing industry. She writes frequently about marketing trends that affect small businesses.