While there are a wealth of opportunities to promote your business offline, it’s equally important to think about how you can tap into your existing market: the neighborhood around your brick and mortar.
In-market tactics focus on increasing brand awareness in the geographic area directly around your business. As always, it’s important to remember that the best marketing plans are comprised of multiple channels; by making educated guesses about your customers, testing different types of marketing, and measuring your results, you’ll know if these strategies can make an impact on your bottom line.
Ways to implement in-market promotion:
1. Distribute printables
Digital may be the way of the future, but there’s a reason paper has remained the choice of marketers for decades: it’s cheap, it’s easily distributable, and it works. You can have business cards, brochures, and posters designed and printed with custom branding inexpensively (you can also find templates in The Slice Shop). Of course, you’ll want to display these materials in-house, but it also makes sense to share them in your community. Reach out to other local businesses like hotels, apartment complexes, or coffee shops where there’s lots of foot traffic and where people might be hosting events to see if you can leave materials on-site.
2. Use business listings
It’s likely that you already have your bases covered with local directories like Yelp and Google (and if not, Slice can help with that!). You’re off to a great start, but there are a wealth of other resources available. Look for “Best Of” lists or neighborhood features where you can get your business name listed. A word of warning, however — there are several business directory services that require payment for placement. Moz offers a great resource on how to spot directories like these and whether the cost and benefit are something you should consider for your needs.
3. Advertise with your local Chamber of Commerce
The city offers local business owners several opportunities for visibility, both through directories and advertising or event sponsorships. Your local Chamber of Commerce website will provide you with information on how to maximize your business’s presence through the city. You can register with the business section on websites of local newspapers and other media, like TV and radio stations (paid or free).
4. Send out direct mail flyers
Direct mail is an especially successful companion to your business’ email strategy. You could send a specific mailer to past customers offering a deal, or you could work on brand awareness in a particular neighborhood.
The U.S. Postal Service offers their Every Door Direct Mail Program specifically to increase visibility for small local businesses. Their website specifies that if you’re having a sale, opening a new location, or offering coupons, EDDM can help you send postcards, menus, and flyers to the right customers. Every Door Direct Mail even offers an online tool powered by census data to map zip codes and neighborhoods down to age, income, and household size, so you’re guaranteed to be seen by future customers.