In this Q&A series, we’re going to talk about how to advertise your small business locally.
So, in today’s day and age, there’s many ways to advertise your small business locally from talking to a lot of business owners that are just starting out or have been around for many years. Some of them still struggle to do this – finding new avenues to advertise their business. A lot of older business owners are used to the old way of advertising like getting businesses like referrals or networking and building businesses that way. But there are many ways for you to build your business locally. I’ll break it down to offline marketing and online marketing just so you can see the options that you have to grow your business locally.
We’ll start off with offline marketing. One of the things you can do to advertise for your business locally is join the local chamber. The local chamber usually has runs events like networking events. They’ll put you on their website, they’ll introduce to other businesses and if it’s a good chamber, they would have like an orientation that will show you how to best utilize what the chamber has to offer.
Second thing you can do is a little old fashioned and it depends on your business is mail. A lot of real estate people still use the mail to send out some listings they have just keep in touch with their previous clients or maybe possible clients. So, mail is still an option. It can be a little pricey depending on how much a post costs, but that is an option for offline marketing.
Now, the third thing is if you have the money or budget, put an advertisement out on a bench or a bus stop, or even a billboard. That can be pricey but it will target the people in your local area. So if you’re a restaurant and you have a sign, a big sign up that might help drive in people to your business. Or if you’re optometrist or dentist having your business logo or your advertisement on the street knew your business might help drive traffic to your business. The hard part is collecting the data on how much that works so you would have to find a way or whenever a customer comes in, ask them how they found you and see if it’s a good payoff.
The next thing is your local newspaper. For us, we have obviously got the Los Angeles times which is a big newspaper so it might be kind of pricey over there. But then each city still has their local newspaper like a lot of the beach cities have their beach rapport or whatever. The local paper might be good for you. Depending on demographic, if it is an older demographic, it might be good to be in the newspaper. Younger people nowadays don’t really use it so much. We are using online or on our phone. So, a newspaper would be another option for you.
And the last thing for offline marketing is finding networking events. Going up on Meetup, finding a networking event or finding these different groups that maybe you’re interested in or things you’re interested in. You never know where businesses will come from a networking group. So just always go out there, always be networking, always be connecting.
For online marketing, what you can do is, obviously there’s a ton because I’m an online marketer. So one of the things you can do is social media like YouTube. Post some videos or talk about your expertise on YouTube. Don’t try to be a YouTube star or anything. Just post content out there and you never know who’s going to see it or who’s going to find it online. So just having it out there gives you a space to show your creativity, show your knowledge and share your knowledge with people. Sometimes you’ll get business from that. So, social media using YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, whatever industry you pick. Pick a platform that’s best for your industry. Like a photographer will obviously be on Instagram or if you’re a designer maybe you want to be on Pinterest.
So the next thing is having your own website. I’ve talked about this a lot that it’s always good to have your own website because you could put whatever you want on there. If you’re a photographer, having your portfolio on there, if you’re videographer having your videos on there, just to get a way to advertise yourself is having a website because you’re in full control of the content that’s on there. So obviously you have to do SEO or run ads to drive traffic to your site or use social media. But a good place to do online marketing is having your own website just because you control it fully.
The next thing is running ads. I’m talking about Google ads, Yelp ads, Facebook ads. This is a good way to advertise your business even though you’re paying for people to see your advertisement. It’s one of the fastest ways to get traffic to your website or get traffic to your social media page and get new eyes that have never heard about your business before. So, especially if you’re doing it locally, it’s not as expensive as if you went globally or statewide. So if you just did it in your target city, for example, if I just did run ads in Torrance, it might not be as expensive as if I did all Los Angeles. So, Google ads, Yelp ads, Facebook ads, Instagram ads, any type of ads is a good place to start.
The next one is our Google My Business which is linked to Google Maps and Yelp. These two are free so it doesn’t hurt to be on there especially if you’re a local business. Say, you’re a restaurant, people go on Yelp app all the time and search for, if they’re looking for Boba or dessert or donuts, just having your business on there can drive more people to your business. There’s a lot of competition out there for a lot of those things but it’s better to be on there than not be on there and miss out on some opportunity.
And the last one for online is online directories. So they have like the white pages, yellow pages, mantra. These are all directories. Basically take your data from if you have a website or Google Maps and they’ll put it on their directories and basically put your business on the directory. If you’re a construction worker or a roofer or a plumber, HomeAdvisor might be a good place to have your business. If you’re a restaurant or a food place, Yelp is a good place to be. TripAdvisor is also good because if you want to attract people that are planning to travel to your location, being on TripAdvisor is also good. So, there’s all different ones for each industry. If you go do Google search, find the different directories for you and they do have services that puts you on different directories as well.
So, those are the ways how to advertise your small business locally. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or message us on Instagram or Facebook, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.