You know the old saying, “the more things change, the more they stay the same”?
Well, that’s not always the case when you’re marketing a local business. While it is important to stay true to “old faithful” marketing methods, it seems that more and more creative ways to reach locals seem to be popping up.
So, today, I’m going to give you 10 of the most important marketing developments for local businesses as we head into 2020. Let’s get straight down to it.
#1 Commit to Social Media
I know what you might be thinking… that you shouldn’t have to put in the time to market on social media when you’ve got thousands of people driving past your storefront every day.
Unfortunately, though, we can no longer deny how important it is to have an online presence in addition to a physical one.
If you haven’t already, it’s time to make your presence felt on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or even Pinterest. And passively posting a picture or two each week isn’t going to cut it – you need to be engaged with your audience!
This is no longer optional if you want to compete!
#2 Hire a Social Media Influencer
… which leads me to my next point. Now that you’re increasing your social media marketing campaigns, you’ll need to get the word out to the community. And if you’re concerned about how to get people to start engaging with your social media, you may want to consider hiring a social media influencer. They can use their following to lead customers directly to your doorstep.
Wondering how in the world you would find such a person? Check out my article on finding influencers here.
#3 It’s Time to Update Your Website!
If you’re still rocking the same website from ten years ago, it’s time for a refresh. Not only has your business changed during that time, but technology and customer expectations have as well.
Specifically, you need to make sure your site is mobile-optimized, or you’re losing business left and right – more than 50% of all searches are now done on mobile devices!
#4 Engage the Next Generation
It’s likely that some of your employees are millennials, but have you considered that the following generation, Gen Z, might represent the majority of your customers over the next several decades? If you want your business to experience longevity, it’s time to start engaging these youngins now.
So what separates Gen Z from previous generations? Well, for one, they grew up in the digital age. This means that, in order to be prepared, you should engage Gen Z in the same way that they engage the world: online.
#5 Carry Business Cards
I know that all of my advice so far has been related to your online presence, but let’s take a step back and talk about your business cards. Even though this is more of an “old school” marketing method, it hasn’t lost its luster.
Let’s be clear: business cards matter.
Make sure you’ve got plenty on hand. That way, when a natural opportunity pops up, you’re able to network. And if your business cards are out of style, why not update them for 2020?
#6 Create an Elevator Pitch
It’s Marketing 101, but it still matters. Knowing what you’ll say in the few minutes you have a prospect’s attention is incredibly important.
You want to be able to convey the value of your business, how you can add value to a prospect’s life or business, and what drives your passion clearly and concisely.
Putting thought into creating a powerful message is always a worthwhile investment. After all, it’s all your prospect has left of you once you step off the elevator.
#7 Offer Incentives
Everyone loves a good deal. That’s why it’s a good idea to offer incentives like giveaways, discounts, or even free trials on a regular basis. You can market these events or promotions through social media and email.
Or, for your loyal customers, show them how much you value their business by offering them incentives when they send someone new your way. Think of it this way: you not only get a new customer, but you also get a returning one (coming in to cash in on their 10% off incentive).
#8 Team Up With Other Local Businesses
Show your prospects that you’re community-minded by teaming up with other businesses who are passionate about similar causes. Make friendships, serve alongside one another, and see if that bond doesn’t translate into more customers. This is one of the most organic methods you can use to market a local brand.
#9 Send an Email Newsletter
A newsletter sent at least monthly is one of the easiest, most effective, and most affordable ways to market your business and build relationships with your prospects and customers.
Every business should be sending one!
Pick a regular schedule and stick to it!
#10 Volunteer Your Time
Have you been asked to speak at events, to share your expertise, or to help out a local charity? If so, say “yes” to as many of these volunteer opportunities as possible.
Not only are you giving back to others, but you’re also organically marketing your business and making invaluable new connections.
And don’t forget to get your team involved. Encourage your employees to volunteer along with you for causes that matter.
Step Into 2020 With Fresh Marketing!
Chances are, you’ve probably been employing several of these strategies. But we all know that every business can stand to improve in the marketing department (and that it’s a LOT of work). Try a few of these tips on for size, and let me know how it goes!