When running a small, local business one of the most important things you can do to help build your company and stay successful is to build brand awareness. With so many stores and constant advertising these days it can be hard to cut through the clutter and actually make a lasting impression. If people don’t know about your business then they won’t come in or reach out to you.
If you don’t have a large marketing budget, like big companies and franchises, it may seem impossible to create an effective marketing strategy to build brand awareness. That certainly makes it especially difficult for small businesses to be successful, let alone to grow. To succeed, you’ll have to be a bit more creative in order to make the most of what you have.
Online Advertising for Local Businesses to Grow Awareness
One of the most popular and common methods of advertising for businesses today is the use of online advertising. Unfortunately, online advertising can be quite expensive. A plumber, for instance, will usually have to pay over $15 per click to advertise on relevant keywords in search engines – that can get extremely pricey. So what are you going to do? Well, you’ll have to focus on the more affordable options available to you.
To increase local awareness to in your area without spending a fortune, you may want to consider using social media advertising. Create a geo-targeted ad campaign on Facebook and maybe even Twitter with creative posts that your target audience can relate to and would not find intrusive to their online experience.
How to Build Exposure & Awareness without Spending a Fortune
Make sure that you set up local business profiles in all of the major business listing sites like Google, Yelp, MerchantCircle, Local.com, etc… most of these profiles are available for free and can help build local exposure without costing you any money.
Once you’ve set up your local business profiles, you’ll want to get as many reviews as possible on those sites. This will help get your profile to rank high in searches while also creating trust with potential customers. Encourage all of your customers to log on and leave a review. You may even want to consider offering an incentive like a $2 off coupon for each customer that leaves you a review on Google or Yelp.
Have custom clear stickers made to put in your store front window, your work vehicles and to give out to customers as gifts to help build brand awareness in your area. This is a great way to put your brand name and logo out in front of as many eyes as possible – plus, they look professional and make your brand seem bigger and more popular which is a key reason many people will take note and actually remember your name.
Business cards are also still effective and can help to build relationships, repeat customers, and to help spread the word about your company or services. They are also very inexpensive – that being said, you’re better off not going with the cheapest option. Get some business cards that will actually stand out from all the other cards that customers receive so they’re more likely to remember you.
Lastly, good signage is always important as well. Especially for local businesses that work out of a brick and mortar store. If your store or shop is hard to find then you could be losing out on a lot of business and customers. Make sure that you don’t skimp on the signage or you may end up regretting it down the road.