With so much focus on digital marketing and online sales, it would be easy to think that this is now the only worthwhile way to promote your business. However, there is still plenty of scope for more traditional marketing techniques on our high streets, and businesses that embrace both are likely to be best placed for success.
1. Seek publicity in local publications to promote your business
Identify the local publications for your area. Parish magazines or the local gazette can have very wide and loyal readerships and are a great place to promote your business cost effectively. Small, local publications are always on the lookout for news and information about local businesses so why not let them know about your products and services? Place a business listing, send them a press release or you could even run a discount offer, giveaway or free prize draw to create a buzz about your store.
2. Offer in-store offers and discounts
Who doesn’t love to get something for nothing? Running a free prize draw is a great way to get people interested in your products and services. Whether you are offering a free cut and blow dry, a new bag, or a complimentary three-course meal, running a free prize draw is certain to attract attention. Not only does it give you the opportunity to shout about what you do, it also gives you the chance to build your customer marketing database so that you can carry on communicating with them in the future and keep them up to date with your latest products and offers.
There are many creative ways you can promote your prize draw – tell your customers when they shop with you; hand out leaflets outside your store and in the local area; use a sandwich board outside your premises; and tell your local press and radio stations. You can also consider running discounts for specific local groups, such as price reductions for other local businesses or 10% off for any families at the local primary school – if you tell the school about your plan the chances are they will promote it to all their families on your behalf.
Want to make your offer even stronger? Why not team up with another local business to run a promotion jointly? Not only will this make your offering even more enticing, but it will also give you exposure to each other’s customers and let even more people know about how great your business is. You can find useful resources and information about prize draws and promotions on the Advertising Standards Authority website.
3. Reach your customers through direct marketing
Despite the prevalence of email marketing, don’t rule out good old direct mail as a way to reach your target audience. A well-worded letter or colourful flyer landing on the doormat of your target customers can work wonders. If you run a restaurant, why not distribute your latest menu throughout your local area? Or if your business is a bit more niche, consider buying or renting contact lists of customers that fit your demographic so that you can write to them directly and tell them all about what you offer. The Direct Marketing Association has information on creating effective door-drops and lots of other useful resources to help you along the way.
4. Host an event to create a buzz around your business
Want to create a buzz around your business? Why not run an event? An open day or themed event is an excellent way to showcase your products or services and entice more people into your premises. By keeping it local, you could find other businesses in the area to collaborate with. A fashion show, food or drink tasting, hair styling challenge or drop-in advice clinic are just some examples of the kind of event ideas that might suit your business.
5. Sponsor a local club or team
Sponsoring a local club or sports team is an excellent way of giving your business some exposure and can be surprisingly cost effective. Many sports teams will welcome a financial contribution towards kit or equipment in return for displaying your logo on their shirts, programmes or premises. So why not reach out to your local club or team and see what support you can give in return for some brand exposure?
6. Create eye-catching marketing materials
Great products might speak for themselves, but good marketing materials will always help you get your message out to the right customers, in the right place at the right time. Whether you’re preparing flyers, business cards, advertisements, or direct mail pieces, it is worth spending a little extra time and money to ensure that they present your business in the most professional and eye-catching way possible.
Don’t forget to think about your messaging too. Just because you’re using an offline tactic it doesn’t mean you can’t link to your online promotions too. Make sure you tell people where to find your website, Facebook page or Instagram account, and explore other crossover techniques such as QR codes to provide more information and encourage more interaction with your customers.
Download your FREE digital marketing promotion guide
There are so many ways you can use offline marketing to drive sales, both in store and online. For more ideas why not read our FREE digital marketing promotion guide, published in collaboration with marketing experts, Wonderful Creative Agency. Download your copy here.
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